Last Updated on October 5, 2022 by ThoughtsStained
Hi loves! This post is a bit of a weird one, I’ll admit. Yet this is where my brain is at, so we’re running with it today! But, as I enter the high busy season at my day job (October and November for this time of year), I’ve found myself struggling with a lot of guilt. Particularly surrounding my pup, Dovahkiin, and the life my dog deserves–or, at least, what I feel she deserves, anyway. Right now, it feels like I can’t give it to her, for reasons both inside and outside of my control.
So, like I do, I wanted to talk about it. He we go!
So, I think most regular followers of the blog know all about this. But, a quick rundown for any new folks who might have just discovered me (or just want a refresher). I’m a twenty something millennial (30 in less than a month 😳) who works full-time 8am-5pm. This job covers the bills. My second job, freelancing as an editor of SFF and select romance, helps work towards paying off medical debt and building any semblance of savings after (one day). Being a part-time graduate student in my MFA program is with the goal to make me more marketable for future jobs and potentially open up different degree options.
Then, there’s the hobbies: this blog, for example. Reading books and writing them. Playing video games. Hanging out with my partner, who also Twitch streams. Staying close with my family and being with my friends.
Finally, there is the very special dog, Dovahkiin.
The Life My Dog Deserves
Now, I’m a massive dog lover. I have always loved dogs and grew up with golden retrievers, so I’ve been very lucky in that regard. And I knew, whenever I could possibly do so, I wanted to get a dog of my own.
It took almost five years after graduating college before I could finally get an apartment with a fenced-in backyard (a prerequisite requirement I put on myself before I’d allow myself to even consider a pup), before I bought Dovah dog home.
Obviously, if you follow me on my socials (particularly Instagram or Twitter), you know how obsessed I am with this dog. I love her. And I want her to have the best life she can have. She’s spoiled, because why wouldn’t she be? I (try very hard) to take her for a daily walk. Going to the dog park is a regular thing. She gets brushed almost daily (despite hating it yet always needing it).
Yet, all I feel is guilt, because so much of my time is dedicated to working, in some capacity, that the life my dog deserves still isn’t quite her reality.
What’s Stopping Us?
What does that look like, you might ask? Sure, I don’t think I am a bad dog owner (even if I sometimes feel like it). She’s always fed, she has treats and toys, she gets pets, regularly groomed (daily and professionally) and walked often.
Yet, I can’t stop thinking about how this is the only life she gets. And she literally has no control over it. Everything about her life, I have to give her. And I want her to have the best one.
What do I want her to have that she’s missing? Well:
- Better training: we did some attempts when she was a puppy, but I wish I could train her better so she could have more things accessible to her as a well-trained dog, like going different places, less stress at dog parks, that sorta thing.
- Guaranteed walks and regular exercise: I have gotten really good about making walks a priority. Yet there are days when my body can’t do it (thanks chronic disability). Or when my spoons are too low or my mental health is shit. Or when I just can’t avoid it, because I’m too busy. Weather, too, obviously plays a factor. Yet I can’t afford a regular dog walker. I want so badly for her to have access to doggy daycare, but WHO CAN AFFORD THAT? Plus, I’d love to walk her twice a day, instead of only once, but I can barely fit in one 30 minute walk some days. 😭
- Trips and adventure: In my head, I had these grand plans for her to be my adventure buddy, like you see sometimes on social media. Traveling across America (or the world 👀), getting to explore nature, experience new sights and smells. Yet I haven’t taken her anywhere that isn’t Kansas. (And part of this is the lack of training, in some respects).
- A sister: I really wish she could have a sister, another puppy to play and bound with.
I feel like I could go on and on, but I’ll wrap up my thoughts instead.
Because truly, friends, I just feel…I dunno, a lot of guilt. I feel like I’m doing the bare minimum for this pup, when I want her to have everything. She is such a wonderful dog and brings so much joy into my life, so I want to bring all that joy into hers.
Yet I feel awful when I skip a walk and you can see the disappointment in her eyes. I hate that I can’t explain why the weather won’t allow it or why I can’t play with her because I’m in meetings for 9 hours a day (which is not an exaggeration, right now, and for the next few weeks).
And then it’s like, I’m doing all of this work, yet I can’t even afford formal training so I can take her on trips. I can’t do daycare or a dedicated walker to help when I have a flare up, always having to rely on friends or family (or just missing it all together). Hell, I wish I could train her to be a therapy dog so she wouldn’t have to be alone, yet that is an impossibility due to training and finances.
Yet why do I work so hard if I can’t even give my dog the life she deserves? 😭
Would be very welcome to your thoughts, loves. Even if this topic reveals my (debatably unhinged) dog lady status. 😅