One thing I love about dogs is their pure and simple emotion. But that doesn’t mean they never have mixed feelings. And as we say good-bye to our latest foster friends, I see it more than ever.
My Dog Has Mixed Emotions
Honey loves to play with other dogs. So every time we foster playful dogs, Honey gets her own personal dog park in the back yard.
I have no doubt Honey will miss playing with Mr. Handsome when he goes home today. She might even miss the Little Punkin Butt—I’ve spotted them playing together under the bed lately.
Honey will be gloomy for the next day or two. She’ll miss her friends.
But she’ll also be happy.
With just Honey in the house, it’s much easier to take long, rambling walks. She won’t see her favorite toys being carried off by someone else. And best of all, she’s guaranteed a place on the couch when we watch a movie.
Even if Honey mopes around the house for a few days, I know she’s going to love her next walk with just the two of us.
I Have Mixed Emotions
I’m so happy to see our fuzzy friends return home.
The way they rush to the window every time a car door slams in front of the house shows how much they miss their person. No matter how happy or playful they appear, they never forget that they’re missing the one who is most important to them.
And it feels great knowing how well they’re taken care of and how much they’re loved.
But I’m going to miss them.
It’s fun having a dog big enough to put his snout on the bed without jumping. And I’ve come to love cuddling a dog small enough to fit (really fit) on my lap.
The three dogs go together well. Every time I see them, I think of food. Honey and Mr. Handsome look like peanut butter and chocolate fudge. And Little Punkin Butt reminds me of an Oreo. Yummy.
And the house will be so quiet.
Knowing I’ll have tons less poop to clean up is a small compensation for saying goodbye to our new friends.
Is there anything I can learn from Honey about dealing with mixed emotions?
Live in the Moment
I do believe dogs have a simpler emotional life than humans. Not because they feel things less deeply. But because they don’t aggravate their emotions by thinking about them.
Honey is not going to say to herself when our foster dogs go home, “What does it mean that I’m sad right now? Does this mean I’m incomplete as an only dog?” She won’t judge herself for having mixed emotions.
No. She’s going to feel sad while she’s doing nothing. And as soon as we get up to take her favorite walk, she’ll be sniffing and enjoying herself.
So I’ll try to learn from Honey as we say good-bye. I’ll alternate between happy and sad. And I’ll try to live in the moment.
After all, if it’s good for the dog, it’s probably good for me too.
Your Turn: Have you noticed your dog having mixed emotions? Or is he consistent in what he feels? How about you?