“No, don’t mind me.”
“I’m fine climbing this snowy mountain in my socks. Really, you need the boots more. It must be cold riding in that sled.”
“C’mon, Honey. Keep up.”
The only thing worse than my willingness to sacrifice myself so I don’t make someone else uncomfortable is when I drag my family along.
I’m trying to learn to take better care of myself. And hopefully, better care of others who rely on me.
Take Care of Honey
Honey and I made a new friend when our latest foster dog, Titus, came to stay with us.
Scratch that. I made a new friend. Honey didn’t.
Although they had a happy little greeting and enjoyed a few moments of play in the back yard, Honey was uneasy with Titus.
When I sat down in the yard to give Titus time to get used to me, Honey practically sat on my lap.
Inside, Honey kept looking at Titus out of the corner of her eye. When he blocked her way out of a tight spot, Honey walked across the furniture rather than pass by him on the floor.
I don’t know why Honey was so uncomfortable with Titus. He was a little invasive with his sniffing. But I saw nothing in his body language that helped me understand Honey’s discomfort.
Was it because he was an intact male?
I don’t know and probably never will. But when I emailed the behaviorist at the SPCA about Honey’s reaction, she decided to pick Titus up.
Twenty years ago I wasn’t a good advocate for my dogs. But I think I’m getting better. And I’m thankful to volunteer for an organization that always puts dogs first—both the dogs in the shelter and the dogs of their foster families.
I know that whether Titus goes to another foster family or stays in the shelter to work with the volunteers and staff there, he’ll be in the very best hands.
And I know that Honey, although she can’t make choices to care for herself, is glad I can do it for her.
Take Care of Me
I’m still not very good at advocating for myself. I recently worked at the borrowed desk I sit at in my office beside a gigantic window unit that left me a little over a foot to squeeze in and out of.
But I’m getting better. And it’s why I asked my husband to borrow a Carshare car to pick me up from work tomorrow night instead of me schlepping all my teaching materials back on my bike in the dark from the house where my home buyer’s class will meet.
Maybe if someone asks me to hike up a snowy mountain in my socks (or the real life equivalent), I’ll stand up for myself and say, “No way!” I certainly won’t drag Honey along.
After all, taking care of myself is good for me. And good for my dog too.
Your Turn: Do you remember to care for yourself? Are you as good at caring for yourself as you are at caring for our dog?