I have two Chihuahuas, Vino and Lola. Vino, the boy dog is 14 years old and when he was 4 years old we added Lola to the family, she is now 8. At that time, I had realized that I was gone a lot for work and school and Vino needed more love than I had time to give. I think one of the best decisions I ever made was to get Lola because Vino and Lola have been best friends ever since. Even now when we take a vacation or leave them with a sitter it is very evident that they depend on each other for support and affection.
One of my biggest realizations as a dog parent was that I was doing things with my dogs on my own agenda, on my time and not what they truly needed. It is easy to fall into this trap, we believe we know our pets but sometimes we need to take a step back and think about their needs ahead of ours. Since this realization I try and carve out dedicated doggy time each day to play and show them affection. I also discovered that what’s good for one dog may not be good for another. We tried going for long walks and going to dog parks, but the reality is they are small dogs and being around big dogs is scary, intimidating and let’s not forget the jealousy factor. Our dogs like their walks short and sweet, they like to go outside for a bit and then come inside and play so we make sure to let all of our dog walkers and pet sitters know about their preferences before they visit.
Vino has the ugliest stuffed animal that has been stitched together several times but when he is playing with it they make an adorable pair. At one point “Baby” as we call it was literally 2 legs and head so my boyfriend, appreciating how important “Baby” is to Vino and sewed it back together using a piece of a dish-towel and to this day he doesn’t leave home without his baby.
I would love to hear about how you balance your time vs doggy time or share any pictures of your dog and their favorite toy.
Come back next week to hear a bit more about my sweet Lola.