Coco and I went to the puppy training course on Tuesday night, and Coco was awarded the most well trained puppy. It felt very much like an achievement seeing that my training sessions are successful with the canine clients too.
For whoever doesn’t know yet, Coco is my beautiful 14-weeks-old puggle puppy that Paul and I have unexpectedly adopted upon my return from the Italian Alps.
I knew from the beginning that a dog requires a lot of commitment, but only when you actually have one you realise how much time it translates to, especially as a puppy. To dedicate time to her though is the highlight of my day.
In our training sessions I did teach Coco to sit, lay down, stand and a couple of other tricks. But moreover and so unexpectedly she teaches me a bunch of things everyday.
To slow down
My life as it was before of having her it was just too crazy to describe. From Psycle classes, to PT clients, admin work during commuting, to arrive at home and sit in front of the computer for hours to get my blogs, social media, projects done. Everyday of the week non-stop. It might sounds very glamorous to you sitting in a office right now, but really I didn’t have any spare time to dedicate to my partner, or my friends or doing something I love.
And here comes the dichotomy of a person who works in the health industry: we, more often that not, are not able to have a healthy balanced lifestyle.
Coco’s cute big eyes that look at me imploring for a fun walk in the park, remind me to take breaks: I do less in a day because she needs some of my time and my attention, and it’s ok.
I spend much more quality time with my partner, I get to truly enjoy the outdoors life, and I get to squeeze in my day some play time, which take my mind off from my daily stress and make me smile (she really is a little clown).
To be more social
Socialise with strangers is never been really my thing. Even when I was working as a PT in the gym and I had to go and talk to people to pick new clients, I never felt in my comfort zone. But with Coco being so cute, we get stopped literally every 5 minutes. It’s amazing the amount of people that I get to talk to during a day, people that most probably would never stop and talk to me if it wasn’t for her. And yes, the conversation starts always around puppy’s and dog’s topic, but it can get really interesting at times.
To notice the details
With Coco picking up literally EVERYTHING from the floor, you need to give her a big part of your attention. So definitely I can’t go to the local park with my phone and think of twittering while I am walking her. And with her attention needs she does me really much a favor: there’s a ton of beautiful flowers and spot that I haven’t notice before in my local park. To Coco, our walks are anything but repetitive, because there’s always something new to sniff or explore and new friends to charm with her big floppy ears.
To be patient and persevere
Calling all the dogs owners here, as they will understand what I am about to say. Housebreaking and potty training definitely require a LOT of patience. You intend to do everything by the book, but sometimes for some reasons that’s not enough. There are so many things that you need to forgive and forget about when you have a little puppy. Bite marks on your favourite pair of trainers, scratching at the door not to mention the fact that you can no longer leave anything on the floor (teaching you to be more tidy!). It took several sleepless nights and lots of house cleaning to teach Coco to do “her business” only on the training pads and outside. Accidents still happen, but she finally learnt to ring the little bell by the balcony door when she needs the toilet. Consistency is always the key to achieve results…even with the most hectic clients.
To not hold the grudge
Coco would get very upset if I bath her, I stop her to chew my dirty socks or if I leave her alone in a room for too long.
But after few minutes of holding the grudge, she comes back to love me and asking for cuddles.
Now I choose to live my life on Coco’s terms: let things go (unless it’s my favourite toy) and enjoy life.