Tuesday, March 25, 2014

We Learn As We Go

We started this journey with Barry not knowing much. We've both had pets before. Our parents were pet owners and we took part in caring for and enjoying the pets. Our parents were the main care takers, though. We did little in the way of giving our pets basic needs (feed, clean up after them, take them to the vet, pay the vet bills, etc.). That's all changed now that we are adults and on our own. Everything is up to us.

I have vague memories of my mom cleaning our cat's litter box and our dogs having a fenced in area to hang out in all day. I remember there being pet food but I don't remember the kind they bought or how often our pets were fed. I think I helped with those sorts of things occasionally but not often. I remember once or twice cleaning the litter box, or at least scooping poop into a plastic grocery bag.

After high school my best friend and I moved in together and cared for one dog briefly then got a dog of our own. I won't go into detail but I was an awful pet parent. I feel like that anyway, looking back on everything. I didn't care for the dogs in the way they needed. I never exercised them, who knows what I fed them, I didn't love them in the way I should've. I've always loved animals. Always thought of myself as an animal person, an animal lover, what-have-you. My first experiences with pet ownership show otherwise. I didn't know what I was doing. I was immature and didn't deserve to have a pet at that time in my life.

Fast forward to now. I'm more financially and emotionally stable. I am mature enough now to take care of a pet properly. I had no business having a pet back then. I made little money and my priorities were all screwy. It's not that I was emotionally unstable but I was quite young and things weren't as concrete then as they are now.

I'm not the best pet parent now but I'm certainly doing everything I can to make that happen. I'm trying to get to know Barry better and have better communication with him. I realize how smart Barry is and how much he understands. He picks up on small things and I don't think about him understanding or knowing what Husband and I are talking about. Somehow he just knows. I've read that dogs have no sense of time and that when you're gone for a couple of hours it could be like 10 hours or a few minutes to a dog. I don't buy that. He has a great sense of time. He wakes up on the weekends at 7AM sharp. Around 9:30 at night he starts giving us this look... His body is facing the front door but he is looking back at us with a very serious look. To me he's saying, "It's 9:30 and it's almost bed time so it's time to go outside now."

This is the only picture I've taken where Barry is doing The Look. I can't
believe I don't have more since he does this at least twice per day. 
He knows when we have someone coming over. We had people over this weekend. Husband had just gotten off the phone with his brother discussing coming over and Barry went to lay by the door to wait for our guests before we even started cleaning and getting the guest bed ready. He knew right away after Husband's phone conversation that we had guests coming over. We don't give him enough credit for how smart and intuitive he is.

Someone's coming so I'm waiting because I will be the first to greet them.
We're still learning and I think it will always be that way. We're settling into this life with Barry nicely and we still have a few kinks to work out but it's all getting easier and better as we go.

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