Being a Dog Mom...
Sunday, May 13, 2018
I took this picture last night, and the more I look at it, the more I like it!
The Cooper-dog is an 8 year old Jack Russell Terrier, who I adopted from a local canine rescue organization about 5 or 6 months after I joined SparkPeople. I was having trouble finding people to buddy with me IRL and walk with me regularly, so I requested a dog who “liked to walk”! I got what I asked for... lol! JRTs are known as hyperactive, slightly destructive, little yapping dogs... or that is how I have heard them described. Hmmm, if you walk a young JRT at least 10 miles a day they tend to sleep the rest of the day, and are happily tired and pleasant to be around! Lol. He was just about a year old when I adopted him and had a little bit of puppy left in him (which he has since outgrown... no more chewing, thank goodness!)... but I didn’t have to worry about house breaking or teaching him to sit. I think if I ever adopted another dog... (heaven forbid) I would go for an older dog even than Cooper was. Anyways, I was still at the beginning of my lifestyle change journey and The Cooper-dog became a vital component of that transformation. So important to my well being that my psychiatrist certified him as an ESA, so that he has some protections and I have some rights in regards to him. Basically he is no longer classified as a “pet”... but rather as a “companion”... which is especially important when it comes to things like housing... but I am off on another tangent! It is easy to do when I talk about my Coopster... lol! My thoughts tend to wander kind of like the way he follows his nose back and forth across the sidewalks! Zigzag! Soooo... Cooper has become my primary social connection with people ( my fellow tenants tend to know me as “Cooper’s mom”), and exercise motivation in all weather... as well as providing company and comfort when I have anxiety attacks, nightmares, or simply just get sad. The science behind the oxytocin release involved in petting a dog is established, and in return he gets endorphins (and is pampered and fawned on)... it seems a pretty fair trade to me. I know he gets really happy to see me when I have been away for more than 10 minutes... and it’s a relief for me to close out the rest of the world and lock my apartment door and just sit and pet the Cooper-dog. So, I get pretty happy to see him too! (I cannot wag my tail the way he can though... lol)
The Cooper-dog and I still go for some long rambling walks around town, but they tend to be more reasonable these days... rarely over 5 miles at a go... and we usually accumulate a maximum of 12 miles over the course of a day and that’s an ambitious day lately. My knees won’t stand up to more, and I think he is starting to feel his age as well... (he is starting to show a little gray on his muzzle, but when the zoomies start watch out! You would never know he is getting a little up there in years!)
This year I am practicing denial about traditional Mother’s Day observances... as far as I can tell my whole family is as well... and embracing being a dog mom!