Maybe you’ve recently adopted a new puppy and started down the road to a long lasting friendship, maybe you’ve even enrolled in training and socialization classes. Where do you look now to ensure that they have every advantage possible for a long, happy healthy life? Organic, non-wheat, non-GMO dog food? Absolutely. Establishing a regular exercise routine and dog-friendly walking route? Fantastic. Buying non-toxic, tooth-friendly chew toys? You bet.
These are all great ideas, but allow me to point you in a less obvious direction that is arguably more important and that most people overlook: First you will need to find the closest mirror and have a good long look at it.. That’s right, I’m talking about you, and more specifically your own health.
I realize this may sound a little silly but stay with me, because this point is absolutely practical. Take these examples for instance:
“Honey I just got home from work and I’m exhausted. I just don’t have energy to take the dog for a walk”
“Sorry sweetheart I can’t pick up the dog, my back is too sore”
“Get that dog away from me! I have the worst migraine ever and I just want to be left alone!”
“Sorry Rocky I’d love to take you for a run but my knee is just killing me..”
“Let’s not bother bringing the dog on our trip with us. Work and the kids have me WAY too stressed out and I don’t need the added hassle of bringing HIM with us too.”
Hopefully the picture is becoming clearer- in every one of these examples, the way the owner interacted with their dog had nothing to do with the dog and everything to do with their own lack of health. A lack of energy, a lingering injury that hasn’t been addressed, a headache that changes a personality, and an uncontrolled buildup of stress that decreases an owner’s patience. In every example, it’s the dog that is affected as a result.
To put it another way, your health is kind of like a perfectly calm pond, and when issues with your health arise it’s like a big rock is thrown into the center of it. The ‘rock’ (health issue) creates waves and ripples that eventually reach every corner of the pond, just like issues with your health affect your loved ones- including your dog!
The point is this- your ability to care for and build a relationship with your puppy is only as great as your health allows. So often people take better care of their pets, their families, their co-workers, and even their cars and material “stuff” better than they take care of themselves. People often don’t think that their health is worth the investment or that they deserve it. They forget, or perhaps never realized that their health truly is their greatest investment because it’s the vehicle that allows us to fully love and care for others.
If you have health issues that are holding you back then chances are you know what they are. Do your puppy and yourself a favor and take charge of them sooner than later. You life and your dog’s will be much better off for it.