A wise woman (otherwise known as my mother) once said, that everyone has an opinion. In our culture of constant media bombardment and in your face personalities, it is tough to not be influenced by opinions. Even at the ripe age of 37, I still find myself impressionable. What do you take to heart and what advice do you throw away?
Yesterday, when my husband told me that I was “too obsessed with my dog”, I immediately chose to disregard his opinion. For one, Guido has the amazing ability to calm me even when dirty socks are being thrown on the kitchen counter – this is something my husband should be grateful for!
However, as the days progressed, his comment wore on me. Am I really overly obsessed with Guido? Yes, my favorite part of the day is when Guido lays next to me in bed and begs for tummy rubs. Yes, I choose to not go out at night so that we can cuddle on the couch and go on long walks together. But does this make me “obsessed”? I’d like to think of it as me enjoying time with my favorite companion.
By definition, obsession is an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind. Well…lets go through my daily routine. I wake up, pet Guido, take him outside, come back inside, eat breakfast, feed the kids, give Guido the milk out my cereal bowl (don’t judge!), take a shower, get the kids ready and go to work. One hour later, I sit down to pet Guido (because he was obviously bored) and give him a bone. Throughout the next eight hours, the only thing on my mind besides my kids and work is taking out Guido, ensuring that he is well-exercised and socialized enough, and telling him that I love him. If we go out to dinner, I am constantly checking my watch anxiously awaiting the time when I can tap Mark on the shoulder and say, “We really should go home to let Gui out.”
So I guess, by definition, I am obsessed.
It is apparent why I own a dog business. But I wonder when too much obsession can become detrimental to your dog. Does this much attention and love make him into a total head case? Am I imposing my feelings on him?
I decided to try an experiment. For one whole day, I would not look at the time, I would allow Guido to be home by himself and would enjoy the day with my family. I assured myself that when I would arrive home, Guido would be no worse for the wear.
10:30 a.m. – We leave the house. My heart is screaming – “I don’t want to leave you Gui!”, but instead I say nothing and leave the house trying to act completely unjaded.
12 p.m. – Can our food be any slower?! Lunch is taking forever but I have to admit that I am enjoying not looking at the time and just enjoying my family time, but…I wonder what Gui is doing?
2 p.m. – We are at Navy Pier enjoying the ferris wheel. Although, I am not sure what is more irritating, the mass of tourists or the fact that I just want to go home.
5 p.m. – We are home!!!!! I can barely handle myself because I all want to do is bust open the door and scream, “Buddy, I didn’t abandon you, mom is hommeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!”. Instead, I compose myself and am greeted by an enthusiastic dog . Maybe it’s just me, but I can tell on Guido’s face that there is a mutual longing. They say dogs have no concept of time, but I know that Guido is pissed for his 6+hour stay at home alone. As soon as we go outside, I take a deep breath and sigh of relief. I am home with my obsession – Guido. And he is happy, so I am happy. Like any person obsessing or addicted to something, I would advise against the cold turkey route. Maybe smaller increments of time are easier on both mother and son. So for now, I will continue my obsession but will slowly allow my little boy to grow up and spend sometime by himself. I know that this will at least make one person very happy – my other obsession, my husband:).