This is the story of a girl who cried and whimpered but changed my whole world…
Hey there, Sit, Stay, & Bloggers, and special shout-out to those of you who recognized my rendition of the early 2000s hit, Absolutely (Story of a Girl), by Nine Days! 😉
This is my story of how I
spoil love my dog, Pinella, unconditionally. She is the best friend I didn’t know I needed, and I never could have anticipated the positive impact she’s had on my life!
When I volunteered to raise Pinella as a service dog, I was apprehensive about how I would ever afford to house her. As a college student with a job that paid my residence hall room and board, I worried about whether or not I could provide her with enough toys, dog bedding, or food that was probably more nutritious than my own. Fortunately, we were heavily and courteously supported. Family and friends took care of purchasing bedding and puppy food. A professor of mine provided Pinella and I with training treats. Graciously, my supervisors even donated toys galore, treats, and a brand new leash (Thank you for your support, Kathy and Sharon.)! Worriment about material possessions aside, I was certain of one thing: My love for animals and my passion for the service dog world reassured me that I could provide Pinella with endless, unconditional love.
By her first birthday, Pinella had more toys than she knew what to do with. If you’re a pet parent like myself who cannot resist grabbing your furry friend a new dog toy every time you head to Target, you will likely relate to the following statements: “What does your dog need another toy for? He/she is so spoiled!”
Here is my counter-argument: Define spoiled. (Really, I’m curious — comment below on how you define what it means to spoil your pet!)
Instead of spoiled, I prefer to think of it as being loved. Disclaimer: If your pet does not have a stockpile of the cutest and latest squeaky toys, does that mean they are not loved? Of course not! If you provide for your pet emotionally, don’t neglect their basic needs, and offer safe shelter, you are doing just fine! In that scenario, squeaky toys or not, your dog is “spoiled” with your love and attention.
All of that aside, here are some of the reasons why I continue to “spoil” my pet with material goods:
1. Toys keep her occupied: A pup occupied with toys is a pup who doesn’t become occupied with chewing furniture or your favorite shoes when you come to visit.
2. Pure joy: Aside from the happiness Pinella displays when I join her at home after a long day at work, school, etc., nothing beats seeing her joyful, tail-wagging, playful demeanor when she is about to be presented with a new toy (which, by the way, is sometimes as simple as an old water bottle or wrapping paper tube)!
3. Stimulation: As a previous service dog in training, it was essential to expose Pinella to various different stimuli. I have merely chosen to maintain that stimulation and promote mental fitness through toys such as the tricky treat ball!
4. Health and Exercise: Leashes and walking harnesses are necessary if you are walking your dog regularly (as you should). Keeping a few toys on-hand is additionally useful for those rainy days when a rousing game of indoor fetch is warranted!
5. Comfort: I am well aware that, simply put, dogs do find comfort in sleeping on the floor. However, if I can provide a comfortable bed and a spot to call my pet’s own, why shouldn’t I?
In quoting the famous saying, “I work so my dog can have a better life,” it has become my mission to continuously strive to provide Pinella with an enriching quality of life. To me, pet ownership is about offering unconditional love, providing for them physically and emotionally, and “spoiling” them (as finances allow, of course).
Stay tuned for a follow-up post coming very soon entitled: Dog Gift Buying Guide! 🙂