When I found out that I was pregnant, I made all these amazing plans. I had all of these things I was going to teach my dogs, and all of these things we were going to make sure to do before the baby arrived. Plus, I had all of these amazing plans for after her arrival. All of these adventures I would take my dogs on with my brand new baby. Needless to say, none of these things happened. Pregnancy while working was draining, and obviously life with a baby doesn't leave room for much else. Plus, y’know, this whole pandemic thing. We have had to adjust our plans severely as we worked through this time, including my plans for a blog series based on baby prep training!
I'm sure that a million parents could have told me to expect this (and I'm sure quite a few parents did). The piece that I really want to discuss though is not the baby part. Rather I want to talk about letting go of expectations.
Even before a baby was in any way a part of our picture, I would make all these plans for my dogs. Titles I wanted to achieve, things I wanted to teach them, adventures I wanted to go on. I would sit for hours and plan who I wanted my dogs to be, and what I wanted to do with them. I think a lot of us do this. Sit and imagine our futures with our perfect dogs and who we want them to be, and who we want to be when we are with them. The unfortunate thing is that so many of our plans don't happen. Sometimes it's because we aren't able to hold up our end of the deal. Life gets busy, either because of work or a new baby or any number of things, and we find that we just can't follow through on our plans. Sometimes it's because our dogs just can't be who we want them to be.
When I adopted Cricket, our little chihuahua, I had all of these plans to make him an adventure dog. I wanted this awesome little tiny dog that I could take camping and on hikes and do all sorts of stuff with. Unfortunately, that is not who Cricket is. He likes to yell at things a little too much. It happens to a lot of us with young dogs too. We get so excited about all of the things that we want to do with them that we tend to rush into it, and then we end up frustrated when our 8 month old dog can't go and hang out at a crowded restaurant. The reality is that not only may it not be something our dog enjoys but also, especially with our young dogs, they may just not be ready yet.
That alone is an important distinction to make. Is this something my dog will never enjoy, or is this something we simply need to work towards. But that is a whole other topic for another day.
The idea I want us to walk away with today is forgiveness, and the ability to let go of our plans without stress.
During this time in our home I have learned that it is really important first of all not to over plan, but also to be willing to let go of my plans without anger. To understand that it's not my fault or my dogs fault that things aren't going to plan, but that sometimes it is simply that the best laid plans... well, you know the rest.