Life Without a Dog is No Life For Me

When you bring a dog into your life there are necessary sacrifices. I did so much reading before we adopted Shiva that I was fully aware of all I would be relinquishing for the privilege of having a furry body to love. The things I knew I had to give up seemed like nothing in comparison. Once I had decided I was ready for a dog, nothing was going to stop me.

That isn’t to say it has been simple. The first six months were a lot harder than anticipated, and not just because of Shiva’s behavioural issues. It was a huge adjustment for all of us. It doesn’t matter how much you think you know, until you actually take on the full responsibility for another life, it’s hard to know what you will encounter. Or what you will have to renounce.

Now that it has been almost three years, when I think back on my life ante-dog, there isn’t a whole lot I miss from that time. In many ways I wonder what we even did with ourselves without a Shiva around. The things I gave up just don’t seem as interesting anymore.

Here are some of the things I thought I’d miss but don’t.

Going out after work. Not that I am Ms. Super Social Woman, but some occasions, I did enjoy hanging out with co-workers after a long week. Much more frequently, I would stop at the mall or grocery store to pick up a few things before going home. Once we had a dog, I couldn’t do this. It was straight home after leaving the office to let Shiva out and take her for a walk. I thought I’d miss my casual weekday shopping errands. Apparently waiting for the weekend works just fine.

Sleeping. Oddly, I think I actually get more sleep now even though I am getting up before the sun. Before Shiva, I was going through a difficult time. My head seldom let me rest and insomnia was just an accepted friend. Having a dog in my life changed so many things for me mentally and emotionally. Instead of worrying about my own problems all the time, I had Shiva’s on which to focus. All of a sudden sleep became simple and I found myself crashing on the couch before nine pm. Mental issues aside, all the new exercise I was getting makes sure the sleep I do get is deep.

Clothes without fur. As The Cat’s long fur sheds in larger clumps than Shiva’s, fur on every surface is something I have adjusted to for quite a long time. While I may sigh if I find stray dog hairs in my cereal bowl, or shake my head as I brush them off my laptop, I barely even notice it any more. Besides, fur is still fashionable in many circles. I am proud to sport the guilt-free variety.

Nice things. It turns out, I am more of a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl anyway. Did I really need those $300 handmade high heeled shoes? Sneakers are far better for my feet. If you think about it, Shiva was just thinking of my health when she ate my entire closet worth of foot wear.

Money.  Let’s face it, I’ve never had a lot of the stuff. It’s not like I can look back on a golden time where I was pulling hundred-dollar bills out of my ears. But one of the deterrents to getting a dog is definitely the extra expense. Dogs aren’t cheap – though they are much cheaper than children. I knew this going in and accepted I may not be able to afford to import my mozzarella fresh from Italy. Honestly, though, I don’t know if the extra costs really are that noticeable. It makes me wonder what exactly we were spending it all on before. $300 handmade shoes, probably.

When I think about all these things, and then think about all I have gained, I really don’t think I am missing out on anything. Let those silly dogless people go out for cocktails with their furless jackets and their tottering heels. I’d choose Shiva over expensive cheese any day.

As today is my official Blogiversary, I’d like to thank each and every one of you for stopping by and adding so much to my life with my dog. In so many ways, I think our relationship with Shiva has deepened because of the community I found through this website. I take much more photographs of her now than I ever did before the blog. Shiva may not be a fan of my online pursuits but I know she has benefited greatly from the knowledge (and free treats) I have gained as a result.

Thank you for being there these two crazy years.

There is still one day left to join in my Blogiversary Scavenger Hunt! Check it out here! 

 

36 thoughts on “Life Without a Dog is No Life For Me

  1. Happy Blogiversary! I’m very glad you’re a part of the blogging community. I too sometimes think about what I “sacrificed” in getting a dog– and then recall, through a sudden goofy look or, really, just a reassuring presence, how much I gained.

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  2. Oh yes, life would simply not be the same without Luna. When I do happen to leave her behind on trips I miss the lil stinker. No matter how much she drives me nuts she is my dog through and through whether she likes it or not lol. Who knows maybe you will be able to pick up some of those things as she gets older, I always think in terms of “will this wear Luna out? Is there a way I could include her to wear her out?” so for me it will be really nice when she just doesn’t require as much exercise, but she gets me out and keeps me more active than I would be without her for sure.
    Congrats on the 2 years!
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

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  3. Congratulations and please keep blogging. I don’t remember my life when I didn’t have a dog in it so thanks for reminding me of what I haven’t missed. I do hope everyone who thinks of adopting a dog will do what you did and find out what their lives will be like with dog as part of it.

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  4. Congratulations on Two Years! Dogs really do change our lives don’t they? There is something to the down-in-the-dirt-reality of what really is important that they give us. We are quite honored to be part of your blog and we are looking forward to the next year with you. :)

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  5. Happy Blogiversary! Thanks for sharing your experiences with Shiva for the past 2 years, I still have a lot of posts to catch up on.
    I’ve seen more sunrises & sunsets in the last 4 years since we got Maggie than in my entire previous life. I also don’t think we’ve laughed more, especially in the last 2 years since we added Duke. Congrats!

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  6. Stumbled across your blog today. Loved your post! I completely agree that life is so much better with our furry friends than without– I can’t imagine my life without my two huskies. The things you have to give up or change to bring them into your life are so worth it… :)

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  7. Hi Kristine, well we agree with your outlook. There’s four of us and my mom and dad have had to make many sacrifices – my dad says that he didn’t think that it would be as much as it has been. There are moments when my dad wonders but he quickly sighs and hugs us all. I bet those $300 handmade shoes looked great on you. Perhaps one day.

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  8. Happy Blogiversary! I can’t imagine living life without having a dog by my side either. Sounds like Shiva helped you obtain a healthier lifestyle too. More sleep, more exercise, healthier shoes….
    What is that old saying about getting the dog you need?

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  9. Happy Blogiversary!

    I loved your point about improving your insomnia. So many people get a dog because they want someone who will love and care for them. But really, it’s our caring for our dogs that takes us out of ourselves and makes us so much comfortable in our own skin.

    If Shiva were an easier dog from the start, you might still have insomnia. :)

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  10. It’s only been two years? Sometimes I feel like I’ve been keeping track of you and Shiva forever! I always love reading what you have to write, and I feel the exact same way about having dogs in our lives. I hope you and Shiva continue to entertain us for many more years (and that I win something now that you have me drooling over all that cool stuff)!

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  11. It’s all so true! What were we thinking wearing those uncomfortable shoes anyway!?! Now the highest heel in my closet is a loafer – and I only wear those on REALLY special occasions. =)

    Congratulations again on two years of fun, meaningful and inspiring blogging. You and Shiva are gems in the pet blogosphere.

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  12. Oh Kristine. I could relate to almost everything on your list. I also used to be able to stop at the store on the way home too. I also would go out with friends on occasion after work. Not anymore! :)

    All that I have gained is worth all that I gave up, although I must say I have never given up $300 shoes! LOL! (Just a couple of rugs.)

    I’m so sorry I missed the scavenger hunt. This is what happens when you wait to do everything on the weekend. Happy Blog-i-versary Kristine. I am so glad you are still blogging and that I found your blog.

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  13. Happy Blogiversary to you and Shiva!
    I couldn’t imagine a life without a dog either – all of my dogs have enriched my life in so many ways, and I thank God for each and every one.

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  14. This post made me smile- I can definitely relate! This may just be me because I am lazy and antisocial, but I also find having a dog to be an excellent excuse to get out of late night activities. There is nowhere I would rather be at 10:30 p.m. than snuggled on the couch in my pajamas with my puppy. Although…. I have to say I miss money. Not that I ever had a lot of it but I think the most painful part of dog ownership has to be the cost- especially with a “special” dog like Pearl. My husband and I worked out cost estimates before we made the decision to adopt a dog and despite our planning and research we weren’t even close!

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  16. Awww. Lovely post. It’s a lot like having children, isn’t it? Interesting that you sleep better now…from sheer exhaustion, sounds like. Fur in the cereal sounds oddly familiar. I worry that, one day, I’ll cook something for guests that’ll have dog fur in it. I sometimes pick food up from the floor shhhh ;) thank goodness Georgia’s a very clean dog lol.

    Happy blogiversary Kristine! Still going strong :) x

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  17. Very lovely post! You know I agree with you that life is really really boring if we don’t have our dogs with us…

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  18. Happy belated blogiversary! This post was the perfect way to commemorate it – I feel the same way about the “sacrifices” I’ve made. It’s so worth it. :)

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  19. Me too! I don’t know and I don’t even want to imagine not being with my dog. She is our baby in the family.. my daughter adores her so much.. She is so loving, playful dog. And I don’t want to lose her.. I could die..

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  20. This is a great reminder for the currently dog-less like myself. I feel like I’m mentally aware of the sacrifices, but I probably have no idea how much will actually change. Thanks for always providing a fresh, honest perspective about raising Shiva; you’ve been a great encouragement to me already!

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  22. Love dogs! And i can’t imagine without my dog. I agree with you that life is so joyless without our dogs. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post to us and Happy blogiversary!

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  23. Happy Blogiversary . .sorry I am late! I can’t imagine a life without my fur kids – clean house be damned!! My dog and my three kitties make me smile every single day :)

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  24. this is such a great post. i’ve only had desmond for a year, but i already feel like life before him is all a big blur. if there’s anything i miss, i’d say it’s being able to go on weekend trips at the last minute.

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  25. I love this post! One thing I’ve noticed is that I’m always weirded out when they aren’t around (daycare, boarding, etc.) the house is just too quiet. Its hard for me to imagine life before my dogs.

    And, even though its late, very late, happy blogiversary!

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