Dogs are amazing animals. They really want nothing more in life than to please their family. We are fortunate to have a Newfoundland and she is totally in love with her family. She is overwhelmingly in love with ME! No one gets attention at home when I walk in the door before the dog (Xena Lee). She starts crying as soon as she hears me pulling in the driveway; she runs to the door to greet me and has all she can do to contain her excitement while I walk in the door and put my belongings down. Once I put them down she knows it is her time and only her time for at least a few minutes. Then I start moving on to the rest of the family while she tries very hard to be patient with her butt wiggling and bouncing off the ground. Xena Lee is never in a bad mood – every day is the same greeting and expression of love. The only exception is when she doesn’t feel well – she does have some digestive issues that wreak havoc every now and then. Even then she is happy just with a lower level of excitement.
So, it is really easy to see how much our dog loves us – but how do we show our love to her?
Spend Time With Her
This is a really easy one… She really wants nothing more in life than to spend time with us. She is bored all day long waiting for us to return home and she greets us with barely controlled excitement. Nothing makes her happier than when we show her our appreciation for her excitement. We of course, spend a great deal of time with her whenever we can. But she also knows there are times that are totally for her. For me – it is the second I walk in the door. My husband and I also invite her into our bed when we wake up in the morning and she gets undivided attention for ten minutes before we wake the kids up and all the normal daily chaos begins. Each child also has their special time with her. Our children are now old enough to stay home alone for short periods of time (not together). So they tend to take turns and they look forward to their special babysitting/bonding time. It’s awesome!
Touch Her/Brush Her
Spending time with her is great but much of that time needs to be touching her and/or brushing her. She adores being brushed and groomed. We like how pretty she gets with her shiny coat of hair. But for her, there is nothing more precious than being touched head to toe by her humans.
Talk to Her
We talk around her but we also talk to her. She loves any interaction she can get and that involves all the senses – taste, touch, smell, sight, hearing. It is all very stimulating for her and she soaks it all up. We say good morning, we tell her to have a nice day when we go to work, we tell her when we will be back home as well as all the other things that there are to talk about through the day – especially, want to go for a ride or a walk!
Let’s face it – there is a whole world outside our homes. Dogs want to experience it and their excitement when they do experience it is so much fun to be a part of. Walking is a great option but our dog in particular struggles with anxiety and social situations so we don’t walk her in the neighborhood much. But we have a fully fenced in yard and plenty of space to walk, run, roll in the grass, dive in puddles and everything else she loves to do. Riding however – she LOVES her car rides. Sometimes we just put her in the car and go around the block – just for some special time for her.
Owning a dog includes many responsibilities such as keeping them as healthy as possible. This includes periodic checkups, vaccinations, safe spaces to play and live. We need to make sure our gardens don’t have anything poisonous in them; we need to use pet-friendly salt (winter); fenced in spaces as much as possible and more. For us, we use essential oils and natural treatments for what may come along in her life as much as possible. In short – if it is good enough for us, it is good enough for her. She is a member of the family.
We pay a great deal of attention to our dog’s diet. She sometimes has digestive issues so she gets the same care we would give a family member with digestive issues. We make sure our dog has food that is U.S. farm-raised, organic, antibiotic-free poultry and certified sustainable seafood. We make sure our choices are GMO-free with no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors and no added hormones. We also want our pet food to have humanely raised poultry and to be grain free with balanced nutrition and added vitamins, minerals and trace nutrients. Now that may seem like a tall order but it is totally possible with Tender & True Pet Nutrition. They have many flavors and varieties and their ingredients are certified sustainable. Flavors include: Organic Chicken & Liver, Organic Turkey & Liver, Ocean Whitefish & Potato, Turkey and Brown Rice. These flavors are available in both dry and canned food. Xena Lee especially loves the Organic Chicken & Liver. She cannot control her excitement and we are just as happy to give it to her knowing it is healthy for her and a premium, high quality, safe food!