I confess. I’m a Worry Wart Dog Parent. Almost to the point of inertia.
When we’re at home I’m fine. Living alone with the dogs I can control (most) of our environment, keeping them safe.
But when we venture past the front gate, anything can happen! Because of my Worry Warts, we haven’t goon adventuring much.
Then we got bored. There’s only so many times you can walk the same routes, and run around the same yard, and pretend like that’s good enough.
Enter the Blog
That’s why I started the Let’s Go Dog blog … to get rid of the Worry Warts by writing my way through them. Well, not just by writing, but by making myself “get out there” with the dogs so I have something to write about.
Now, with 6 months of blogging under my keyboard, I realized: it’s working!
At first it was tough, both the writing and the getting out there:
- The writing part does not come naturally. I can agonize for days about the wording of a single paragraph.
- The “getting out there” was hard, too. I’d over-think each and every outing, psyching myself out of trips. Lots of Worrying Warting.
One Step at a Time
It really helps to take one slow step at a time, and allow myself to make mistakes. Eventually the dogs and I figure out routines and expectations. It doesn’t happen all at once, but that’s OK.
- First I started taking the dogs with me on errands. By establishing routines and learning some tricks, we’ve really cut back on hassle factors of just getting in and out of the car. And, for extra fun, we learned which drive-thru banks and coffee stands dispense dog treats :->
- Then I started taking them on different trails and more diverse destinations. Some of my Dog Friendly Olympic Northwest destinations may appear sane and easy in my blog posts. What I neglected to include in these stories was that just getting to the trail or park and back home safely is kind of a triumph for me. Each and every time.
What I discovered, and is not too surprising in hind-sight: the more we practice “getting out there”, the more we learn and gain confidence. The dogs now get from the front gate to the car without leashes, no problem. I keep the car setup for dogs so I’m no longer having to re-arrange seats when they ride with me. I have a basket in the back with dog essentials that is always ready. We are going further from home, taking our chances in more neighborhoods and trails. I’m still nervous about many situations, but I think with practice we’ll work our way through them.
Meanwhile, we’re having a heck of a lot more fun!
The Wart List
I’m so happy I started the Let’s Go Dog blog. I still have a number of Worry Warts to eradicate, and I add more as the world gets bigger.
So I started a list (I love lists!) of Worry Warts. The list helps remind me that I’m making progress, and it provides me with opportunities to scratch more off the list.
I’ll put the “Worry Warts” list on its own page with spot on the menu bar soon. Comments and feedback are always welcome!