I have just launched myself into a new role and identity of dog owner and it has been a big deal for me. I have lost more sleep and experienced more ‘angst’ over welcoming our new dog (Casey) into our lives than I did with our BIG DEAL move across country. What’s with that?
It boils down to one word: VULNERABILTY. As with loving someone and having children, dog ownership brings up tons of thoughts and emotions that can fall under the realm of feeling vulnerable. Here are my current challenging thoughts about having this dog in my life:
- Our freedom to go wherever we want whenever we want will be compromised.
- Our family’s financial security is at risk with the addition of dog-care expenses.
- The order and cleanliness in our home will change.
- What if he becomes a ‘challenging dog’ and we’ll not be seen as the fun, easy-going family we enjoy being.
- What if he doesn’t love and respect me?
- What if he dies before I’m ready?
- What if he is more to handle than I’m prepared for?
…and the list goes on. If I look at each and every one of those thoughts, they have been present for me throughout my adult life and they center around the risk to love wholeheartedly and to be “all in”. More specifically, if I overlay the decision to marry my husband (of 18 years) or to have my two kids; the thoughts and questions are essentially the same. I am so glad I took the risk with those three amazing people in my life…so now I add baby Casey to the mix. My heart is ready and the resulting love and vibrancy I’m adding to my life, is priceless.
That all being said, making a move across country, while stressful and challenging, isn’t as risky to me as opening my heart up to love. I’m glad I’ve been willing to do both though…I am loving every minute of it!