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A Pet Owner's Journey (Pt. 3)

Life changes completely.

By Samantha ReidPublished 6 years ago 4 min read
Roxy - Age 4

A lot of people don't believe it when others say that getting a pet changes your life completely. I won't make the claim that it is as life-altering as having a child, but pets have a way of stealing a great deal of your time and your love. When I got Roxy, my schedule changed greatly. And I have to say it was a life improvement.

First of all, I became a more active individual. German Shepherds, like most medium to large breed dogs, are high-activity animals. They are usually working dogs. They are breed as service animals for police forces and militaries. They like to run, they like to chase things, they like to be challenged, and if you don't keep them entertained they are likely to take that out on you.

I got a little lucky with Roxy. She's lazier than most German Shepherds. But once you get her going, it is hard to get her to stop. She loves going for runs. She loves hiking. She loves swimming, although she still hasn't figured out that she can do it quite yet. And she absolutely loves chasing squirrels and rabbits. Though I think that was a given considering the prey drive.

So we go for walks often. We swim in the summer. We hike when we're in the country. But unfortunately for her, she is always leashed or attached to a rope. She is getting better at responding to vocal commands, but her prey drive tends to overpower her connection to me and I would rather not risk losing her.

Second, I've learned to share my space in my bed and on the couch. Some people will advise against pets being on furniture or in beds for a multitude of reasons. And everyone is entitled to do what they want with their own pet. I'm not here to tell you what to do. But if you choose to get a medium-large breed dog and you want a cuddle buddy, they take up a lot of space.

Although she appears small for her breed, Roxy weighed in at her last vet visit at 56kg (123lbs). She is no light weight, but she is perfectly within a healthy range for her size. Even despite that, when you have that much weight flop on top of you in bed because she wants love, it can be an adjustment.

Third, I had to get used to all of Roxy's special quirks. Like people, dogs have quirks. Your pet has a personality, and as they age and get to know you and their surroundings more these traits will become more and more visible. With rescue dogs these quirks can be particularly interesting to observe.

Roxy has several, to say the least. I am not entirely sure what she went through in the three years before she came into my life, but she developed a unique personality as a result of those formative years. The most noticeable of her quirks is her aversion to certain noises. Now I know dogs hear at different frequencies and, therefore, noises can be harsh on their ears, but Roxy takes this to a whole new extreme. Let me explain.

We like to joke that Roxy must have been a service dog in a past life, because her reactions to loud noises are almost equivalent to someone having traumatic flashbacks (not to belittle PTSD in any way). Whether it is fireworks, thunder, or actual gunshots (I live near a military base so this happens quite often), she will all but crawl inside of you to find escape from the loud noise.

This does not just apply to big, loud, banging noises though. Beeping noises are also evil. If the timer on the oven beeps, she is on your lap. If the microwave beeps, she is on your lap. If you are watching a YouTube video and they beep out the swear words, she is on your lap. And not only is she on your lap, but she is shaking and pawing at you until you just have to cuddle her until she calms down.

Life with a pet is interesting. Getting a pet is life-altering. There are days that I don't even notice that she is with me, and there are days that she is hard to ignore because I have 123 lbs on my lap. Regardless, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Pets can be a great addition to your life. I still recommend putting a lot of thought into getting one beforehand, because they are living creatures and they need love, care, and attention. However, they don't disappoint when it comes to reciprocating that love and they are always entertaining.

Thanks for reading, and keep an eye out for the next installment of "A Pet Owner's Journey."


About the Creator

Samantha Reid

I have been a creative writer for over 10 years, an academic for 7 years, and a blogger for 3 years. Writing is my passion and it's what I love.

Follow me on Instagram @samreid2992

Find me on Twitter @SgReid211

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