Hey Mofo Friends!
Have you had to ask yourself:
Why is my dog acting so wild when I can't give it all my attention?
So I just spent the last two days recovering from food poisoning. That is two full days of moving from the bedroom to the bathroom, from bedroom to bathroom. And… repeat. What fun!
I wasn’t able to be my usual self.
I needed peace, calm, and rest.
I also had my four (FOUR!) dogs, including my puppy, to take care of.
That meant four dogs – all used to a routine that involves a ton of play and activity – suddenly had a lot of time I couldn't help them fill and a lot of energy I couldn't help them expend.
I wasn't able to take them for a walk. I wasn't able to play fetch or play tug. I wasn’t able to do any of the fun, awesome things that my dogs and I usually do on a regular basis.
Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right?
You may be picturing a figure huddled in bed with tears in her eyes and a pillow over her ears (perhaps begging for the sweet release of death) while three hell hounds and a purgatory puppy destroyed her house and kept her from sleeping. And then she died. The end.
Except I obviously lived to tell the tale, thanks in no small part to what my dogs did NOT do:
They did NOT tear up my house.
They did NOT bark at everything outside.
They did NOT fidget on the bed.
They did NOT run around the house as though chasing a horde of invisible squirrels.
All four of them – yes, even the puppy – slept with me in the bed or lay with me on the couch for two days as I recovered.
Amazing, I know.
“WTF!” you may exclaim. “My dogs are needy arseholes! I can’t even be around them if I have so much as a headache!”
“But how?” you may ponder. “What can I do to get my mofos to just chill out with me when I’m not feeling well?”
The answer is good crate training and good obedience training. That’s it.
The simple fact is that I have taught my dogs how to be chill even when they would rather have a dance party with the invisible squirrels.
This is one of the amazing benefits of crate training. Crate training easily teaches the dog how to be still. It also helps them learn that they do not have to do epic shit every single day.
The Down-Stay command also teaches dogs to settle. The Down-Stay is a simple command but it takes time and patience to teach. Also, it doesn't count if the dog lays down on their own – it has to happen in response to a command.
I'm not a sadist, guys. I did not keep my dogs in a Down-Stay for two days. Their ability to relax is simply a result of the training we’ve done.
Training is the key word here, friends.
If you decided one day to run a marathon you wouldn't just head out and run 26 miles without any preparation; If you decided one day to hike Mt. Everest you wouldn't catch the next flight to Nepal and hope for the best.
You would train.
Training your dog is the same thing – it takes time and dedication. The good news is that training your dog is a piece of cake compared to training for a marathon or an epic climb.
I can take for granted that my dogs will be my companions and that their company will even help me to get better when I get sick. And while knowing that might not feel quite as exhilarating as crossing a finish line or reaching a summit, I’m telling ya it’s pretty damn close.
I hope you never get food poisoning but if you do I really hope you recover quickly and that your dogs are a sense of comfort and not a giant pain in the ass!
Everything is awesome. Now go walk your mofo 🙂
For more how to crate train, how to teach and use commands (including the Down-Stay command), and everything you need to live your best pet-parent life, check out my online courses.