Life is full force, even more than usual! We have almost completed our chicken coop, and moved all 11 chickens in. We still have to add their egg boxes, but they’re not old enough to lay eggs yet anyway! Juniper the cat, in seeing an unusually high amount of chicken energy, has taken to sleeping on my feet just to make sure I still love her. (I do) Des graduated preschool this week, and Scarlet gave a speech into a microphone in front of HER ENTIRE SCHOOL. Who is this girl? I’m not kidding!
Cassidy is building gardens, I’m taking on way too many work projects, and we have architects and builders traipsing in and out of the house to get our two year renovation plan underway. See what I mean about full force ahead? It hasn’t been quiet at all. May was pretty much an entire month of rain, and Athena HATES rain! (she gets that from her mama) I have often found her cuddling and huddling on her special chair upstairs. And did I mention she almost lost her chair?? That’s more of the craziness! One of our loved ones had major heart surgery and Cassidy offered him our chair. Luckily for him, he already had a suitable chair. Luckily for Athena, she still has her little “nest” in her chair! Thats one point for Team Athena.
That said, summer has started and I’m going to take a lot more breaks. With the kids heading to camp soon, I want to make sure our dog knows that we still love her as much as we did, and that we’d rather just sit and watch the world go by with her too. We don’t want to be on the go all the time. We want summer days at the water, some ice cream and watermelon, and bonding time with our girl. In fact, today I have it scheduled to go read a book by her side in the garden. I can’t wait!
This week is Animal Rights Awareness Week, and I’m celebrating with my favorite I and love and you. Animal Rights Awareness Week was started in 1999 by the animal rights group, In Defense of Animals, to help raise awareness of animal rights. They educate the public about the basic needs of animals around the world – and advocate for the humane and compassionate treatment of all animals. This extends from our own beloved pets to companion animals, farm animals, wildlife, and animals used for testing. I have been using this week to think of ways to strengthen my bond with Athena.
1 – Start training, if you haven’t already, or maintain it. This creates communication between your dog and you. It helps her focus, and fosters teamwork and belonging. We teach her to come, sit, stay, down, down-stay, etc. Teach your dog a new trick once a month. This will make your dog smarter, and will strengthen your bond.
2 – Don’t just play with her. Keep it special and engaged. When we first got Athena, we took her to the beach and she SWAM with us! We were so surprised. Fun and agility-based activities build loyalty and a deeper relationship.
3 – Have quiet time together. No gadgets, no screens, no devices – just the two of you.
4 – Travel together. I first fell in love with Athena because of how awesome she was on our annual Cape Cod vacation. And I think she falls in love with us a bit more each time we trust her enough to take her on our adventures.
5 – Turn negative experiences into positive experiences. Athena hates grooming and bathing, but those are bonding experiences in themselves. Use treats, toys and a slow transition to make the experiences more positive.
6 – Create in your dog a sense of purpose. Dogs want to work and serve and play and focus.
7 – Feed at a specific time of day. With our cat, we leave food for her all day, but with Athena, we feed twice a day at the same time. She will tell us when it’s time if we forget! This will make her depend on you, and bond to you more.
And feed your dog high-quality food. We love I and love and you. Based in Boulder, CO, this amazing company makes super pet food and treats that contain everything pets need to be happy and healthy. The food and treats contain none of what they don’t need. All choices are made with real meat and they contain no grains, fillers, or anything artificial.