Woof, Woof!

Dogs, dogs, dogs…it seems like dogs are the only things I talk about these days! But, in my eyes, better than talking about other people, especially negatively.

My facisnation for these creatures grow, as I continue to immerse my life in dogs to the fullest degree.

Life at Boulder’s Camp Bow Wow has been semi-chaotic, as I often forget that just like every other institution, or business, there are aspects to the job that are completely dysfunctional. Unfortunately, the chaos behind closed doors has begun seeping into the dog yards, creating even more chaos and dysfunction than usual.

The chaos, stress, emotions, anger, frustration, etc., have been picked up by the 130+ dogs that our company takes care of. Dogs are very sensitive creatures and smarter than they appear, and they continue to amaze me, by showing me time-and-time again how sensitive and delicate they are.

As a result of this tension and semi-chaotic time, the dogs, who rely on us humans to provide them love, happiness, and health, are finding themselves lost in the chaos, stress, anxiety, anger, etc., and reacting to our lack of presence, both mentally, physically, and emotionally, in the dog yard, by falling into aggressive, chaotic, and stressed out behaviors, as a result of our mood. Our moods, energy and intentions all carry over into the dog yards, and the dogs are the ones that can sense it the most.

While I take pride in being present and mindful when I am on the clock, I have found myself distracted, stressed, frustrated, and vulnerable in the dog yards, rather than excited, calm, patient, and loving. Instead of leaving the baggage at the door, I have allowed it to affect my work and my job duties, as this job truly requires individuals to be present, to be aware, and to be mindful. Laziness is just not an option in this job!

Many dog fights have occurred, especially more frequently during this time of change and chaos, and a handful of these altercations have occurred in my own dog yards. While many of the fights were easily broken up, with little injuries, I recently experienced a semi-severe dog fight, which resulted in a dog bleeding from the injuries of the dog fight.

These incidents do not feel good, as controlling your dog yards is the main duty that my job requires. Similarly, dogs, just like humans, do not like fighting each other, or getting in altercations. In addition, being apart of a dog fight can truly traumatize a dog, resulting in behavioral changes in even the most friendliest of dogs.

This last week one of my favorite dogs, Nitro, was attacked by a much larger dog, who often struggled with engaging in aggressive behavior at day care. While Lilu, the other dog, is not really a bad or aggressive dog in general, day care for many, if not all these dogs, is extremely stressful. When dogs are thrown into very stressful and very stimulated situations, their reactions truly differ and it is truly difficult to predict when a dog may snap.

Nitro is one of our best dogs (at least, he is in my mind). In addition, Nitro is one of the only dogs that truly loves doggy day care, does not engage in any aggressive behavior, plays extremely well with other dogs, brings an amazing energy to day care, and gets along with a variety of dogs. He is one of the sweetest dogs to both humans and to dogs! Nitro is just one of those dogs that you WANT in your dog yard, as he does not do any wrong. This dog fight came from nowhere, and left Nitro very shaken, as I was informed that post-fight he was shaking.
The day after the dog fight, Nitro attended daycare, and while I did notice some very subtle behavioral changes, I did not think much of it. As the day began to progress and the dog yards slowly began to grow in number, I slowly began witnessing Nitro engaging in protective and semi-aggressive behavior when other dogs got too close to him, or acted too abruptly around him. Nitro never barked at other dogs and Nitro also never isolated himself from the other dogs in the dog yard. All these small behavioral changes became more exasperated with the growing number of dogs in my dog yard. These behavioral changes are reactions that Nitro naturally developed after experiencing a traumatic event with another dog, and it was made very clear to me that Nitro seriously needed some love on Friday and some extra attention. A dog that was once carefree, worry-free, so friendly, and full of love, fun, and charismatic energy now has become a guarded, full of worries, and is now very easily triggered by other dogs that may get too close to him, or behave in any ways that he associates with the dog fight. I almost did not recognize the dog that was in my dog yard on Friday, as it was very evident that this dog fight truly took a toll on him.

These last few shifts at work have truly been eye-opening for me, as I truly realize the damage that can unfold before my eyes if I am not present, in a good mindset, and ready to love all 130+ dogs that I am responsible of taking care of. My bad attitude, my lack of patience, my inability to bring a good energy into the yards, and my ability to show compassion, love, etc., puts the lives, as well as the livelihood of these precious dogs, in jeopardy, which is not what my job duties ask me to do. Similarly, it is extremely important that when I am in one of our six dog yards that I continue to utilize my knowledge of the dogs in my dog yard, and the dogs in the other dog yards, to make calculated and smart decisions about trading dogs from other dog yards, knowing when to put a dog in time-out, etc., in order to keep my dog yard calm, cool, collected, happy, and healthy.

One aspect about this job that I often forget is the general importance of truly getting to know all the dogs that come into our daycare. I definitely know about 400+ dogs in around the Boulder County area, however, I have formed strong relationships with only about a quarter of the dogs that attend our daycare. While I may have general knowledge about the other dogs, I have yet to form a true relationship, based on trust, time spent together, and comfortability, with every single dog that attends our daycare. I would idealistically love to have a strong, unique, and inpenetrable relationship with every single dog that has ever attended Camp Bow Wow Boulder EVER. That would be incredible!

While I am still working on getting to know every single four-legged freak, the number of strong, unique bonds with the dogs of Camp Bow Wow Boulder has only increased with every month that I continue to work there. Sometimes, you do not even realize how excited some dogs get to see you. Sometimes, you may even wonder why a dog even gets that excited to see you, because you did not think, or even recall, becoming friends with particular dogs.

These last few shifts I have also found myself spending an excessive amount of time with the smaller dogs that attend our doggy day care. While the majority of my time spent at work I am interacting and taking care of the needs of the bigger dogs, I have found myself spending more time with them than usual, both because I did not have a choice and because I wanted to. Many of the big dogs that attend daycare are there for reasons, such as to be socialized, to get exercise, or to have an outlet to get their energy out. The small dogs that attend daycare are generally there to be coddled, loved, and spoiled, as many of the smaller dogs are definitively companion dogs that are meant to be cuddled with. It is important to spend time with these dogs, as I find that loving them, showing them affection, and suffocating them with love is extremely therapeutic. Instead of spending time worrying about whether or not a dog is going to end up hurting another dog, or if two dogs are playing too aggressively, you are able to focus completely on giving love and affection with the small dogs. While the small dog yard can be extremely overwhelming, with 30+ dogs trying to climb into your lap to receive love, attention, and pets, these dogs are some of the easiest dogs to make connections with. I am so estatic about my new relationships and friendships with some of these smaller dogs, and genuinely enjoy spending time in the small dog yard, as the small dogs love to give and receive love, creating a loving and caring energy that continues to encompass the small dogs. Their needs are quite simple and you could end up with multiple companions just after 10 minutes of hanging around the small dog yard. While many people do not enjoy the company of small dogs, their existence and their company is so important and vital to this world. You can never ignore small dogs, because they exist and they will bark at you until you willingly, or unwillingly, acknowledge their presence. Their huge personalities and their loud barks make up for their small bodies!

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset95f01604-198a-4d48-954f-bc4df5e2bd80

Despite the chaos that is occuring outside of the dog yards, the dogs continue to remind me that they may just very well be the only good things left in this world. The other day I found myself gazing into the eyes of a dog, reaffirming how special they were and that they were the only “good” left in this universe.
While I cannot say the same for human beings, I know for a fact that I never have to doubt a dog, as I have found myself struggling to be patient with some individuals in my life. In addition, while human beings lack consistency with their behavior, emotions, personality, and life, dogs are the definition of consistent and continue to restore faith in me that though human beings are far from consistent that they are not ALL BAD. I crave the consistency that dogs display in my life, in fact, consistency is something that every human beings deserves to experience at least once in their lives. Beyond this, the dogs have inspired me to display more consistency within my life and have learned to begin teaching me how important and beneficial consistency is! I have always been an inconsistent person, and while I am still far from perfect, I have learned that dogs, as well as people and myself, enjoy consistency, as consistency makes it easier for people, dogs, and yourself to trust yourself, for people, dogs, and yourself, to rely on yourself, and for people, dogs, and yourself to enjoy your presence and love your presence. Similarly, consistency is a quality that can bring one lots of happiness, love, and success.

These dogs consistency remind me to smile often and that you should always be proud to show off your tongue! Suns out, tongues out!

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preseta247e0a7-2ef2-4d98-bf8d-a290813cf4ed32f5afa2-2603-444f-a8e7-3ccc3458b60cae644460-6f63-4f60-85c6-d0c884f4702f66de0f5c-918b-4001-bbec-6a4561a5c5cfd332075a-d959-4b87-8737-adc2393bf4ec4e26096b-a918-4409-90b6-62a8657dd740Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

We all have flaws, or bad weeks, or bad days, or bad moods, or bad SOMETHINGS, and this is okay and simply only naturally. Humans were created to be flawed and to make mistakes. These mistakes, or flaws, that we exhibit while only natural, are the things that create chaos, unhappiness, and inconsistency within our behavior, and we should try to help ourselves out as much as possible. I strive to grow, expand, and learn every day in life, even when things are embarrassing, difficult, tough, stressful, smooth, good, or bad. There are always things that I can improve on, in order to be the best possible version of myself and live my best life. Working on things, recognizing things, becoming aware of things, learning to navigate through your flaws, and legitimately working on these flaws, behaviors, etc. that are ugly, is much easier said than done. Learn to be patient with your personal growth and realize that NO ONE, including your idol or the prettiest girl that you know, is perfect, or even close to being perfect.

Understand that even though you may actively be engaging in self-growth and improving yourself that not every day is going to bring the results that you may be hoping for, and that even in these moments, you can very well find yourself engaging in these flawed behaviors, or you may find yourself frustrated that these changes that you have made may not have produced results that are particularly noticeable, or even produced results that you are proud of.

Be kind, expect little, but reward often!

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

 

Gallery: Who Let The Dogs Out?

114 shifts later, and approximately five months of employment at Camp Bow Wow Boulder, I have found an undying love, appreciation, understanding, and awareness for the incredible four-legged animals who have been deemed “Man’s Best Friend.” Some may call me obsessed, and others may not even understand my enthusiasm for these creatures, but every day I find myself more and more humbled by dogs. Big or small, lazy or crazy, I love them all – I do not discriminate against dogs! It does not matter their breed or their age; they all have infinite amounts of love, among other many gifts, to contribute to this world.

As I have mentioned time and time again, working at Camp Bow Wow Boulder, as a Camp Counselor, has quite literally changed my world in so many ways, in the best way possible. My job as a “Camp Counselor” includes job duties that require direct interaction and direct involvement with the campers, or dogs, that are either boarding or are attending day-care. My job sounds simplistic and can be boiled down to “taking care of the dogs by keeping them happy, preventing any dog fights, picking up the dog poop, and keeping all them healthy.” The concept is quite simple, but in reality, managing the 30-40 dogs in your 200 square foot play yards, including both the outside play yard and indoor play yard, is much difficult than one would imagine. It is incredibly important to be overtly observant and be knowledgeable about all the dogs in your play yard, no matter how many dogs are occupying your play yard. So much can happen, especially with such sensitive, emotional, and joyous creatures, and many situations require that you are quick on your feet, or a quick reaction time. In a blink of a second, two dogs, or even more dogs, can go from playing roughly to engaging in a full-out dog fight. While most of these “bad situations” are generally preventable, as we can put dogs into a “time-out,” not every bad situation can be prevented. As a result, it is incredibly for the person mandating and overlooking their play yard to be aware of their surroundings, to be knowledgeable on how to react the most efficiently and most effectively, the dogs they are dealing with, the personalities of the dogs, and to be fully attentive when in taking care of these gentle and friendly creatures. When “bad situations” occur, it is incredibly important that one reacts to the best of the ability, all while taking into account the best way to react in order to ensure the safety of the other dogs and to ensure that they react in a way that also ensures the safety of yourself.

While my job is a dream and I love it more than I could ever put into words, the job is hazardous and working with so many dogs of different sizes, weights, personalities, etc., is a quick way to collect bruises, injuries, scars, and stitches. In such a playful and unpredictable environment, it is impossible to avoid injuries. In fact, if I can leave work with only 4-6 bruises, it is a good day, or a rather safe day. On the more exciting days, I expect to be covered from head-to-toe in bruises, quite literally. Last week, my fellow friends wanted to show me some love and could not seem to contain their excitement, which led to a very bruised face. My first bruise was across the bridge of my nose, as Leah and I miscommunicated how we were going to great each other, and as I slowly lowered my head down towards her face, she seemingly decided to jump up to greet me. Instead of moving my head away from her face, I naturally moved it towards her face, in which I felt and the force of her 140 lb. body, and then some, make a very loud sound when she made contact with the bridge of my nose. before my coworker could even ask if I was okay, the bridge of my nose immediately bruised without question. I answered honestly, stating that I was not okay, as tears began pouring out of my left eye without my own consent. Later that day, I was graced with another serious bruise on my chin for the very same reason, but instead of further hurting my nose, my chin decided to take the beating. At this point, I do not remember which dog gave me that specific bruise, but I can say that it hurt for certain and that the dog was fairly large. The bruise on my chin was very colorful, turning into shades of dark blue and dark purple. The dark purple part of the bruise was located perfectly in middle of the otherwise blue bruise, and my chin stayed this color two weeks later.
My face hurt so bad, I could not even sniffle with my nose or place my hand under my chin without shedding a fairly small tear.

Despite the bruises and scratches, I still am able to overlook these miscommunications, as I know that these physical injuries are not of malicious intent and they seemingly hurt far less than any emotional hurt that I have endured.

There is never a shortage of four-legged friends in my life lately and I just cannot get enough.

Every day that I continue to live, I find myself filling the voids in my life with the best kind of love and affection that I can find in and around the Boulder County area.
Having incurred a lot of loss, pain, and suffering, as a result of being lost and unsure of myself, I have a lot of “black holes” that I could not seem to fill up no matter what I tried, but this kind of pure, raw, and genuine love that these animals exude has slowly, or rather quickly, managed to patch up the voids that I have been attempting to mask with more hate than love, which has allowed to me to incur a healing process that is completely unique, and most importantly, a healing process that is completely based on love.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

After being employed by Camp Bow Wow Boulder for only five months, I have met over 500 dogs in and around the Boulder County area. Every single one of these dogs that I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know, even if it is on an acquaintance basis, has taught me something and has allowed me to heal, a concept that was unfamiliar to me. In fact, the concept of healing, or attempting to alleviate certain symptoms I experience, as a result of my own diagnoses, seemed like a completely impossible task five months ago. Some of my symptoms were so horrifying and excruciatingly painful to endure, and while I did not quit or give up, I spent a lot of time frustrated, questioning myself, self-medicating, engaging in negative coping mechanism skills, experimenting with coping mechanisms, engaging in positive coping mechanism skills, and most importantly, pretending like I was ok. Pretending like I was not struggling was surprisingly much more tiresome and much more difficult to execute. It was extremely stressful, and I have the veins on the sides of my temples to prove it. I had many days that I was able to successfully fool everyone around me, but I also had a handful of days where I was not able to successfully execute my one mission of my daily routines, which was to outwardly appear as though I was not completely lost, completely confused, completely in pain, etc.

These dogs have taught me that you can run and you can hide, but one day, “they,” whether it be your anxiety, your personality, your genuine self, or the truth, will come find you. Instead of prolonging the process, expose your true self. Or, I have even learned that placing more importance on embracing yourself, including your mood, your personality, etc. rather than placing more importance on attempting to be “liked,” or “mold into the person that you feel as though people will respond the best to,” has actually been far more productive and healthier than attempting to mask yourself completely. People, and even dogs, respond better to you when you are simply honest, in every sense of the word. While humans are extremely receptive creatures, it is outstanding to witness how receptive dogs are to you, even if you may be a complete stranger to them. It is equally outstanding to witness how simple of creatures dogs are, and how much joy a simple action, such as petting them, letting them lick your face, or even calling their name, brings them. As a human, or even as a Camp Counselor, these actions are fairly basic things and we barely think much of them, as petting the dogs and knowing all the dogs names in your dog yard are all part of your job requirement, but to these creatures, these small actions could make their day, or be the reason why they are shaking their hips, wagging their tails, and smiling at you.

Taking care of animals has allowed me to allow the power of love to assist in my lengthy healing process. Beyond this, I have not felt this much gratification from a job before.
The best feeling in the world is seeing a dog return to their owner, or the “Pet Parent,” happy, healthy, and with no worries in the world. It is equally as gratifying to know how appreciative the “Pet Parents” are for our service, in which they often bring us food, treats, and snacks. They even will send us holiday and “Thank You” cards!
I love my job for more than the money, and this kind of feeling is extremely amazing.

• I CANNOT QUIT DOGS AND I WILL NEVER QUIT DOGS •
Sometimes, I truly believe that dogs continue to perform LOVE’s work through them, as they continue to grace our tainted world with the things that our world seemingly seems to lack.
While humans continue to fight, with no concrete purpose, which only divides our world from each other, dogs continue to provide our world with the virtues and morals that we pretend to uphold, which continues to unify humans beings, whether we realize it or not.

The definition of dog in the dictionary should be as follows, “everything good, and then some more.” The “some more” part of their existence is often not even asked of them, but they continue to perform good simply because it is in their nature and they simply cannot help it.

My biggest heroes and my biggest role models are mostly of the dog variety, and I am not afraid to say that.

Besides their love, affection, and pure genuine nature, my favorite quality about dogs is their loyalty to people. It is incredible to witness their loyalty to their people, and the amount of effort and energy they exert in order to simply make you happy and to simply attempt to protect you. They have simply restored faith in me that there is still good left in the world, even if I cannot be the “good” within the world.

The only question that I cannot seem to answer is WHO LET THE DOGS OUT?!
Can someone please tell me WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? I will not be upset. I just need to know. Let me know in the comments below!



xo,

Aichan Tewahade



P.S. As Summer approaches closely behind the scorching warm weather, my photo galleries of the dogs will showcase our “dog pools,” which we have so that the dogs can stay cool despite the weather, as well as provide a fun entertainment for them.
Many of the dogs are not sure what these pools are, as many of them are either too scared to get in, hate water, think that it is an oversized water bowl, etc. Thus far, the Golden Retrievers all collectively have found JOY IN A “POOL-Y” PLACE.

Stay tuned for more galleries of some of my favorite furry friends!



 

Gallery: Kodak Moments (Feat. Dogs)

How can I ever stop posting galleries of my favorite campers, otherwise known as the dogs? They bring me so much joy and they have begun infiltrating my life in more ways than one.

There is not a day that goes by where I do not think about my furry friends, who I love and who I spend about 40 hours a week with.

It was only a matter of time before they became the primary focus of my energy, time, conversations, emotions, etc.
They continue to remind me, untintentionally, that there are many things that I must continue to work on and things that I need to focus on.
Being in an environment, in which every single soul depends on you for comfort and for safety, emotionally, mentally, and physically, places a lot of stress and responsibility upon you. I am also reminded that some of my very intuitive friends will not react towards certain situations, which we view as insignificant, the way that we expect, or even the way that you like.
This applies to everyone and my life outside of work, which has helped me attempt to achieve a softer, kinder, compassionate, and empathetic reaction towards myself, the people I surround myself with, and the forces and circumstances that are completely out of my control.

While this is not a trait that is easily attained, I am attempting to grasp the concept of “patience” and “being patient.”  Beyond grasping the concept, I am working towards implementing it into my life as much as possible, which has been much more difficult than one would imagine. I strive to practice patience all the time, but patience is not easily practiced. On a good day, patience is exuded out of me, especially when I do not consciously practice it, or intentionally set out to be patient and it just happens to exude out of me. These may not be my most gracious or comfortable moments, but learning to be patient with yourself, your life and your circumstances is all very important in learning to love youreslf. Patience, or possessing patience, is one of the greatest gifts that these furry friends of mine have taught me. This includes learning to be patient, even when I am completely uncomfortable, and learning to accept that there will be portions of my life that will be VERY UNCOMFORTABLE and make me want to crawl out of my own skin.
Prior to working at Camp Bow Wow and spending so much time with such genuine creatures, I did not realize how much patience can be practiced in many different ways than one and how being patient with things in which I act impulsively would assist me in growing and learning to love myself.

Last week, during my shift Friday, in which I was closing, I found myself feeling very vulnerable and VERY ANXIOUS. In fact, anxious is not even the word that I would use to describe how I was feeling. I found myself panicking, as I found myself feeling very uncomfortable and insecure. There are many situations that we can encounter in life and have to deal with that we cannot control, which is something that I am constantly reminded of. Whether I am happy with the fact that things will be out of my control is not anyone’s business, because I am often not very happy about it. When certain circumstances that you cannot control affect you negatively and apply stress onto your plate, most people complain or talk about it, but I choose to repress these feelings and thoughts until I hit a breaking point.
Friday afternoon and early evening was my breaking point, in which I acknowledged that certain aspects of my life are far from perfect and have started affecting me negatively. I try not blame anyone, anything, or life, instead I just realize that nothing in life is perfect and pray for this situation to make itself go away. I am not the biggest fan of appearing vulnerable outwardly, especially in professional settings, but this panic could not be masked. In addition to this, I hate making others feel uncomfortable while I am enduring a panic attack, as I would rather mask my anxiety attack and make it appear that I am calm as a cucumber when inside I am blowing up and far from calm. I normally am able to achieve an outward appearance that indicates that anxiety is not in my vocabulary, however, I finally showed my true colors.
My panic attack allowed me to be more open and communicate with my managers about my own mental diagnoses, and what I deal with. My work environment is incredible, as they continued to encourage honesty and open communication about my personal life and deeper things, so they could accomodate these aspects so I can continue to succeed at work. I hate feeling weak, and while it was uncomfortable for me to show emotions other than positive and happy, I cried my way through explainining what other circumstances I was enduring.
While my co-workers did not expect this kind of reaction, nor were they were aware of the extent of my “anxiety,” I did manage to make them concerned, worried, and a little fearful of what my anxiety and panic was capable of. My entire eight hour shift was full of apologies about how I was anxious and hoping that no one else would feel uncomfortable by my anxious presence. I even forgot how to breathe, which is the fundamental of living.
The greatest part about getting through this entire shift and being honest about the hardships I was oncurring was that I had to implement the act of patience, as I could not escape this obligation and I had no choice but to essentially “be.”
I had to push myself to just be patient with myself, which I could not seem to manage.
Who would have thought that just being yourself could be so uncomfortable?

This Friday reminded me why I do what I do and why I work with such gentle creatures, such as dogs. These very receptive and intelligent animals can pick up on emotions, moods, and energies, better than the average human, making it almost hard to even dislike a member of this species. Even while I felt so uncomfortable, felt so anxious, felt so panicky, felt sad, felt exhausted, felt insufficient, felt helpless, and felt vulnerable, these kind creatures managed to quite literally make their way into my arms and then into my heart, by strategically snuggling with me, carefully placing themselves into my arms and placing their bodies against my heart. Friday, if this was even possible, my campers displayed kindness, affection, joy, and empathy to an extent that I had never even imagined was possible. The way that they welcomed me and continued to show me affection made me realize how healing spending time with my campers is. It also made me think that I should be panicking more often, so I can receive that kind of treatment (LOL, JK). While I would never wish to endure that again, I can only guarantee that it will happen again, however, having a support system made of four-legged LOVERS continues to give me the hope and the courage to keep trying.
I also was able to witness first-hand what some of these campers endure, as not every camper enjoys doggy day care. Even if they do not enjoy it and are visibly exuding anxiety and panic, they seemingly have no choice but to endure the day at Camp Bow Wow, in one of the six dog yards that we have. Even if they are not trying to socialize with others or play, there is always someone who pushes you over the edge and causes you to snap. It takes so much courage and so much strength for these furry friends to get through an entire day, let along a half-day, of day care, as there are many aspects of Camp Bow Wow that are beyond your control.
Recently, I have found myself placing myself in some of these campers shoes, in which I had begun to realize how much I would HATE attending doggy day care, especially with all the factors that are out of your control. I imagined myself being an anxious wreck, acting like the most vulnerable versions of myself, and spending many days at camp in isolation, in the hopes that no one will bother me. I have formed bonds with many dogs, all of which expresss their anxiety and panic differently, whether it be aggressively or emotionally.

It takes so much strengh and courage for ALL CREATURES to put themselves out there, let along for them to socialize with others and put themselves out there.
It still continues to amaze me how strong and how much pain, anguish, and hurdles, these campers go through in order to simply accomodate their parents schedules, lifestyles, and decisions. In fact, attending doggy day care, as well as the length of time they spend there, is completely out of their control. Similarly, nothing about doggy day care is very consistent, minus what time breakfast, lunch, and dinner are initiated. The rest of the stressful factors that come with attending doggy day care, without their consent, are completely out of their control. The most consistency that these animals get are being in the same dog yard as a “Camp Counselor” that they are familiar with. I suppose the only consistent factor of Camp Bow Wow is the full-time staff, as it is not gauranteed that the same dogs will be in your dog yard, which often holds up to 35 dogs. Even the “Camp Counselors” are barely consistent, as we have a higher turnover rate than one would expect.

Not to be cliché, but every moment with these campers is a kodak moment. You cannot capture every single moment with these amazing creatures, as they are capable of doing things that you never thought were even possible, because they never fail to surprise me with a handful of hilarious moments. Sometimes, moments are too precious to even waste time capturing, so I choose to mentally store these visual memories into the kodak moments of my life, deep within my brain.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetiaop5918.jpgProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset32818041_10212478530902243_677168956481470464_n32956685_10212478533702313_8772285305521700864_naskjdkfjlsdfj.jpg32908120_10212478530462232_3650187130279297024_n (1).jpgjsakdjfklsdf

Please feel free to share your favorite kodak moments with your favorite furry friends! There is nothing that brings me more joy than a photograph of a man’s best friend, doing what they do best. The only thing that beats a photograph is the ability to witness the cuteness in person.

#DOGSOVERDONGS – The latest hashtag that graced my life, obviously at work. Basically, this hashtag reinforces the idea that dogs are infinitely better than any male companion, or female companion. I appreciate this hashtag and life motto on a more personal level.

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

 

Life Hack #6 – Look Back At It!

Every once in a while, it is important to take a step back, look at the life you have created for yourself, and your current reality, and count your blessings. They say, “never look back,” but sometimes looking back is alright, in moderation, of course!

Do not spend too much time lingering on the past, but sometimes it can truly be rewarding and exciting to take a look at how far you have come, even in the last few days. Every day, we should be growing, learning, and experiencing, and as a result, growing and learning from our experiences. Or, at least that is what I think.

Looking back can in a sense put a positive, motivating perspective and incentive in front of you, as you take a look back at how much the small steps to making changes are making a difference. You have incentives to continue growing when you look back, as we all want to keep growing and adapting to becoming the best versions of ourselves.

Looking back not only allows us to build incentives to continue growing, but it also provides us a sense of awareness. As you look back on things you may consider errors, or things you may have been successful at, or maybe things you want to change about yourself, you build a sense of awareness for not only yourself, but an awareness of others and your daily environments. Looking back on things can truly allow you to unlock your brain, allowing you to access your deepest thoughts. Two of the biggest things that scare individuals of all ages and genders is the past and the future. While looking back can be seen as not being mindful, I think that it is healthy to reminisce or not reminisce about things that have occurred in the past.

Once again, looking back for too long will not only strain your neck, but it can be damaging towards your personal well-being. You do not want to stay hung up on the same issues for years – you want to be able to move on and leave some baggage behind. I believe in a healthy moderation that looking back can allow you to truly access some repressed memories and feelings, and in return, allow you to move forward. Sometimes, in order to move forward, you must go backwards.

If you do not spend time addressing things that you are simply putting off, the burden of holding your emotions in and addressing the issue will build up inside of you. In turn, you will face some long-term consequences from this behavior. As much as we wish to simply silence our worries and fears for the future and the past, I have learned that this is simply impossible. This can mean taking two steps back when you were making progress, to even just simply speaking about the past. As humans, we will all face hardships in our pasts that we barely speak of and experience failures; these are inevitable parts of life. Allowing myself to personally access memories of the past that I have been repressing for years, was one of the most healthiest things I could ever do. Some people do not like talking about their past or their hardships, and I am one of those people. I spent many years repressing this information and my emotions, which in turn led to many self-destructive behaviors and a lack of stability within my life, as I had picked up negative coping mechanism skills. However, by falling back and looking back, I was able to move forward, continue growing, and continue challenging myself every day. Looking back at it can be challenging, but sometimes it is the only way to move forward.

Do not let your past haunt you, but be willing to speak about it to your nearest source of trust and learn to handle your past with care, and with a positive, motivating outlook. Taking a step back every once in a while to recognize your past and how much you have grown is an amazing feeling. Sometimes, the past may be filled with harsh, crude memories, but do not let it cloud your mind. Unlocking your past is one of the most proactive ways of moving forward, because as I said before, you need to look back, in order to move forward. Ignoring your past, which may or may not have included hardships, will lead to a life full of a lack of self-awareness, a lack of motivation, and will lead to behaviors that may become detrimental to your life. Do not dwell too long on your past, but spend time acknowledging it for however long feels necessary. This is important in the game of growth and personal happiness. Looking back serves more purpose than one.

I just took a full month to simply look back at how far I have come in the last few days, even the last six months, and the growth is exponential. I truly think the most rewarding part about thinking about the past is looking at my own personal growth, and not ignoring the things that I need to work on in different aspects of my life. I may need to work on a lot of things, as we are all human, however, I have more of a sense of the importance of getting in touch with my past. We all need something to compare ourselves to something, and while comparing ourselves to others is not a viable option, our past-version of ourselves is a great viable option.

Though you may not acknowledge it, even in the last 24-hours you have changed a little bit, just due to the fact that you have gained more experience just by living. The growth may not be exponential or noticeable, but humans are constantly changing, adapting and growing just simply by living out their daily routines. Sometimes, we like to compare our current version of ourselves to a version of ourselves from years ago, or even days ago. This is a good game you can play with yourself. Thoroughly examining your past during various points in your life, and asking yourself questions about what you used to be like, who your friends were, what your hobbies were, etc. allows you to gain a certain understanding about the kind of person you are, the kind of company you keep, what is important to you, what your skills are, etc. It truly allows you some time to think about your priorities, as well, among other positive things. In addition, it allows you to gauge what aspects of your life you have grown in, as well as, to acknowledge areas where improvement is needed or has not been made. Please, do not even bother trying to compare yourself with others. If you maybe see traits in others that you may respect or would like to work on, than that is different. When comparing yourself to a past version of yourself, a great tip is to think of the most ideal, or a loosely perfect, version of yourself. What do you see? Do you see a positive, outgoing person? A more secluded, happier version of yourself? Do you see a person constantly surrounded by people? What are traits you would like to exude and work on? These are all questions you can ask yourself. The more you examine yourself and continue to experience, the more answers you will get for yourself

Being self-aware allows for less surprises in the long-run, as certain behaviors or tendencies that may be negative or positive will soon become acknowledged, and hopefully allow for some room to change. This self-awareness extends onto others, as you become more self-aware about the way you make others feel. If you are constantly negative, acknowledging and changing that habit will not only make you feel better, but it will also make others feel better. I believe that being self-aware allows you to become the most comfortable, most confident version of yourself. This comfortability and confidence will exude onto others. Note that the sooner you are happier with yourself, the sooner you can begin making others exceedingly joyous.

Gauging your past should be done with a trusted source, and also a person who can emotionally, physically, and mentally be present, who also is able to help. Some situations in our past are bigger than you, your friends, and even your parents. That is okay, though. There are resources out there that allow you to seek professional help, if that is what is needed. Also, seeing a therapist is something I would recommend to anyone, because who does not love blowing off some steam? I certainly do.

The real question now is why not look back @ it?

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

A.M. Rituals

There’s something about starting every morning with something meaningful and unique to oneself. Whatever it is, morning rituals are important to everyone. Even if you do not even think about it, we all have a set of steps that we follow each morning to guide us in the right direction and get us in the mood to attack each and every day.

Mine is dictated by music, a cup of coffee (sometimes a huge one!) and donuts, showering, and blogging. I usually try to color, hike and write a daily list of blessings when I have the time, as well. I keep my mornings fairly simple for the most part, but also fairly active. The other day I went to the sauna, and some days I go through filtering through my emails. Some days, my daily morning rituals are cycled in for new hobbies that I would like to discover, so truly morning rituals can be dependent on the day and what you personally feel like. But, for the most part, the coffee and donuts are incorporated.

I try to make my mornings a time to get pumped up and hyped for my day that’s about to steamroll by.

Some people may stretch, others may go to the gym, some of us make a cup of tea and wind down – it’s all unique and personal to each and every one of us.

Sometimes, we need to switch up our morning rituals, as our needs become different, due to uncontrollable outside forces, such as a different work schedule, changing time zones, late nights out, new class schedules, etc.

It is important to set time aside for yourself in the morning, since I believe that it is the time that we all have the most energy flowing within us and when we can think the clearest, since our minds have yet to be clouded by our day’s messes and stressors. Mornings are also big dictators for our mood the rest of the day sometimes. Therefore, how we spend our mornings is important to each and every one of us.

lala.jpg

Making your mornings a priority just for yourself is something I would recommend. I love being a morning person – I feel like I get the most out of my days waking up early in the morning. Plus, it leaves me with more time to adventure, be curious, and live. I always notice how much I appreciate my mornings when I have to work early, or only during my mornings. I honestly believe that spending time making morning rituals are important for your own personal sanity!! There’s nothing I hate more than sitting with myself bored and not sure what to do with my mornings.

Cycling in other activities into your mornings can be fulfilling. Whether you like your mornings jam-packed with activities or full of lounging, depends on your mood, your personality, and your general energy levels. Keeping my mornings simple is a personal preference.

Either way, mornings are a great time to spend with yourself, accomplishing small tasks, lounging, and being with yourself. If you are beginning to get to know yourself, starting with spending your mornings independently is a great step!

Cherish your mornings and make them fun! We only have so many! What are your morning rituals?

xo,

Aichan Tewahade