The story is simple.
I work at a doggy day care and boarding facility in Boulder, Colorado, and we can be in charge of over 150 dogs a day.
I love my job, but I took vacation time off to “relax,” and re-learn to have some fun.
[This is because I DESERVE A BREAK, RIGHT? I work 40-hour work weeks, and have not asked for nearly enough vacation time off, even though I am feeling calm, comfortable, and happy. And, even though, I cannot afford to take a break]
Things got carried away, and the more days I began taking off, the more trouble I found myself in.
The further I kept myself from the dogs, the more confused I found myself getting.
I truly felt lost without these dogs.
I LOVE MY DOGS. I MISSED MY DOGS. THEY KEEP ME OUT OF TROUBLE. THEY KEEP ME GROUNDED. THEY KEEP ME FOCUSED. THEY BRING ME HAPPINESS. THEY BRING ME FUFILLMENT.
THEY ARE MY LIFE.
AICHAN TEWAHADE IS MY NAME, AND DOGGY DAY CARE IS MY GAME.
Yes, if you scroll past 1,101 words, you will find a photo gallery of some of my best furry friends from this last week.
[If you would like to read about my insights, lessons, and appreciation for dogs, specifically my Camp Bow Wow Boulder dogs, or campers, please continue to read the next 1,101 words]
After a brief period of time without my beautiful four-legged friends, I was quick to realize that separating myself from some of the only things that love, celebrate, accept, and embrace life with me was a big mistake.
I forgot how much their presence made a difference on multiple important facets of my life, as I found myself prioritizing focusing on things that truly did not matter and that I can confirm to be toxic.
During my time apart from my groundings, or my dogs, I found myself in trouble, a place that I am familiar with. While these mistakes I made, may not have been intentional, trouble comes easy for me, especially when I am not around humans and dogs, who genuinely have my best interest at heart.
I was similar to a puppy being off-leash for the first time on a walk, as I unintentionally, found myself in a ditch, scuffle, etc., due to my inability to just keep my curiosity to myself and my inability to just follow the rules, and JUST DO THE RIGHT THING.
Humans know right from wrong…I mean, even dogs know right from wrong.
With that said, while we may not be able to predict the exact consequential outcomes of making “risky” decisions, humans know better than anyone when they are making a decision that may bring unwanted consequences, and generally know what kind of mess they are getting themselves into.
While they are ways to alleviating an extreme mess from landing in your lap, I find that avoiding messes of any kind, any shape, and any size seems to make individuals and animals very happy.
A small mess is a mess, indeed.
And, while a small mess is not a big mess, you still have to exert energy cleaning it up, while simultaneously living your life and executing your responsibilities.
Personally, these dogs remind me of the love that I should exude, receive, and share with the world.
These are the kinds of people, or in this case, dogs, that I need to be surrounding myself with.
They assist in motivating me to stay out of trouble and make better choices. Beyond that, they remind me that I am a priority for myself, because in order to take care of other lives, I must be taking care of myself.
Learning to take of yourself does not come easy. It is as always much easier said than done. I am a work-in-progress, and I, just like many other individuals, struggle with the concept of learning to be okay with who I am and celebrate it.
This process of self-acceptance and self-growth is all made much easier and much more comfortable around the presence of the dogs, who do not go out of their way to judge or criticize you. Instead, the dogs engage in the process with you, and continue to grow, learn, and flourish with you, making this uncomfortable and lonely journey just a little more comfortable and a little less lonely.
These dogs have found huge spaces in my heart and my soul to occupy and reside in for the rest of their lives.
They provide me with entertainment, love, joy, drama, stability, consistency, distractions, an alleviation from my anxiety, pain, suffering, and boredom, etc.
They always have my best interest in my mind, and are truly willing to go the extra mile just to remind you how special you are, and simply entertain you.
What more could I ask for me?
Surround yourself with people that smile as big as dogs do when they are excited to see you. Surround yourself with people, or even dogs, that continue to remind you that you still have room to grow, and continue to inspire you to make these changes.
I have grown and made progress in many different facets of my life, and as I continue to grow, mature, and learn, I hope that I can only have individuals around me that are half as supportive as my dogs.
I definitely have a funny way of showing how much I care, how much I am affected, and how much I appreciate the things that I truly care for. This is something that I am still continuing to work on as a person, and has served as an issue in the past. It has led to many issues, problems, and unhealhy relationships, in my past, present, and future.
While my perception of love may not be concrete, I do know that I do have good left in my life that I can always count on until death do us part.
During a week that I truly made a handful of questionable decisions, I found solitude, fulfillment, and answers within the simplicity of their love and their companionship. Thinking that I did not need the dogs as much as they need me is the most incorrect assumption and lie that I have ever let cross my mind, and the sequence of events that occurred this last week only confirmed this misconception.
I took their existence in my life for granted and underestimated how much of a role they play in assisting me with making good choices, creating a safe, healthy, and happy environment, reminding me to love, inspiring me to be better, inspiring me to simplify my life, etc.
There is something about their energy, nature, and personalities that I cannot get enough of. And, after meeting and forming relationships with over 400 dogs in and around the Boulder County area, it is safe to say that I have more dog-friends than I do human-friends.
These silly creatures are the best form of entertainment for me. I would even saying watching them in action, candidly, is better than an episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County.
I am blessed that I am able to spend around 40 hours a week, observing, playing, petting, loving, scolding, laughing, feeding, bathing, and caring for up to 200 dogs a day.
Watching them simply play and live their lives brings me so much joy, happiness, and humor every day.
It is not rare to find me sitting my in bed, with all the lights off, randomly giggling about something that happened at doggy day care.
These dogs are the coolest, funniest, silliest, most genuine, and most honest things I have come across in my entire life.
They have truly been one of the most influential factors in learning to embrace myself, get in-touch with my silly side, and learn to take life a little less seriously.
[Scroll down to see these goofballs get in-touch with their silly side]
These are some of my greatest friends and some of my best teachers that I have ever come across.
The greatest part about them is that they have NO IDEA how funny, how beautiful, how great, how influential, and how much light they bring into my life.
I spend most days thinking about how I do not deserve their love, and spend most of my shifts attempting to give back at least half the love, happiness, solitude, and humor that they bring into my life.
This past week at doggy day care was especially rewarding and fufilling, and part of this had to do with truly missing the dogs and truly craving their consoling souls and loving personalities. This last week at Camp Bow Wow was one of the best work weeks that I have ever had, not to mention, it was truly fun and full of so many great moments.
This work week truly reminded me why I love my job so much, that I do truly love my job so much, why I love the dogs so much, and why I do try so hard at work. These dogs give me purpose, as well as many reasons to wake up and make every day a meaninful, full, and wonderful day. They remind me that it is up to oneself to make the best out of a unfavorable situation, or a situation that you may not have consented to.
So many wonderful, sad, and hilarious things happened at work this week, including finally getting to pet Sophie T., a dog that only lets two of my coworkers pet her, as she literally runs away from every human that attempts to approach her, getting to spend extra quality time with two of my favorite dogs, Auggie and Piper, who were both boarding this last week, saying good-bye to Rufus, one of our regular daycare dogs, who is no longer going to be attending daycare at our Camp Bow Wow, and the list truly goes on and on.
I love what I do and I love my dogs, or my best(est) friends.
“Make new friends, but keep the others. Some are silver and some others are gold.”
I can say for certain that these four-legged freaks are the gold friends of my life, and I will fight the good fight to keep them in my life. I will also fight the good fight to make new ones to be apart of my life, as well.
No one is perfect, but these guys sure do give “perfect” a run for their money.
Do you have any dogs? What are your favorite things about your dogs?
I love that I can completely and utterly act like myself around them, and they still (for the most part) love me.
Know where your dogs are, and keep your dogs on a short leash.