I had the honor to petsit the most adorable, funny, sweetest 4 month old puppy last month. It has been a life long dream to have a dog, but because of all my travelling I didn’t want one. Lately I was thinking to get one anyway and teach him to travel with me. So I got myself a test dog and this is what I learned from petsitting him.

– I am hyper vigilant. This means that I am very sensitive to others’ needs. I scan other peoples facial and body expressions in order to anticipate and fulfill their needs. This also goes for dogs apparently. I was aware of the dog every second of the day. The first week he slept in my bed because a puppy and so cute. After that week I was exhausted.
I fell into my old state of being tired all day, like I was in former relationships and like I was when I worked in hospitality and all the impulses were overwhelming. I finally realized that my hyper vigilance stresses out my nervous system and the exhaustion is a signal that I need to take care of myself. The dog was banned to the living room at night and my energy returned.
– I feel guilty when I can’t fulfill all of his needs (codependency). Also something that I had in relationships. It was a hard yet beautiful process to allow me to not be the best petsitter in the world. I don’t have to walk him to the beach 4 times a day. I don’t have to cuddle him 8 hours a day. I am not perfect. I tried to really sit with this feeling. It never went away but it went down to a bearable level.
– I can’t do neediness. Being stared at and being followed 24 hours a day is not my thing. Even when I took a shower or sat on the toilet he just sat there and stared at me. I need me-time. My woman-cave.
– I don’t like being obligated to do things every day in a certain routine, like walking him. Routine makes me feel depressed.
– I don’t want a dog.
– I think dogs are the best species on the planet and if am asked to babysit him again I will with all my heart. As long as I can return him again, because that feels even better than having.

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#relatietherapie#21daychallenge#guilt#codependency#love#dog

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