When you read posts from dog owners, most would say having a dog is the highlight of their life. I’ve posted a lot about my dogs over the years (“Life with Dogs” blogs here) and we’ve had such fun moments in the last 13 years! They are definitely part of fun moments in the last decade. They’re such troopers coming along with me on all kinds of adventures in Tennessee, a big move from Tennessee to Florida, and then camping all around Florida and the southeast. They’ve gone from having their own room in a house with a big back yard to sleeping on the floor of a tiny camper. So they are amazing and I love them so much.
But lately with my 13-yr old beagle, Piper, I’ve notice our relationship has changed. It’s gone from fun and frolicky to warden and prisoner. Some days all I do with her is tell her “no” and make her stop eating paper, cardboard, tissues, and poop. Honestly, I don’t like what it’s become. I want to have fun with her but she’s not really interested in playing anymore. I understand that, I mean, she’s 13 and we’ve played a lot over the years. But without that bond of playfulness, I don’t know exactly how to navigate the next few years… or the next few days, for that matter. It really is just me keeping her from eating stuff, knocking things over, or running away when she has 5 seconds of off-leash time. I’m anxious. Are all beagles escape artists? If so, I’d still say Piper is the best of them all! I don’t want to just be her warden, but actually, sometimes I feel like the prisoner, and she’s the warden.
I love my dogs so much. Piper is smart, sassy, stubborn, cuddly, cute, soft, and curious. I just don’t like that basically all I’m doing is telling her what to do and not to do 24/7. There isn’t much bonding going on these days. Where there was warmth seems a lot colder now.
There ARE good moments, too. She’s a great dog. I think I’m just learning that while she’s getting older and more stubborn, I’m also getting older and more stubborn. If you have any advice on how to reinvent our relationship or what I can do differently, I’ll all beagle ears.
See you tomorrow!
-Out of the Wilderness