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Let's put it simply: I'm a dog mom.
I give my dog, Silver, a lot of time out of my day and a lot of money from my paychecks, but, honestly, nothing makes me happier. I treat Silver like my actual child, well, because to me she is. If this sounds at all weird to you, you may have never had a cat or dog you are extremely close to. That's OK, it's not everyone's niche. Although it may not make any sense that my dog is more important to me than most things, allow me to try and make some sense of it.
First, let me begin by saying a bit of Silver's story. I got Silver back in April 2017, I found her through a Facebook ad. (I know, that isn't the best thing, but I'm so glad I found her.) Silver came to me scared and anxious—any dog would be if they were moving to a new home. Even though this was completely normal, even expected, something seemed off about Silver. Although she was only somewhat comfortable with me, she was absolutely petrified by my brother and father. She was terrified of men, (she still kind of is); I nor my mom knew anything about her past, so we tried to piece together what we could. We, unfortunately, believed that Silver may have been abused by her past family by the way she reacted to things in our household, how she was so anxious because of every sound in the house, and how she reacted to my brother and dad.
I suddenly became invested in taking care of her, and making sure she always felt safe; it became a daily focus of mine. Every morning, I would hug her and coax her down; every night I would wrap her in a blanket and cradle her. I sat with her while she ate, I would hold her like a baby while I cooked, and I even read her bedtime stories on some occasions. Now, if you're still reading, I may sound crazy, I may sound obsessive, but hear me out: This all worked. As I'm writing this, Silver is the calmest I have seen her in months. I have worked with training her. I still cuddle with her every night for at least twenty minutes. I still hold her like a baby when I come back from vacations or long times away from home. She has blossomed into this great pup, and, at only two years old, she still has a lot left in her.
There is more to this than just Silver, though. I stress doing this sort of thing because, not only did it help her, it helped me in so many ways. Silver was a saving grace for me personally. I was going through a tough time when I got her. I always say I found the perfect dog at the perfect time. With giving Silver so much affection, she knows me inside and out. Whenever I have a panic attack or a bad day, she knows, and she helps in any way she possibly can. Through me helping her, she became a helper for me. It's amazing what dogs can learn through affection.
Through the year and a half that I have had Silver in my life, I have become more affectionate towards things. I find more fun in simple things. I find that hard work goes a long way, just as it did with Silver.
If you have a dog or are thinking of getting of a dog, remember, that is your baby, really. Dogs are just another member of the family. All they want is to show love, to help you, and to have fun.