Dog News

Happy New Year!

by Shawn Finch, DVM

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I LOVE New Year’s resolutions – it seems as though everyone loves or hates them. A few thoughts before we turn to dog stuff, which is, after all, why we are gathered…if you are a resolution hater, these thoughts just might change your mind and have you making a list of New Year’s Resolutions with the rest of us!

1. It is possible to reach a point of optimal awesomeness.

If you are feeling compelled to resolve to change an area of your life that is actually pretty great, maybe instead, you should congratulate yourself on all the hard work you have already done. For example, if everyone is resolving to “exercise more” and “eat better” and you have pretty good (not perfect – pretty good!) habits, do not feel obligated to “me too” it! Instead, take a moment (which you probably DO NOT do enough) and think of how great you are.

2. Failed resolutions are great.

If you resolved to walk your dogs twice a day last year and actually got out a few times a week, which you would not have done had you not aimed so high, you have succeeded! Instead of giving yourself a hard time about what you could have or should have done, reward yourself for all the good things you have done.

3. Not every resolution is great for every person.

It has to be your stuff or it will not be relevant to your life and it will not work as a goal. Keep that in mind as I list resolutions I think are awesome, because you are totally free to pick and choose from the list and even use it as a brainstorm starter.

Do you see how these ideas could totally make resolutions fun?? If so, let’s work on pet resolutions together! Consider the following resolutions, keeping those three ideas in mind, and promise me that at the end of 2012 you will take a moment and think of how great you are and reward yourself for all the good things you have done!

Our New Year’s Resolutions in Honor of Our Dogs – 2012

I will make decisions on behalf of my dogs from the perspective of what I think is best for them and what I think they would choose for themselves if they could.

I will bring my dogs in for regular wellness examinations at least once a year.

I will exercise my dogs with regular walks and play time.

I will feed my dogs what is the very best for them.

I will celebrate my family’s and my community’s love for dogs by obtaining any new dogs or puppies from somewhere I will always be proud to say they are from. (I guess that is a fancy-pants way to say I will not support puppy mills!)

I will do everything I can to keep my dogs out of pain, being especially vigilant about their teeth, their joints and their weight.

I will give my best guesses about what makes my dogs happiest, and do everything in my power to spoil them. (Don’t go broke on this one! In Joy’s case, her favorite thing in the world is an ice cube to play with!)

I will make sure I build and maintain a strong group of support for the every day things (How great does my dog look in this new collar?) and the less every day things (My dog is sick, and I am scared) and the sad and the hard things.

I will use positive reinforcement and kind, gentle methods to train and interact with my dogs.

Joy the Puppy Unstuffs Her Bed


Noodle The Poodle Frames the Yorkie

I will keep a super cute picture/story/memory in mind for the times my dogs don’t make the positive reinforcement resolution super easy.

Joy the Puppy Being Cute
Noodle The Poodle Being Cute

I will spend lots of time just enjoying my dogs.

I will use positive reinforcement and kind, gentle methods to train and interact with myself. At this time next year, and often throughout the year, I will take a moment and think of how great I am and reward myself for all the good things I have done.

Happy New Year! I hope it is the best year yet for you and your pets!

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