Offbeat

Things My Dog Taught Me About Being A Better Person

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By Gheeda ahmed
We’ve always been a household that loved adopting cats, growing up we had cats from different breeds, age groups, and colors until October, 2015 when Twinky came to our life.

It took us some time to find her a name, and we really didn’t want traditional puppy names such as Lucky, Bella, Daisy and Lucy. We’re not very creative when it comes to naming a dog, so it took us sometime and effort until we came up with Twinkle. A very cliche name i know, but she really did light up the house the minute she walked in. All of a sudden we were all out of our rooms more just to see her walk, try to climb up the stares or play. Having a dog is different than having a cat who are much cleaner and more accustomed to using their litter boxes. On the first day we got her a litter box thinking that she would know how to use it the same way cats in our house used to do in the past. But instead she thought of it as a game and started jumping in and out throwing all the sand out of the box, on the side of her mouth” thirsty from all the excitement and hard work. She quickly became the house center of attention and we all truly looked forward to cutting our trips outside of the house short just to catch her on time before she went to sleep.

Owning a dog is a lot of work, you need to observe their behavior to be able to recognize their needs and tell why they are either barking or behaving in a certain way. Some times my dog would bark and id think that she is hungry but once food is ready she’d just pick on it and walk away. One of the most challenging moments is potty training which my dog still sucks at, young puppies are known for having small bladders so you really need to be proactive and take them out regularly to be on the safe side. i once took her out 3 times after midnight, even though i was in deep sleep and needed every single hour to be able to wake up for work the next day. With that said, we adapted to Twinkey’s demanding diva like lifestyle and she grew up and learned to behave more respectfully, at least around us. She sometimes does things that clearly illustrates her respect to us. For example, She’d wet expensive carpets instead of floors or she’d steal hair brushes from drawers and bite them off. Twinky is an athletic dog and likes to sprint outside in the garden especially when someone is back with grocery bags or is about to leave the house. She also has a loud pitched bark, noisy enough to wake you up every Friday at 6:00 am. Twinky is becoming more known in the city, she is the kind of girl that makes a whole street stop the minute she walks in it, Twinky sometimes goes to the DQ to explore around the neighborhood and burn off the extra calories she gains from eating peanuts and popcorn. We were once crossing the street and all cars stopped for her, one car pushed down the brake causing a delivery motorcycle to flip back and injure its driver. You think she cared? She just continued her walk and never looked back.

As playful and as lost in her own puppy bubble she might be, Twinky’s presence has added joy and love to our small family.

Lessons learned from the one and only Twinky:

Size doesn’t matter:
Never be intimidated by someone bigger in size, older in age or higher in rank.

She conveyed this message clearly in almost all her walks. Whenever she saw a giant husky or a German Shepard, she’d be the one barking and chasing them off.

Never stick to one kind of diet:
Have a variety of foods to boost up your metabolism and try new foods regularly to see what works and what doesn’t. Halloumi, peanuts, almonds, kettle mania pop corn (her favorite) are never too human for her. She’s always introducing new foods to her diet and always makes sure to be the first one to give a new dish a try.
Eat with style and class:
Who said dogs have to only eat from plates? Our Twinky has to have someone feed her off a spoon when she isn’t convinced with whats being served.
Show love and express feelings:
Expressing love, appreciation and gratitude have a lot of benefits on both the giver and taker. It has been scientifically proven that expressing positive feelings enhances sleep, increases self esteem, and improves both your mental and physical health. Positive expressions also reduce depression, aggressiveness and open up the door for healthier relationships. Twinky likes to express her feelings especially when she hears the car park, she’ll bark and run quickly to the door to greet me after a long day at work. She’d jump enthusiastically and stick her tongue out ready to shower me with kisses and puppy love.
Don’t Mask your feelings:
Don’t fake emotions and always express your real feelings. Bottling up negative emotions like anger, anxiety, and depression can lead to chronic diseases. We sometimes need to really assess the situation and see if the problem is worth our time, thought and energy. We sometimes need to know what to express and what to let go of. Twinky knows that life is too short to live in negativity so she hugs when she loves you and turns her back and walk away when she is mad at you. Nothing bad should ever stay inside for too long.
Change your routine:
Having the same routine for a while can sometimes lead to boredom and loss of interest. We need to try new things everyday to add excitement and thrill. You can start off by trying new coffee flavors or listening to a new playlist. Twinky likes to try different games every day. Today she plays with her toy mouse, tomorrow she’ll play with her fuzzy ball. She never plays with the same toy 2 days in a row and always in the hunt for biting something new.
Family is everything:
Family provides you with unconditional love, support and care. No matter how good your relationships are, no relationship can ever compare to the one you have with your family. Twinky acknowledges that and loves her little family so much that she doesn’t like to see them sad (yes dogs can detect feelings) or eat alone. Sometimes she eats dates with them after maghreb just to prove that she is part of the family too.
Take risks:
Stepping out of your comfort zone adds a distinct taste to life and helps you build your confidence. It also prepares you to overcome your fears and gives you something worth remembering. Therefore, we should make the hunt for new adventures a habit and try to live on the edge every once in a while. Twinky is an adrenaline junkie and likes to always set risky targets. She once stood on the edge of an empty pool and jumped flat right into it. Don’t worry she only scratched her lower lip and got Kylie’s full lips look for free.
Always find time to retreat and relax:
Allotting some downtime to pamper yourself and recharge is a must in today’s fast paced world. You need to find time to unwind, destress and recharge your batteries. Twinky knows that the secret to Cleopatra’s beauty was milk bath and pamper. For that reason, she never hesitates to ask for a belly rub, a back message or even a milk bath. She ends up drinking the milk instead of bathing in it and then lay down on her back, stretch her pows and relax. Sometimes a good massage or a few minutes of meditation is all you need after a long day.
Age is just a number:
Do more of the things that make you young at heart. Always pump up life and energy in your system and live in the moment. No matter how old you get, do the things that put the widest smile on your face and relive your happy memories. You can still play Crash Bandicoot on PS 1, watch courage the dog or sleep in a room filled with glow in the dark stars and planets.
Forgive and forget:
If you truly love someone, don’t let the small things get in the way. Its normal for people to react to an upsetting event especially when caused by someone close. But if you care about someone and still want them in your life, you shouldn’t then dwell on the issue for too long. For example, Twinkly was punished for biting off our shoes. That was the fifth pair in one week. My mother punished her and locked her out in the garden. Twinky was mad at her and didn’t allow her to pet her. Even when she called her name, she didn’t respond. Few hours later, and after mom carried her and rubbed her tummy, Twinky forgave her and went back to normal. Acknowledge the small gestures people do to apologize and find the heart to forgive the ones you love.

In the end, Its true what they say: All you need is love and a dog.

Profile
  • Name: Twinkle AKA Twinky
  • Birthdate: Unknown but she was 2 months old when we first brought her home in October, 2015. So this means that she was born in August and might either be a Leoor a Virgo.
  • Breed: We thought she was a Morkie but she turned out to be a Havanese.
  • Reason for purchase: A household of 2 parents, 2 sisters and a brother studying in the states. The house needed some noise and cheer and obviously a lil hairy trouble maker in the house.

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