The day I got Buddy, I immediately told my mom about him. I didn’t tell my dad though. He doesn’t take kindly to me adding more canines to the family, let alone a Chow Chow, one of his least favorite breeds. I’ve talked to him a few times since getting Buddy, but I made sure I never mentioned him.
It wasn’t my intention of telling him this evening, but when he talked about the next time he comes down (most likely next week), I realized I needed to tell my dad. I told him about Buddy before telling him the breed. I made excuses, changed the subject, but my dad was not to be derailed. He asked the breed and I finally had to tell him.
He got upset and I let him vent about Chows. I told him that I understood and that initially I was afraid of Buddy. I asked my dad to give Buddy a chance and my dad said that he would, but he’d probably have something in his hand to defend himself. I accepted that. I then told my dad about how safe I feel with Buddy here. Suddenly, my dad changed and he was grateful for Buddy.
Since I live by myself and my closest relative is still an hour away, my dad had been contemplating getting me a larger dog. When he realized that Buddy was that dog and that Buddy was teaching me to control my anxiety, he decided that Buddy was good for me and vice versa. By the time we ended the call, my dad told me that he could sleep well at night knowing that I’m safe.
It makes me happy to know that my dad went from disliking to approving Buddy. I was also proud of myself. Normally I get on the defensive and sometimes even get upset, but I let my dad get out his prejudices, I acknowledged them, and then countered them without raising my voice or getting irritated.
I also explained to my dad that it wasn’t my intention on getting a Chow. I wanted a Lab, or a Great Pyrenees, or something else that wasn’t on the list of “experienced dog owners only.” I consider myself an experienced dog owner, but I wasn’t sure if I could handle one of these dogs. I wanted to take the easy way out.
Now that I’m looking back, I’ve tried to take the easy way out many times. No necessarily with dogs, but with everyday life. I’ve done things simply because doing what I wanted/needed to do was too difficult. I settled on mediocre not believing that I deserved better.
I didn’t realize it until this writing that bringing Buddy into my home was a daring act for me. Though I’m not fond of Labs, I was willing to settle for a Lab because a Lab is safe. Labs are not known to be mean; they’re family dogs; big cuddle bugs; a relatively easy dog to raise once you get past the puppy stages. Chows, well, they have a reputation. I was raised to hate/be afraid of Chows.
Look at me now. I’m a proud owner of a Chow and I love it.
t makes me wonder though, what other areas in my life do I play it safe? What do I really want to do, but am too afraid to do it? What have I settled for instead of pursing my passion?
These are the things that I would like to do, but am too afraid of doing it: Publishing a book, fulfilling my desire of being a mixed media artist, becoming a dog trainer, starting a YouTube channel, starting my own business, and lastly starting up an ambassador program for misunderstood dog breeds.
I don’t know if I’ll ever do any of those with the exception of publishing a book as I plan to have one out by the end of the year. I guess I feel I should be practical, but I want to take a risk. These may not seem like risks to most people, but for me they are.
So many questions: What if they don’t pan out? What if they do? What if people hate me? What if I become an inspiration? What if…so many what ifs. I won’t know if I don’t try. I want to try, but I’m afraid. Maybe, just maybe, I just need to stop asking questions and just do it. I mean, I’ll never know unless I try, right?
Until next time, live your dreams; no one else can live them for you.