For the last three years, though, I've scheduled a trip with good friends from college that takes me away from the pets. The first year, I was an anxious mess thinking about being away from the pets for several days. The last two years, though, I've learned the importance of taking a break from the pets.
Relaxing. Even though Barley and I spend plenty of time wandering through the woods and take daily walks in our neighborhood, life with Barley is not relaxing. I'm constantly managing her and looking out for possible triggers. Even in the house, we don't relax much. I have to herd Barley away from the cat food and the litter boxes and remind her not to dig the carpet or chase her brother. Relax is not a word that Barley embraces.
But for a glorious three and a half days, I could relax knowing that Barley and Soth were safe and sound with their grandparents while I spent time with friends.
I got to go for a nice stroll through Atlanta's Piedmont Park with a dear friend. We were able to stop and watch a heron (or heron-like bird) catch fish for several minutes without worrying about whether a dog was coming up behind us. (Side note: If you happened to be in this park last Thursday and saw a crazy lady saying "dog!" the way the dog in Up says "squirrel!" while her friend patiently dragged her another direction, that was me--I'm sorry if it was awkward.)
|I desperately wanted Barley to be with me for photo ops.|
Later in the trip, I got to lounge by my friend's pool and watch a storm roll in over her ranch. I got to wake up and drink my coffee on the steps overlooking her lake.
I also got in a little snuggle time with Barley's
nemesis cousin, Hank. I rarely get to hang out with the little guy because Barley wants to eat him, so it was nice to have a quick stop in at my brother's place as I passed through town.
Appreciating what I have. Absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder when it comes to my pets. Sometimes I forget how just awesome they are and a few days away can make me appreciate them more. As I took a stroll through my friend's property one morning before anyone else was up, I realized just how much I enjoy walking with a dog. I didn't know what to do with my hands when i wasn't holding a leash or doling out treats. I had to take a selfie by myself when I wanted to get a picture of the red Georgia clay I love so much and the picture of just the clay was boring. I got lost in my thoughts and wasn't scanning for potential triggers and jumped out of my skin on multiple occasions when a squirrel or one of the ranch dogs came crashing through the woods.
There is nothing sweeter than being greeted by your pets when you get home. Soth was content to sprawl on my lap on the back porch and watch the birds while I watched some baseball with my dad. Barley wiggled and wagged and refused to let me out of her sight.
|Content until you jostle him reaching for the camera that is . . .|