Without a doubt, empty nesters love their dogs – An Update!
Does a dog fill in the space that has been left behind since our kids have grown and left the nest? Can a dog fulfill a parenting need in the Empty Nest? In my opinion, yes. Yes on both questions. Don’t misunderstand dogs are not children, we just love them like they are!
Ultimately, it may not the best idea for enhancing our new-found freedom. The kids are grown, the house is quiet and we get… A DOG? Why now? Why complicate life with a new puppy? Because they are awesome!
Dogs are family too
Who is completely ecstatic when I walk in the door.? Who turns in circles, nearly knocks me down and smiles ear to expressive ear? My Rocco.
I take photos of him like I did of my kids when they were young. But he’s so darn cute! Honestly somewhere inside that dog brain lies a tiny little human. Craig and I have to spell so many things! We talk in code so he doesn’t know what we are planning. Really? That sounds crazy doesn’t it?
Empty Nesters who choose to get a dog after the kids are gone are well aware that this may put a crimp in the flexibility. As you know, Craig and I travel a great deal and he travels for work almost every week so that leaves me alone a lot too! I live both extremes because I am off finding adventure around the world and the flip side is that I am at home completely by myself, with only my sweet Rocco to keep me company.
Once a mother, always a mother and whether I am a mom to my two kids or to my 5 1/2 year old puppy, it feels somewhat the same. Since he can’t talk back and there is no homework to deal with, dogs may be even a little easier! He is just the most loving, attentive, protective sweetheart that doesn’t leave my side.
My sweet Rocco ~
Aside from the obvious benefits like companionship and love, dogs provide the need for walking. You can never be sedentary with a dog. Rocco is so high-energy that a three-mile walk is in order everyday rain or shine, so he is my extra calorie burner for sure. Additionally, the walks provide a great couples time together. We know that Rocco needs a walk and as we plan our calendars for the next day, we determine when in our respective work days we can take him.
He protects me from the squirrels and the neighborhood cats and barks if the leaves are blowing. He smiles as we take a walk and as I write at my desk he drops his toy in my lap. After he drops it, he then backs up expecting me to play and toss it back to him 100% of the time.
Rocco scares the be-geesus out of the mailman with his deep scary bark and no one should dare come to the door unless they have to. There are three little “yappers” next door that bark incessantly and makes me nuts. We are teaching him not to bark when they do. Although he looks at me and I imagine him saying “Come on, just once let me at them and I will stop them for good!”
Dogs and travel bloggers seem to go together! Recently I was interviewed about Rocco on Waggleview. Waggleview dogs live a life of joy, they treat kindness with kindness and they are genuine loving souls. This site reminds readers of the incredible bond between humans and animals. Click over to read the interview, I think you will enjoy it!
Empty Nesters love their dogs and they most certainly fill in the gaps that our children have left when they grow up and leave the nest. Ultimately dogs can help us get over that loss, but they of course can never replace a visit from our children!
Do you have a dog? Did you recently add a new member to your family? Maybe you are a cat person? How do our animals affect us differently as Empty Nesters?
Anything you can add?