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When I was walking the dogs on our small country road last week, we came upon the neighbor’s goat herd. People don’t tend to walk dogs on the road in our rural area because the ranches are big, and dogs have large areas where they can run free. The goats were curious, perhaps hoping we came to feed them, so they walked right up to us and turned to watch the rest of the goats coming.

If you were with us at the Bossy Spa, you would have brought your little dog on the walk. She would have diligently guarded you from the goats, announcing with her most ferocious bark, “This is my mom! Best mom in the whole world! Back off you goats!”

Your dog is a caregiver too, and she is a pretty good one. She cares for her sick dad by coping with his diminishing capacity and increasing frustrations. She cares for you by serving as your emotional mirror. Whether she is calm or wigged out, chances are good she is reflecting your inner mood. Sometimes it really helps to have a furry barometer. It brings your feelings up from where you stuff them to where you can deal with them.

She makes extra work, but I am so glad you have a furry friend watching over you during this hard time of life. She is a little emissary of the Bossy Spa telling you what she thinks you need to know and loving you with her whole heart (except for the special place reserved for treats).

How does having a pet make caregiving easier or harder?

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