Friday, August 9, 2013

What I've Learned From Dogs-Duchess of Plumewood

If you're having a bad day, I have just the thing to set it straight. Because cute puppy photos always have a way of doing that. I told Jeremy that I would love to get an English Bulldog. He quickly nixed the idea, for no reason other than he wants a massively sized dog when we get back home. Which I can't completely blame him for since our country of choice right now only has teeny lap dogs that they so lovingly dye all sorts of strange colors. So whenever we do see a large dog, or even a 'normal' sized one, we can help but stare and start picking out names for our future dog (who's name will be Hank by the way. Not that we're getting ahead of ourselves or anything). Enough about my dog dreams, read on as Katherine tells her story of how she picked her dog, Winston and see why I just can't resist these adorable English Bulldogs!


Hi everyone I blog over at The Duchess of Plumewood and I am so excited to be guest posting on Lost in Travels today! I love love love all of Chelsea’s stories and photos and I am so honored to be a guest post for her while she is off trekking Cambodia! Who is excited for those pictures!?

I wanted to share a special story with you today. I have a handsome little bulldog, Winston, and I wanted to share how much has taught me about life and myself.

I decided to get Winston in my first year of law school. Your first year of law school pretty much ruins your life. (well so you think) And to add a puppy to that mix threw my family’s collective mind for a fricken’ roller coaster loop because I didn’t know anything about taking care of a dog. I had never had a dog growing up because my mom is allergic so we had cats. I absolutely love my cat but as anyone who has had both animals knows cats and dogs are different, aside from the obvious duh, cats are incredible self-sufficient and dogs need you for pretty much everything. I was working through contracts, torts, civil procedure, and every other class with a purring kitten on my lap and I crazily thought why not add a dog in the mix?
I started researching what breed of dog I wanted (confession: I’m such an anglophile so I knew my pup had to be British) and I squarely landed on English Bulldog. The name was easy; I wrote one of my undergraduate theses on Churchill and De Gaulle so I knew he had to be Winston. And boom just like that 2 weeks later I had a deposit down with a fantastic breeder. I picked Winston up on the last weekend in January of 2012 and the ride home with my new pup in his kennel in the backseat was one of the most enjoyable 2 hours I have ever spent in a car. I couldn’t even cuddle him since I was driving but my heart was already overflowing with joy! The first weekend was exhausting: up every three hours, accidents, whining, no sleep (I slept next to his kennel so he would stop yelping but I didn’t let him out), and definitely no studying. I would rush home from classes every day to take him out and play with him. I finally made myself study a week later when I was getting regular sleep. For a month I was the happiest girl in the world. Then a month after I got Winston I broke up with my boyfriend of 5 years.
Winston was the reason I got myself out of bed for those first couple of weeks. Not law school, not Poppy (my cat), not I, but Winston. I knew he needed me. I knew he wasn’t going to be able to understand why his mom was ignoring him. My wrinkly man saved his mama. To this day my mom, who rolled her eyes, shook her head, and fought me so hard when I told her she was going to have a grandpuppy, thinks Winston is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Dogs teach us an incredible amount about life and I would love to share myWinston’s short list with you.
Wise Lessons from Winston:
1.  If at first you don’t succeed, try again. If you still aren’t getting it, forget it, take a nap, and then try again: Winston is so stubborn but good stubborn. He tries so hard for something and he will not give up until he gets it. Such an admirable quality in life, I would like to say that rubbed off from mom but…
2. Peanut butter always makes you feel better: whether it’s in a Kong or on a spoon peanut butter just makes you feel like life is good. It’s true, go try some!
3. When in doubt, get Mom: when anything goes wrong Winston is at my side. If there’s a horse, lightening, he gets hurt, he comes to me. Anytime I get hurt, I need help I call my mom. Moms love you no matter what you do, it’s unconditional.
4. To be best friends you’ve got to be comfortable facing the smiles and facing the sh*t: Winston has to smell their faces and their butts. He’s taught me a lot. You’ve got to find the friends that you can deal with when times are good and when times are bad.
5. The sunshine is the place to be. Until you get hot, then move to the shade: when things are great soak it up and revel in it; but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. You need change and make the change work in your favor whatever you do.

I literally thank God every day that he put that crazy awesome idea into my head to get Winston. He knew He knew I was going to need him. He knew. He knew there were things that only Winston could teach me. And for that I am so grateful. That is why I thank Him every day and why Winston is going to get an extra-long belly rub tonight.

Chelsea thank you so much for letting me take over Lost in Travels! I hope everyone enjoyed Winston’s Wise Words. Drop by The Duchess of Plumewood and say hi!