For Pets New Year as Same for You and That a Good Thing

I’m holding my pen wrong.

My catch was not corrected, and now, in my forties, I can’t do anything about it. The muscle memory is too strong, The habit is too ingrained. If in fact, the bone of the fourth finger of my right hand was formed incorrectly because of my grip.

And it’s okay… except that I decided to ask for a fountain pen for Christmas this year.

Fountain pens, it turns out, are one thing. There are blogs, YouTube channels and Instagram accounts dedicated to these pens, ink, feathers, works. I found a great guide for beginner pens, I chose one and sent the link to John.

I was delighted to open the box at Christmas – with an extra box of ink!- and start writing. I pulled out my diary and got to work.

After the initial excitement wore off, I realized that I had a problem:

I couldn’t hold the pen properly. The rod is shaped for a “normal” or typical grip, and the tip had to point in a certain direction so that the ink flows smoothly. With my handle, the spring was on the side. When I was writing, the ink didn’t flow at all or it accumulated and smudged.

For three days I tried to make it work because I wanted this pen. Finally, I threw in the towel. I explained the problem to John. He tried to exchange it, but the pen company wouldn’t exchange it… so now John is the new owner of a very beautiful fountain pen and I have returned to my beloved old Joy Ink gel pens. They fit in my hand. They write smoothly. They come in fun colors. They work for me.

Why did I ever want to change in the first place?

Well, because I’m human, and that’s what we do.

We see something different, new, bright, funny, “better” and we want it.

Isn’t that what motivates this whole “new year, new you” business? We see fit/successful/stylish/accomplished/rich/whatever people are, and then we strive to turn ourselves into those people.

If you are not these people. You are you.

Of course, you may have to change something in your lifestyle to live the life you want, but that doesn’t make you a completely new person.

And yet. We are dogs.

We love our dogs.

We know that they are imperfect. We know that there are things we need to work on to help you live a healthier, happier, more fulfilling and safer life… but could you imagine that your dog is supposed to be a brand new dog?

Cooper requires a lot of special care and attention with his food, behavior, comfort. It takes time and effort to give him food that does not make him sick, help him behave safely in public, keep him happy and comfortable at home. That’s it, from good allergy medications and whole foods to opaque window clips to block out annoying areas.

We take these small steps to make things better for our dogs, not to turn them into new versions of themselves.

Lifestyle Optimizations.

Trying to turn into a fountain pen user didn’t work for me, so I let him go.

Trying to turn Cooper into a Restaurant terrace dog would never work for him, so I never tried.

Are you trying to transform yourself into someone who is not exactly you? Why Bother. You’re great the way you are.

I know that we are already a few weeks into 2022 (how?!?!?) and I am miserably late in any discussion of New Year’s goals or ideas, but may I suggest that you try to treat yourself and your dog as well this year?

Maybe this year you set a goal for yourself to love them the way they are, just like you love your dog the way he is. If a small change is needed – you need to apply a proverbial window clip to social media or change your eating habits to include foods that don’t irritate your body, or you need to rest more or whatever – if you need to make a small change to improve your lifestyle, go for it.

And also be kind and tolerant of yourself, just as you are kind and tolerant of your dogs.

You both deserve it.