my dog is fucking awesome. we got Iggy when i was 13 years old from a breeder that we knew really well. he was the first puppy we ever raised and you can tell he's a Sheppard 100%.
he's chill, very outspoken, and loves the finer things in life...
but i always thought of Iggy as my dad's dog. he always saw me as more of a playmate, especially when i was younger and as he got older he preferred to sleep in my parent's room, sit by my dad, and hang out with him. it made sense though because my dad spent so much more time with him than i did. he fed Iggy twice a day, took him on walks, took him to puppy training, and did all the dirty work like taking care of him when he was really sick or had insane amounts of diarrhea... lmfao (trust me with Iggy's amount of fur you do NOT want to be dealing with that shit).
what did i expect? Iggy trusted my dad and saw him as his master figure. when i left for college it became even harder to form a relationship because i was only in the house for a short period of time. but when the quarantine started and i came back to live full time in my childhood home, reconnecting with Iggy became a central piece in regaining my happiness during these dark times. throughout all the health problems i was facing, having to deal with online school, and solitary sober living, he makes me feel less alone. once again i finally felt like i had found a new purpose.
each day i try to make an effort to connect with Iggy. i feed him whenever i can (usually at night because my sleep schedule has been so messed up lately where i go to bed at like 3a and wake up at 1p). i play tug of war with him for at least 10-15 mins. sometimes the thought of having to do physical exercise is daunting or not an option because of my chronic pain. but playing with Iggy is perfect because i can wear him out a little and definitely wear myself out trying to wrestle with a 75 lb dog. i brush him while i'm watching tv. i snuggle him when need a hug. i give him treats throughout the day. i even bring him into my Zoom classes because having him there makes me feel so much more calm.
the best part of the day though is our time right before bed. something i bring up a lot when talking about quarantine is the fact that i haven't really spent much time alone in a very very long time. i used to always sleep next to my partner or sleep with my girl friends or just be constantly around groups of people. recently i've started to bring Iggy down at night into my room. i'll give him a chew and he'll sit on my bed for a bit while i do my nightly blog post (like rn for instance). later on he makes his way to a comfy spot in my room, usually on the floor right at my bedside. i leave the door open just because i know he'll be up earlier than i will and my parents take him out first thing in the morning but even with the door ajar Iggy stays by me until i fall asleep. i don't know if he's aware that i love and lowkey need his presence to go to sleep with but it makes me so happy knowing he's there with me.
pet therapy is so real and i finally understand how therapeutic having an animal around you can be. i love being quarantined with Iggy. sure he barks, has the most humongous poops, and is annoying at times, but i wouldn't have it any other way. if i want to get closer to him then maybe i need to be the one pickin up the poop!!
building a stronger relationship with Iggy during the quarantine has made me so much happier both physically and mentally. just having a fluffy boy to hug and kiss and walk and play with. i suggest you try and do the same with your fur babies during this time or with any pets that you may have. we all need a little bit of extra love during this time. and trust me, the animals looove it too :)