Gen Y Dogma: My Dog-Inspired Resolutions For 2015

Christina Peden
by Christina Peden
Should old resolutions be forgot… Christina Peden has made some new ones. What’s different this year – they all have something to do with her dog, Matilda.

Ah, another year come and gone. How does the time fly so fast? And why does it seem to speed up the older we get?! Now there’s a question that will likely never be answered.

Like most people, the transition from the old year to the new one brings about a time of refection. What went well, what didn’t, what we’d like to do better or differently next year… you know the drill.

I’m not usually too keen on making New Year’s Resolutions for myself because, quite frankly, I suck at keeping them. In turn, I then feel even crappier about not keeping the resolutions! It’s a vicious, unproductive circle.

That said, it’s easier for me to stick with things when I know they have a positive impact on people I care about (or in this case, pooches I care about). That’s why I decided to come up with a list of things I’d like to accomplish as a pet parent in 2015. They’re simple and not overly lofty, but they’re things that will make a positive difference in my life and Matilda’s (and Ryan’s!), so I’m actually kind of excited to get started.

Read on to see what I hope to accomplish this year!

Related: Ask The Hairy Dogfathers: New Year’s Resolutions

Obedience Training

Ryan and I have been saying for months that we’d get Matilda into some obedience classes, but this is the year we’re finally going to do it.

Don’t get me wrong – Matilda isn’t a “bad dog”; she’s just a high-energy breed and technically still a puppy (with pet parents who aren’t also super-great about being consistent with training). She gets excited easily (especially when we run into another dog on the sidewalk), jumps, pulls on the leash and can be a bit “mouthy” when she plays (which is okay with other dogs, but not so much with humans.) She is also incredibly sweet, loving, submissive and so good-natured that she really wouldn’t hurt a fly (though she might chase a squirrel or two).

So for us, it’s just working on the finer points of good canine manners, which we know she will learn in a snap, because she’s insanely smart. I swear to Dog, the obedience classes are more for Ryan and me! We need to be trained on how to train our dog. Once we know what we’re doing and we start being consistent, things will be easy-peasy.

Related: Why You Should Consider Fostering a Dog

Become a (Foster) Pet Parent

As much as I would like a second dog, right now I’m probably more in love with the idea of it then truly cognizant of what the actual reality would be like, so I’m kind of tabling the adopting-another-dog notion for now.

That said I would really love to foster on behalf of one the many amazing rescue organizations we have in and around Toronto. Collectively, we have a lot of friends who foster, and I’ve also talked to a bunch of people at the dog park who have done it, and they all speak to what a wonderful and rewarding experience it is. And in a way, we’d be helping more dogs than if we adopted just one. Giving a homeless pooch a happy, loving temporary home while they wait for their forever one is an amazing thing and it means one less dog languishing in a kennel at the shelter.

Overall, I’d love to be a part of showing a dog who may have gotten a rough start in life what it’s like to live in a home where they are loved, and fostering is a great way to do that.

Start Running with Matilda

I guess it wouldn’t be New Year’s without making some sort of fitness resolution, right?

I keep saying that I want to start running again (and I do, but I’m also great at coming up with excuses not to!). Ryan pointed out that Matilda would make a great running buddy – after all, she has absolutely no shortage of energy.

Fittingly enough, we just ran an article PetGuide this week about how to start running with your dog, so I can no longer use the excuse that I “just don’t know how” to run with Matilda. Excuse #1 = destroyed!

Excuse #2 I need to destroy is that I “don’t have the right equipment”, which is only partially true. I have the right running equipment for myself, even for running in the winter. I just need a few things for Matilda. For example, I’d really like to get a bungee leash that attaches to the human at the waist. I’ve heard these make running with your pooch a lot easier and of course, they leave both your hands free. I’ve heard that Iron Doggy and RuffWear are pretty good bets, but if you have any personal suggestions, share them below – I’m all ears!

Start Making Homemade Things for my Pooch

Inspired by Amy, our lovely editor here at PetGuide (and possibly a little Martha Stewart), I would like to start making homemade treats for Matilda this year and maybe even knit her a doggie sweater or two!

Matilda has been lucky enough to be a recipient of many of Amy’s amazing creations throughout the last year, and she’s loved every single one of them. And really, there is NO shortage of amazing recipes on PetGuide, so I have no excuse for not trying my hand at some of them.

And I really must be getting old, because I’ve recently decided to take up knitting again. I actually used to knit as a child, a skill I’ve lost over time. In a few weeks, I’ll be taking an intro knitting class to learn how to make a scarf; of course, I hope to expand my repertoire to include sweaters as soon as I possibly can! And not just sweaters for me or for Ryan, but for Matilda as well – I can just picture her frolicking around in a little red sweater (so CUTE!).

Okay, over to you guys. Have you made any pet-related resolutions for 2015 and if so, what are they? Share them below in the comments!

Christina Peden
Christina Peden

Christina Peden is a lifelong animal lover and avid wordsmith. She lives in Toronto with her boyfriend Ryan where they are proud pet parents to puppy, Matilda and cat, Oscar. In her spare time, she can be found enjoying Toronto, Canada's all-too-short patio season, taking advantage of the city's numerous parks or curled up with a good book.

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