We have a new dog. His name is Alfie. We adopted him three months ago, shortly before his 7th birthday. We were told he was a Havanese. If you are not familiar with this breed, just think “cute little white fuzzball”.
Of course I had him DNA-tested, because that’s just the kind of person I am. We learned that he is only 50% Havanese, and 25% Maltese. (If you are not familiar with that breed, you can once again think “cute little white fuzzball”.) The other 25% of his genetic makeup is not clear.
The first time we added a dog to our family four years ago, I wrote how my routine had changed as a result (see Time is a Zero Sum Game.) Sadly, our beloved Taffy passed away earlier this year (Love, Loss, and Organizing). While circumstances prevented us from adding a new four-legged family member for six long months, we knew that a new pet was in our future.
Surprisingly, six months was long enough for me to readapt to not having a dog. I got out of the routine of incorporating dog-walking time into my schedule before I left for an appointment. As a result, I am often late.
In addition, Alfie is a very different dog than Taffy. The preparations I need to make before I leave him alone for several hours are new to me. We have also availed ourselves of the services of a dog trainer (shout-out to Kate Mccue of Kate’s Canines, LLC) which means incorporating dog training sessions into our schedules, as well as time to practice what we’ve learned.
As I wrote in an organizing tip last year entitled Embracing Change, nobody likes change, not even a wet baby. But life keeps throwing us curveballs, even when it’s something good and positive like a cute little white fuzzball.
What can we do to best adapt to change? The first step is to recognize what’s going on, then identify some steps you can take to turn the change in a positive direction. For me, it means building extra time into my schedule to enable me to arrive on time to appointments. I’ve got to stop what I am doing ten minutes earlier than I’m used to, so that I can walk Alfie and get him ready for me to leave without my feeling rushed and stressed out. If that leaves me with a few minutes of dog cuddling because I built into too much extra time, even better!