If you’re reading this pet blog, you probably already know how much dogs, cats, and other pets can enrich our lives. Most pet families have learned that having pets can help us relax more or get more exercise, along with providing special companionship. Petting our animal companions can lower our blood pressure and there is nothing like listening to a cat’s purr to help us feel peaceful! We can become better people simply by caring for our pets; they help give us purpose.
Luke has helped me in a very unexpected way, however. In order to tell this story, I’m going to have to admit to a personality fault that I might rather not!
I have a short temper. I’ve struggled with it my whole life. My siblings might enjoy telling you some stories about my little temper tantrums when we were children. However, let me clarify. I have endless patience with people and animals. If you heard me, normally a quiet and shy person, arguing with someone, it’s because they’ve pushed me too far; and it takes a lot. I will always remember the time I got into a loud argument with a co-worker. She had pushed me for a while with her irrational reaction to things, and accusations that I was trying to undermine her work.
I laugh about it now, because she and I were the only women at an ice cream distribution business, with many male co-workers. I’m pretty sure they watched the argument with shock and probably a bit of glee since they had been subjected to her craziness as well (in this day and age, she’d probably be on medication!). It takes a lot to make me blow up at someone like that and to really speak my mind.
However, when it comes to inanimate objects? I have no patience. I remember a time when I was a teenager and I threw an uncooperative shoe across the room and broke some glass knick-knacks my boyfriend had given me. I don’t remember exactly why, but maybe the lace was tied in a knot I couldn’t get out or something. That’s exactly the type of thing I don’t have patience for.
As I get older, my hands don’t work as well, and I drop things all.the.time., I am endlessly klutzy, and things that it used to be easy to do can be challenging. I have no patience with that, such as being unable to open things. I always seem to be in a rush, and I get so frustrated with being slowed down by things that should be easier. I don’t know if it’s a normal part of aging – are we trying to cram more things into less time because we feel it running out – or is it just that our bodies don’t work like they used to?
Either way, when stuff like that happens, my frustration level rises quickly, and I completely lose it and swear and curse like a sailor (I did at least learn to stop throwing things). If I’m not cursing, I’m yelling “Really? Why can’t anything be easy anymore??!!” While it might seem like pretty harmless behavior now that I don’t break things, even I get sick of listening to myself sometimes! I certainly would not want anyone overhearing me. My poor husband is probably the only that does…..except for our Lab mix Luke. Since he’s almost always with me around the house, he is subjected to my irrational outbursts at stupid things.
And he hates it. If I raise my voice at something, my sensitive boy goes running to his closet. It makes me feel awful.
Therefore, I’m trying to learn to stop doing it. Most of the time now, I make myself stop and take a deep breath, and if I do curse it’s only to myself, under my breath. I even find myself doing better when Luke is not even around! I’m not where I want to be quite yet. I still have those times, bad days, when the impatience bubbles through….or I should probably say barrels through, and those curses slip out. If something does slip out, and Luke hears me and runs away, I immediately stop and call him to me and tell him it’s OK. But Luke inspires me to keep trying to do better in many ways.
If CBD oil can help Luke with his fears and anxieties, why not try it myself for my stress and anxiety? I’ve always been resistant to medications to help with those things, but just as I choose with Luke, I am open to more natural products like CBD. I am prone to migraines and my low tolerance for stress is a big factor there, and I hope it could help with those as well. I also borrowed a book from a friend on mindfulness and meditation, which can help many ways in life. I hope it can help me find more peace and patience.
Both Luke and I will probably always be works in progress, but there are ways my dog and I can help each other. While I will tell you that having a reactive dog can be a lot of work, Luke might tell you that his reactive human needs some work too. 🙂
That’s why we’re in this together, helping each other to do better.
Does your dog, cat, or other pet inspire and help you to be a better person?
I’ve started using some mindfulness apps this year and they’ve definitely helped me deal with my temper better. I usually do the exercises before bed and I’ve found that I’m sleeping better and when I’m well rested, I’m much better at staying patient with silly little tasks. I hope that it works for you, too!
That’s great to hear! You are so right that being overtired can be a big contributor to the impatience. I have spells where I don’t sleep well, and I’ll have to observe if those are the times my temper is shorter!
Sand spring chesapeakea says
Thank you for sharing something so personal. I hope the oil works for you. I’m glad I have my pets to as I feel they make me a better person to expecially when doing therapy work.
That is one of the best ways they can make us better people!! ♥
Shyla is a lot like Luke in terms of being easily scared. In general, I am not a patient person (except for a few exceptions, like physical training). Anyway, Shyla cannot be “fixed” to be less fearful quickly. Each tiny step has taken months or years. Over the years, I have (mostly) learned to be patient with her… and to accept her as she is. I view any breakthrough is a bonus. If there is a reason that she landed in my life, it was to help me become a better person in this regard.
I love that…how hard you work with Shyla, but how you accept her as she is as well. I often wonder why Luke was brought into my life…certainly there are better people who could be more patient with him, and work with him more than I do! But I think we do the best we can with him, and he is teaching us a lot.
Ruby, Rosie and Teddy says
I also have a short temper sometimes especially when I am tired or overwhelmed. Ruby sounds like Luke. She cowers when she senses I’m angry even if I am nowhere near her. She does the same thing any time anyone raises their voice even when voices are raised in joy. I’m trying to be sensitive to her fear and speak in quieter voice, but I admit sometimes I mess up!
We all mess up, that’s for sure, but dogs are so forgiving, aren’t they? I am definitely at my worst if I haven’t had enough sleep, have a migraine, or just have too much going on. Thank goodness dogs are so understanding! Luke does at least bounce back from things quickly, and I’m so grateful for that.
Jodi Stone says
Can I relate to this post! My frustration usually comes out at dinner time. For some reason, I’m always prepping the dog’s food, and our food at the same time. It all comes together, and I’m trying to do everything!
Delilah also becomes upset when voices are raised. Often times Hubby and I are having a heated discussion (not necessarily angry with each other, just a situation) and her little tail gets tucked down, and she’s shoving herself between my legs. Of course I reassure her that it’s okay, and we’re not mad, but it does help tone things down.
I’ve been taking CBD Oil (a hemp complex) for quite a while now, and I think it helps.
Thank you for the affirmation on the CBD oil. I definitely think it is worth a try. I tend to get wound up on certain subjects (politics, maybe?), and Luke can get upset when I raise my voice on that too. So I have to remember to tone it down, and sometimes I will just call Luke to me and hug him so he knows it’s OK.
Going out to play or taking a walk with us always reduces mom’s stress level. Cuddling helps too. Sometimes just talking to us about what is bugging her is a big help. Everyone has their faults. The important thing is to recognize them and try to work on them.
Thank you. I like what your Mom does, and I have started to do something similar. If Luke is close by, I will give him a hug, and then just talk about whatever is bothering me. It really helps me to calm down a lot, and put things in perspective.
Ellen Pilch says
I definitely think our pets bring out the best in us.
Sounds like several of your readers, myself included, have a similar temperament. I’ve never been one to throw things, but oh can I swear. Not something to be proud of, and I never unleash my 4-letter vocabulary in public, but it can be cathartic. As I get older, I seem to have more patience with things, and less patience with stupid people.
It is so good to know that I am not alone in feeling this way! I imagine my patience with people will run out in time as well. 🙂
Melissa Clinton says
When I get angry, I lay on the floor with the boys until I calm down. Snuggling, rubbing their bellies and getting kisses always soothes my nerves…even if I’m on my last one! LOL!
That is THE best way to deal with stress!!
All Things Collie says
When I lose my temper, my Ryder reacts as well. He is very sensitive and raised voices starts him trembling. But he doesn’t run and hide, he tries to smooth me. This partly what makes him a good Therapy Dog. But I try not to lose my temper near my dogs, because like you, I don’t want to cause him stress.
I love that Ryder tries to help you. Luke does do that when I cry….and it is so comforting!
Monika & Sam 🐾 says
Oh Janet, I’d swear you’ve been peeking through my windows with your description of the kinds of things that push my buttons. Thank goodness we both have critters who depend on us being our best to help them be their best. I hope you are able to obtain some stress relief with the use of CBD oil.
Thank you so much for your help with all that. It is so good to know that I’m not alone too!
Crystal Stewart says
Before I had cats I had dogs. Both dogs and cats make you a better person. When I was working, A cleaning person mentioned how dumb animals were. I in tern told him in a very loud voice that animals weren’t dumb but very smart and even smarter than some people. End of conversation. This is a wonderful post. I agree when you say dogs and cats do make you a better person. Luke makes you a better person and my past pets and my current pet cat Daisy Mae makes me a better person.
Good job putting that cleaning person in their place!! Thank you so much….I think all of our animals in our lives leave their special mark, and we’re never quite the same afterwards – in such a good way.
Mary Hone says
Dogs can certainly make us more aware of our own short comings. CBD is great for stress, and migraines. I hope you find some relief with it.
Oh, thank you so much for saying that! I’m trying not to have high hopes, because I have tried so many things that have failed.
Shadow's & Ducky's Mom says
Woman, you and I are kindred spirits! I fully understand where you’re coming from. My own short fuse ignites – most times – when the news is on the tv. And I feel awful, too, when Shadow and Ducky run for cover. Now, since hubby’s dementia diagnosis, I’m trying to lengthen that fuse.
Sometimes I get frustrated that I’m working hard to deal with things, and life keeps throwing more garbage at me – and I’m sure you know exactly what I mean! I know your hubby’s diagnosis makes things so much more challenging and difficult. 🙁
I totally agree… I often laugh or think something special about things what led to a nuclear meltdown before I lived with dog(s)… and I’m a person now who looks that nothing lays around on the floor , even my mother is surprised that a dog teached me more about clearing up than all her educational measures LOL
Oh yes, dogs definitely make us better housekeepers too!! We have learned that pretty much nothing can be left out on kitchen counters! 🙂
Brian Frum says
It sure is wonderful that Luke inspires you to do your best, but of course he does!