Feeling everything deeply can be an amazing or terrible thing, depending entirely on what you’re feeling. There’s a lot of desire to temper and manage feelings, but that closes off a lot of the wonderful things you can experience in life. When we bring dog ownership into this web of feelings, we’re really looking at what it is to care for something, specifically something without the ability to speak for itself. With this comes a whole lot of complex and potentially trying emotional experiences, but also many filled with absolute joy.
The amazing side of feeling everything deeply is very much associated with that sense of joy and wonder. Feeling overwhelmingly proud of your dog when it learns something new is something that only truly happens when you are very open and in touch with your feelings. When you truly unlock all your emotions and sit with them, even just looking at your dog’s face as it sleeps can make you well up with absolute awe at the fact that this creature exists and is happy to be by your side. Helping a dog to feel safe enough to let its guard down and sleep with you is such a privilege. No wonder it’s making you feel deeply. There’s a lot of bliss to be found in allowing yourself to surrender to your positive emotions.
On the flip side, if you feel absolutely everything so deeply, that includes the negative elements of life with a dog. If your dog doesn’t do as it’s told, does it really say something about how your dog feels about you and your relationship? Perhaps, but more likely it just wanted to do something and went with that desire. When your dog misbehaves at the dog park in front of other owners, are they judging you? Are you a terrible dog owner? Probably not, and if they are, that’s not really your problem beyond the moment it happens. Try to work on your dog’s obedience and be proactive about behavior, but don’t take it to heart as a personal failing. Sometimes dogs just chew your favorite shoes. It’s not a personal attack.
Consider the dog when you’re feeling things. If you’re enjoying the intense positive emotions associated with dog ownership, that’s great. Your dog is likely right there with you. If that emotional intensity comes with regular weeping, consider trying to dial that back a bit. It probably stresses out your dog. In terms of stress, though, the bulk of it comes with your more negative emotions. The best thing you can do to raise a happy, well-adjusted dog is to praise good behavior and correct bad behavior without going overboard or inserting your own feelings unduly into the process.
Does this happen elsewhere in your life? If you’re taking everything personally, both the good and the bad, it might be a good idea to address this with a self-help book or a professional. As it pertains to dogs, just take a deep breath when things become too much and your emotions bubble to the surface to a substantial degree. Don’t totally dissect and remove your tender side, but try to keep things in perspective and be aware that any negativity you feel about your dog ownership isn’t relayed by your dog. As long as you’re trying your best, being gentle, and coming from a loving place, you don’t need to pay much heed to the bad feelings. Slowly they’ll start to fizzle away if you just take a deep breath and focus on the better things.