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Five-Letter Words

Five-Letter Words

Five-Letter Words

I started Mabel’s home-alone training again a few weeks ago. I felt she was ready. We spent December making her room at home special while also allowing my sweet dog to adjust to Sasha’s lovely home for daycare instead of the large, rough, and rowdy play-all-day facility and keeping up with life in a busy month.

I wanted to give Mabel time to settle back in after I returned from vacation in mid-January and continue building happy, outstanding associations with her room. Mabel rocked our first session. She licked treats from her mat, climbed onto the bed, and stretched out. I was so proud of her. We practiced again a few days later, and Mabel waltzed right into her room, calmly ate her treats, relaxed, and then walked out with me when I opened the gate like she was chill, and the second super-short session was super easy for her.

Then, when I dropped her off at Sasha’s, Mabel showed stress and calming signals. Of course, Sasha texted me a photo of Mabel sound asleep at her feet minutes later because Mabel loves Sasha and her family, and the enrichment and care she gets there is unparalleled. Still, as I went through my day, conducting final pH testing, dropping donations off to our local shelter, and all the other things that come with running a dog treat business, I had to remind myself (again) that worry isn’t love.

I’ve halted Mabel’s home-alone training, and she’s increasingly getting back to her wiggly, I-can’t-wait-to-see-Sasha self with every drop-off. However, while driving, I started thinking and planning what more to do in the mornings when I needed to leave Mabel. As I plotted ways to create the most positive departure experience for my spunky but sensitive girl, I felt the worry creep in again.

Then I looked to my right (I was at a stop light), front legs draped over my console, back legs hanging in the floorboard, butt resting on the seat (she’s tethered, it’s not ideal, but training her not to panic thrash in the crash-tested harness is on the list) was Mabel, looking ahead, dopey, seeming without a care in the world like she was my literal co-pilot. So, I thought, “Enjoy your dog, Brandi, enjoy this moment, enjoy this day.”

Here are some of my favorite five-letter words, in case you, too, need reminding that enjoy is way better than worry:

Gavin
Mabel
Heart
Loved
Peace
Trust
Faith
Truth
Bloom
Dream
Magic
Laugh
Smile
Grace

May your heart be filled with peace, may you dream of magic, may you trust that you deserve to be loved, and may your faith in yourself give you grace as many moments a day as possible.

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