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When it comes to my dog, I listen to my gut

Do you have a guide for taking care of your dog? My gut is my compass. Women are known for their intuition, and my intuition and internal compass steered me away from many choices that were based on old fears. I wanted to have a happy, healthy dog. Over the months and years together, I've learned many lessons but that the key to a good life is relying on my gut.

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Gut check. When has my gut pointed me in the right direction? Let me see, right off the top I can think of five times my gut led me in the right direction:
  • Though we hadn't bought a collar or leash yet, eight years ago my gut said to adopt a big dog that rainy night.
  • My gut was the one that told me to put away my cell phone and focus on the walk with my dog. @GrouchyPuppy Compass
  • Out of the blue, my dog dropped her favorite plush squeaky toy like it was on fire. My gut said check her mouth even though we didn't see any blood. I discovered she'd broken a tooth at the park earlier that day.
  • Observing changes in my dog's behavior, my gut got us into the vet for a glucose test, and what turned out to be an early confirmation of diabetes.
  • My gut was the one that alerted me to realizing that her crashing around the living room wasn't from our normal playtime excitement. This was the start of my dog's disorientation and bumping into furniture due to increasing vision loss.

A Good Life

I'm so glad that I have had the chance to experience this life with Cleo and now to be a guardian of an older dog. Today with her being elderly, my gut is telling me to pay attention to Cleo's quality of life because there are parallels with my own aging parents. 

So besides having a veterinarian you trust I believe the key to having a good life with your dog is paying attention to your own internal compass. Let it guide you. Nurture the confidence you have in your gut through your experiences with your dog. Trust your intuition. I've learned to have faith in the accuracy of my internal compass, and today I know it points true north because it is aligned not with fear or myths, but with my love for Cleo.

How about you? Do you have a trusted internal compass guiding decisions about your dog? Do you already do regular gut checks when it comes to your dog's quality of life issues? What would you say is the key to a happy life with your dog? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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