Lessons learned from caring for a blind dog
Adoptable Senior Dog of the Week: Louie

How dogs are like gardens, and why that's a good thing

Having an adopted dog and a garden for the first time has taught me a lot about myself. There has been a learning curve to their care, and I couldn't be more grateful that both show a fair amount of patience and forgiveness. Until today, I hadn't noticed the similarities between dogs and gardens.

image from www.grouchypuppy.com

I admit to not having a natural green thumb. In the Bay Area climate, this is the time when I prune my roses and other flowers while the temps are low. I’ve learned I can avoid massive aphids later if I nurture my flowers in the winter. By feeding my garden properly, once spring arrives and more sunshine, I get happier plants with extra green leaves. But I didn't know any of this just a few years ago.

How are dogs are like gardens? Since her adoption, Cleo has blossomed under our care.  And similar to my garden, this big dog needs regular trimming. Her paw fur grows like a weed! When Cleo's skin showed signs of stress, we dug around until we found the culprit wasn't aphids, like my roses, but a severe allergic reaction to several foods and local pollens. Year after year we've groomed and nurtured Cleo, growing her trust in us.

While I'm relieved to learn you don't need a natural green thumb to create a healthy garden, I'm over the moon that my adoption experience proves I'm capable of nurturing a big adult dog into a happy senior dog. Looking back over these years with Cleo, it has been interesting to discover this patterns, though I shouldn't be so surprised since I bought both Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats and The New Western Garden Book: The Ultimate Gardening Guide (Sunset Western Garden Book) early in the process. 

5 ways dogs are similar to gardens

  • Respond well to care-giving
  • Benefit from proper nutrition and supplements
  • Can recover from a little too much water
  • Needs regular trimming
  • Will blossom when nurtured, year after year

Spending time with my dog since her adoption, and working in my first garden, I've noticed these surprising patterns. Have you noticed the ways dogs, and the experience of having a dog is similar to something unexpected? Share in the comments!

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