I used to feel bad when I saw my friends on social media going out and having fun. There they were, looking gorgeous, having some drinks, enjoying dinner. Why did I feel bad? It wasn’t because I hadn’t received an invitation. But as the years went by, I found myself turning down more and more invitations to go out in the real world. You know, to restaurants, shopping malls or theme park days. I was feeling bad because of one thing. I felt guilty for enjoying my dogs’ company over people.
But was I telling my friends the real reasons behind my lack of socialization? No. I found myself making excuses like I was tired, I had to work, or I was sick. Because telling the truth that I wanted to stay home with my dogs because I loved them more than anything in the world sounded crazy.
I have always found it difficult to interact with people. I had a hard time in school, often sitting by myself at lunchtime. I read a lot of books instead of socializing. I was an introvert, I was a little different. But why, I wondered, was I criticizing my personality? Why had I always criticized my personality? This was just not working for me. And it wasn’t working for anyone else. What I did not realize was that by making excuses, I was in fact hurting others. And this just wasn’t very nice. It was not nice to those who wanted to be with me, and it wasn’t fair to…me. Don’t we all have a right to be happy in the way that we want to be happy? So if I wanted to stay home with my dogs on the weekend, make pizza and cuddle on the couch, how was that wrong? After years of trying to mold myself into what others wanted me to be, yet I wasn’t, I have given up. I have to be me.
If I truly value my dogs as individuals, why would I even use them as an excuse? They are not an excuse, they are my friends too. The plain truth of the matter is that most of the time, I do prefer their company over people. They don’t require a dress code to come to their pawty. They don’t want to know how my work is going, or how much I make. They only love me for me. Who else does that?
Lately, I have realized that being my true, authentic self is much easier than trying to please everyone, and that it is way easier than making excuses. I also feel that it is a more loving and considerate way of interacting with my friends and others around me. It is not that I never want to be with my friends, but my true friends will be there when I do. And more than likely, they will invite my dogs to come along.
I may not sound rational to those without pets. I may not sound rational to most with pets. But the beauty of getting just a little older is that you no longer care so much. The beauty is that you understand that if you are happy, others around you are happier too. It is up to each one of us to stop making excuses…and start living. And for my dogs who have a shorter time here than I do, my time will be spent with them. Because I want to.
-Rachael Johnson, Girl Person, 2 Traveling Dogs
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10 thoughts on “Why I Am Not Using My Dog As An Excuse”
Rachel I sure do understand exactly what you’re saying. While I don’t have a dog now I prefer to be alone or with a select few. I’ve been through too much to put up with drama and who doesn’t like who! I spent my time home with my dogs and my husband. Now they are all gone. I will get another dog, I’m limited to only a poodle or poodle mix but I will get another one soon. It won’t take the place of the ones I lost but I know it will make its own place in my heart. I was like you as a younger person, I preferred books over most people. The friends I have a few but true and I love them dearly. So you don’t have to make excuses, we all love you the way you are. I think lots of us can relate to you. I too have been in the corporate world, I’ll take this any day. Maybe not as much money but I don’t have to be anyone but myself. Bless you for who you are and what you do. Hugs and love
I can very much relate to this. It helps to have a lot of dog lover friends 🐶🐕🐾
Same goes for me Girl Person! My Dogs love me for me. Very few Ppl can compete with the comfort of their silent understanding. Always ready for a snack, walk, or nap! Thank you for sharing. We bought a Camper last year so we could take our Dogs with us!
Again, yes yes yes Rachael! hear everything you are saying and feel like you got it right!! Don’t apologize for being you! I can’t wait, every evening, to crawl into my zone with my 7 and my guy and spend the time with them!!
How did you meet boy Person?
How did you meet boy person?
Well said, me lady!! It is the truth, and I love this story!!!! Enjoy your weekend!!! <3
I admire you so much for what you are doing, especially since you seem to be such a private, introverted person. You are very courageous and your dogs are lucky to have you as their girl person.
Yes, Yes, and YES, Rachel💕
As I sit with my coffee, my sketch pad and a book, my beloved doggie stretched out beside me as the sun comes up…what on earth could be more pleasant?
I, too, over the past 5 years have opted out of going most places that my Sonny cannot also go; have now given up many overnight trips to lovely places, eating inside restaurants, going in the few, dog-unfriendly stores if I cannot take him with me. When asked again recently if I didn’t have someone else to take him so I could join the family at their cottage, I had to say no. I don’t WANT to leave him with someone else, for so many reasons—but, the main reason is, as you’ve also concluded, I would not be happy if he was not with me…I would miss his furry, happy, energetic, warm, loving self…and therefore, by choice, I cannot leave him behind.
Hi Rachael……..I have been following your blog for quite sometime and have enjoyed the good times and not so positive times with you from afar (Australia)….your blog today has resonated with me and thought I would respond…….it is great you have gained the confidence to be truly who you are….it seems this has been a challenge for many of us however as you stated as one becomes older one is less concerned about others opinions and ‘we’ learn to appreciate what we have…..I concur with you……our real friends will accept who we are without sitting in judgement…..the reality is we can only be our authentic self otherwise you continue to struggle to meet other’s expectations….in ending……similar to you, my dog (Australian Cattle Dog/Koolie) is my best mate who gives me so much pleasure ….I look forward to your next entry….. wishing you all safe travelling
Lynne & Jess 🐾🐾