Learn To Love Your Pet

Last week I spent a lot of time thinking about my brother and the love he’s shared with his dogs. With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I’ve started to consider the same love and gratitude I have for my pups.

But I quickly realized that love is not the same. The journey I’ve shared with each of my dogs is unique and so too is the love.

With Eko, the love is that of “firsts.” I had family dogs growing up, but Eko was my first dog as an adult.
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We showered the little charmer with constant love and affection

And when we hit the road for a trip around the country, Eko was my constant companion.

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Over the course of that year, Eko and I both grew up

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Eko, my loyal guardian

When I first thought of getting a second dog, I imagined it as getting a second Eko. The math seemed simple, I would love the new dog exactly as I loved Eko and I’d have twice the love.

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At first it was easy. I simply showered my squishable pup with all the love I could

But the obvious quickly became…well, obvious.

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This little squirt isn’t Eko. She’s Penny!

I think it’s important to say there was a period where I did not feel attached to Penny like I was to Eko. I felt guilty at the time but I now see why the comparison was unfair. I had years of experience with Eko, but I barely knew my new puppy.

The love we share with our pets is not a guarantee. It’s the culmination of the effort and time we share with them. As I put in that effort and time with Penny my love and appreciation for her matured.

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The little stinker really grew on us both

These days, I’m just as head over heels for Penny as I am for Eko. Not because my dream of having two Ekos came true, but because it didn’t. I appreciate and love them both as individuals.

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Eko the Regal

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And Penny… The Karate Kid

This week I’m grateful for the reminder that love must be earned and learned anew each day. I’m also thankful for all the differences between Eko and Penny.

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Their contrasting personalities make life interesting and fun!

I don’t think the idea of “learning to love” is often discussed in regards to pets, so I’d be interested to hear from you guys.

Does anyone else have an experience where you needed more time/effort in order to bond with your pet?





It took a while for my Banjo pup to grow on me. I had lost my beloved old cat a few months earlier and was not eager to invite a puppy into my life. The early days were super tough, as Banjo cried a lot and had parasites to boot, requiring weeks of different medications. The feeling of bonding was slow to emerge, but as we took Banjo to puppy classes and I learned to be the human he needed, I started to really fall for the little guy. Now he is the doggie love of my life, and my husband and I joke about how Banjo converted me from a cat person to a dog person. The little cartoon hearts practically float out of my eyes whenever I look at my baby dog… just a sucker for that guy.

For sure. It was easy with Sally who we got as a pup…instant attachment. Tino was easy too because he was so sick and so needy when we first got him – the mom thing kicked in. Jack was a challenge because he was so out of control and ill-behaved, but his devotion to me, which was pretty immediate turned me around pretty quick. My challenge is Maggie. I love her to pieces, but her aloofness has made it difficult to feel really connected with her like I have with my other dogs. Slowly but surely, I see signs from her that the love is returned and she is absolutely happy to be here…just not sure if she cares if we are here with her all the time.

YES! I loved Oskar from the moment we met. It is a love that hasn’t lessened in the 6yrs he has been gone. Each of the other kids I love differently and in a different way. Abbe is the closest to Oskar, she brings a lot of the same feeling out in me. I love all these kids a ton, but Anne has been the hardest, she just doesn’t trust as much, want to give or take love as much, and it has been a long road to get her to understand how much I do love her.

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