Rusty's first walk.
His first walk outside at least, he has been going crazy indoors.
I am growing a lockdown beard... It makes me look so old!
Biography of a nobody day 42. February 11th 2021.
I am getting lots of advice from the lovely people on the r/Blogging group on Reddit about how to improve my posts- one was that I should endeavour to ramble less and talk more about what is in my title... or title better. The main thing that happened today was the walk with Rusty- so hopefully this post is more on point!
I am not going to lie, I thought this walk was going to be me with Rusty on my lonesome as Bee has been so ill- but when I suggested she stay at home she said 'Would you have missed Alex's first steps?'... How could I argue with that logic?
Walking a puppy...
It had barely finished my breakfast before Bee decided it was time to take our pup out on his first official walk. Bee had packed us a bag- it contained dog treats, a dog watering bowl, poo bags, dog toys... how long are we going for? I had read that as puppies are growing it isn't too good for their joints to let them walk outside for too long (Around 10 minutes) and then increase this over time. We wrapped up in coats, hats and gloves, fitted Rusty's harness, grabbed our coffee thermos and then set off down the road.
There is a really nice footpath/bridleway not too far from where we live so we can walk and social distance from strangers doing the same... that was our intention anyway. Strangers had to fight the urge to try and stroke Rusty as he lurched towards everyone we passed excitedly. He is a VERY cute puppy so I completely understand... but there is a pandemic going on. People were polite and we managed to stay safe and Rusty actually walked on his lead really well- he soon got to understand the distance he could comfortably wander without feeling tugged.
He looks almost fat in these pictures but his fur is so dense that the wind makes him look twice the size!
We intermittently walked him, carried him and ran with him. Well, I did the running, Bee paced herself behind us whilst feeling pretty ill still but loving watching Rusty has so much fun. All the new scents and sounds must have been overloading for him. He never shied away- the only thing that he didn't like was cars- but we weren't near roads for long so he soon relaxed.
The icicles in these tunnels were CRAZY- look at the picture above! They weren't even the biggest ones! Look at how well Rusty is walking too. Bee has been practising walking him in our drive to get him used to our lead- that likely has a big part to play.
We walked until we reached a nice turning point then came home. Bee was really starting to be affected by the cold and I had given her my gloves so I was starting to forget what fingers felt like. We carried Rusty most of the way home- He had easily gone past his 10 min walk limit we were supposed to keep so we figured that was wise.
Why we decided to get a dog...
Getting a puppy was a massive thing for me for a few reasons. When I am feeling low I really struggle to motivate myself to do anything. I have conquered this in the past by setting very strict routines that I stick to. Climbing twice a week, martial arts/boxing clubs, the gym 3 times a week, scheduled games nights with friends, etc etc. Since lockdown, I have lost my ability to do all of those things- so where I would previously self regulate (without realising that is what I was doing) by sticking to an active routine- now I just... vegetate. I sit and do nothing or sit and overthink things that should really be slipping off my shoulders.
Getting a puppy helped me personally for two reasons. It drags me out of the house as he NEEDS daily walks. I NEED him to have those walks or he is so full of energy he does my head in. So I am automatically for my own sake taking him for a walk. That gets me moving and out of my stupor. The other reason is distraction. That is also really important.
I don't want to distract myself from thinking about my problems- as that helps me heal- but I do want to get distracted from overthinking my problems.
When I have my daughter here- not only is she here so I am much happier anyway, but she prevents me from having the time to overthink- that keeps me up when I may have fallen down. Now on the alternate custody weeks where Alex is with her Mum, I have Rusty to do the same thing for me. People talk about puppy therapy- and I get that it doesn't work in this way- but my version helps me.
The other MAIN reason why we had a puppy was for Alex. Kids who grow up with a sibling or pets usually grow up to be more empathetic. Usually. I can see why that would be- they learn to share and help with things. When I was younger we always had family pets- probably too many- and I think it helped shape me into a more caring person. I have definitely seen my brother mellow more since he got a cat recently. I think just having something to care for that can't leave you, relies on you and offers unconditional love... well that is bound to make you a better person, isn't it?
Dicing the veg...
We got back from our walk and Bee decided we should cook some homemade pasta for dinner. Challenge accepted. I am not very good in the kitchen- I can follow a cookbook, I am an engineer, but I am not very culinarily creative. That is where Bee comes in. I then got asked to dice the veg...
I thought that was hilarious. Apparently, it was not a productive use of five minutes. I disagree.
The resulting meal, regardless of my humour, was delicious. Homemade pasta with avocado chicken. MMM. Avocados are not in our new budget but there were some with a discount, due to the sell-by date, when I went into the shop the other day. Also, when I say chicken, I MISS CHICKEN, I mean Quorn. Bee is a vegetarian though, that is her only fault. -obviously, I am joking- She has many. Joking again- She is amazing and being a vegetarian isn't a fault. To be fair I am finding living as a vegetarian isn't too bad- there are so many choices and options now. Plus, actually, some vegan options are actually nicer- Vegan mayo is DELICIOUS. I will never be able to fully commit to it- I am a farm boy born and raised- but I do understand it. It just makes takeaways and meals out so much more pleasurable for me. Hah. Meals out. I cannot wait for this pandemic to go away.
The Blogging Reddit...
My final note for today was that I again spent time on Reddit once Bee went to bed and this time I posted some of the things I had learnt as help to new bloggers- it proved a really popular post and someone asked if I would like to Colab with them! I am super excited and I will be answering questions about my mental health and how blogging has been helping me recover which will then be posted on their site! More on that tomorrow!