I went to Israel with my father for a week just before Thanksgiving to see my brother before his IDF draft date. When I got back, I checked my days in my company’s payroll system and saw I used 18 days this year and had 17 left to use. 17 days???? There weren’t even 17 workdays left in the year!!! What was I going to do? 5 days roll over, which leaves me with 12. My company doesn’t pay you for days you don’t use. I decided to use 1 and lose the remaining 11. Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas, I was fortunate to be able to take the day of Christmas Eve off and have a 4-day weekend. Finn and I headed to my family’s beach house.
We packed up the backseat of my car (my trunk is stuffed with firewood) with a carry-on suitcase filled with clothes for me (I’m an over-packer); 2 large Lululemon bags with food; a large Lululemon bag with Finn’s food, toys, and treats; Finn’s bed; a cooler bag with frozen food and food that needed to stay cold; a bag of shoes (aka a pair of slippers, a pair of riding boots, a pair of pumps, and a pair of ballet flats); and my Hunter galoshes.
Upon arrival at the house, we turned the heat on, unpacked, put the food away, put on pjs, made a bowl of popcorn, and turned on some Hallmark Christmas movies. We were going to relax and recharge in front of the windows overlooking the ocean during a weekend without any “I-have-tos”, a weekend with zero obligations.
We went to bed early on Thursday night and gratefully slept in Friday morning. It was quite warm but very foggy when Finn and I went on our first walk.
We decided to walk to the beach since the weather was so warm.
While Finn napped after our excursion, I made breakfast and took a shower. We went to the Southampton Dog Park in the afternoon, walked around Southampton, and met friends on another beach. We got home just before it started to pour and spent the night watching more Lifetime and Hallmark Christmas movies while I wrote.
When we returned to the house after our day out, Finn promptly laid down in her bed (she’s not allowed on the white couch). She gave me puppy eyes for a moment before falling asleep.
During the car ride back to the house, she sat the whole way (she never sits in the car) in the front passenger seat and rested her head on the back of the seat. Her eyes could barely stay open. I wondered out loud, “Am I pushing Finn to much?” Two trips to the beach, the dog park, a 30-minute walk around town, and about an hours’ worth of driving. Was I asking Finn to do too much? Does the answer to the question lie in the asking of the question itself? Meaning, am I asking the question because I know the answer is yes?
We spent Saturday just lounging around the house since it was much colder and windier. Finn spent the day sleeping in her bed while I worked on writing more posts with the TV on in the background. Finn and I went for quick walks up and down the block every time she woke up. Compared to the weather on Friday, it was too cold to stay outside.
We left about noon on Sunday to attend a family brunch at my parents’ house. Finn went from an hour in the car to my parents’ backyard and a brunch with almost 20 people, some familiar and some not-so-familiar. We finally got back to our house about 8:30 in the evening.
Again I find myself wondering if I push Finn to do too much. Is it not fair to her to take her to all of these places with me? Or is it the opposite? Does she enjoy getting to spend all of this time with me and to be so active? She’s home alone all day when I’m at work until I come home to walk her and feed her before I’m out the door again for the gym. Perhaps I’m over-compensating for my guilty conscience, for what I feel is leaving Finn on her own when she wants to be with me. Or maybe I’m just reading too much into all of this?
I sometimes take Finn to work and plan to on New Year’s Eve Day, since it will be a short day. Whether at work or an excursion to my parents’ place, after a few hours she’ll give me those eyes. You know the ones. The ones that say, “Mommy, I’m ready to go now.” And then I’ll push her by staying another hour.
So, dear Fitters, I leave you with this. Is there such a thing as pushing your dog too hard or am I just a stereotypical Jewish mom with a guilty conscience? Or maybe pushing Finn is just an extension of how I push myself (see: exhibit A)? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Until next time…