Within days of bringing our puppy home we had our first visit with Julie, a knowledgeable dog trainer in Charlotte. Her guidance proved to be invaluable, especially during those formative first months. Julie shared many helpful tips with us, among the most important: not making a big deal about leaving the house and coming back to it.. no squealing, no big hugs and kisses, just a calm, quiet, seamless exit and entrance..
The point of it all was to curb (if not eliminate) separation anxiety and the whining, barking and nervous chewing that goes along with it..and guess what, it worked! Our dog has no issues being left alone and barely gets up from her nap to say ” Yo ” when we return.
None of this was easy or intuitive for me or my husband, especially in the beginning. Every time we walked in the door we’d have to verbally remind each other “Don’t make it a big deal.. don’t make it a big deal..”
Eventually, “not making it a big deal” became a habit..kinda like not making a big deal in other areas became a habit too after 37 years of marriage.. our birthdays, New Years, Valentine’s Day.. we just mutually agreed somewhere along the line that we wouldn’t make a big deal out of those days because.. I dunno, it was just easier?
Until this year.
I don’t know what finally got to me.. Was it being told we couldn’t have Thanksgiving or that we shouldn’t celebrate Christmas? Or maybe the final straw was the stern lecture on how best to watch the Super Bowl. Whatever it was, I decided I was going to start making a big deal out of more of these moments because..I dunno, I just want to..darn it.
So this Valentine’s Day my husband and I are each in charge of making a different (surprise) part of our dinner. We will have our monthly, blind wine tasting that evening as well (this month: Cabernet) AND we agreed to buy each other a gift.
I haven’t shared this part with him yet, (Hi honey! 😬) but I’m also going to set up two canvases and we will both have 30 minutes, (during wine and appetizers) to paint nudes of each other.. 😳🤣!!!
My friend suggested following that up with a marshmallow & canvas roasting bonfire.. 😂😂
What a great idea!
So yeah, I’m looking forward to making a big deal out of Valentine’s Day and God willing, all of the celebrations to follow because.. I dunno.. life is short… so let’s make it a “big deal.”