Above, I introduce you to Pot Roast, my new English Bull Terrier puppy, taken at 5 weeks (he’s now 11 weeks old). He is both adorable, annoying and crazy, all at the same time. And don’t get my wrong, ladies and gents, I love the little guy to bits, but it’s been a bit of a challenge and anyone who has dealt with a puppy knows what I’m talking about. They can drive you to madness, tears, frustration and joy all in five minutes.When they come flailing at you, baring their knife-like puppy teeth, there’s nothing quite as sad as losing another pair of LuLulemon pants to Pot Roast’s teething madness.
So, over the last two weeks, life has been a little hectic. I started my masters degree in creative writing at UBC, Pot Roast came into my life full of tails and naughtiness, I’m still trying to build my freelance career and to top it all off, I’m having Graves disease symptoms all over again, which means my brain is in such a fog that I can’t concentrate, form sentences or think clearly. Even this blog post, which would normally take me thirty minutes to write, has taken almost an hour and a half, simply because half of my sentences haven’t made sense so I’ve required tons of revision. All of these signs point to potential for the disease rearing its ugly head yet again. And as a writer, not being able to write properly is by far the most maddening symptom, far outweighing all of the physical ones. The body can fail me, but I can’t afford for my brain to not be working at top notch level. So to say the very least, both the puppy and the Graves drive me to frequent tears.
To top of all off, at only nine weeks old, Pot Roast was bitten by his litter mate. It got infected and he almost died after his bloodstream nearly went toxic. Terrifying and admittedly, expensive. He needs constant attention right now, while he heals, and so I’m not sleeping much. In general, I’m a ball of anxiety and stress. Not good.
Of course, the solution to my current stress level is to get down on the floor with my mat and do some yoga. Two guesses how well that went down. I was quickly smothered with puppy love, obviously figuring that my attempt to get down on his level meant we were about to have some serious fun. Downward dog resulted in my hair becoming Pot Roast’s own personal tug of war rope. A warrior pose had him trying to crawl up my leg and cuddle up on my thigh. Hmm. It wasn’t working out well. I sat on the floor and cried. Not even yoga could save me. It sounds way overly dramatic but for some reason, it was the moment I emotionally lost it (the Graves does make me prone to emotional swings and feelings of not being able to handle stress well). If I couldn’t have yoga, what could calm me?
Finding balance in life isn’t easy. We will always be confronted will high levels of stress, change, transition. How we choose to cope with these moments will eventually define the way we cope with stress in general and when I stepped back, I recognized that I was headed towards a bit of a meltdown if I didn’t claim some little parts of my day for me. I need to change my ways.
Today, Pot Roast was pushing my limits, as inevitably, puppies will. I gathered his toys, plopped both dog and toys in the large pen area I have for him, and then flicked on a yoga DVD. I did the whole thing, start to finish, even though the first couple of minutes of instruction were slightly drowned out by heartbreaking puppy cries. I finished my practice feeling so much more relaxed, in control and calm. When I went into the kitchen area, Pot Roast was happily munching on a chew toy, wagged his tail at me and we went outside to play. Both of us were better for that time out to look after ourselves.
Sorry for treating this post like my own personal therapy session, ladies and gents. But life is feeling a little hectic. Eventually, I will find my way, with the help of my yoga practice, some deep breaths and above all, a good crate to occasionally contain the little monster!