My Dog Walking career Has Made Me Want to Be a Mom in the Future

My Dog Walking career Has Made Me Want to Be a Mom in the Future

Even though I was just dog walking; these dogs taught me so much.

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I've always loved animals, especially dogs, so when someone posted on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to take over her dog walking for the summer I jumped on the opportunity. I thought this would be an amazing experience for me. Not only would I get to see dogs everyday of the week, I'd also get a nice motivation to exercise. I didn't realize when I signed up to dog walk that they would teach me so much.

There's two dogs that I take care of; one is Olivia and the other is Jaxson. Olivia is a French Bulldog mixed with Boston Terrier and Jaxson is a Pitbull mix. I've only had small dog so when I first start walking Jaxson it was an experience to say the least. He would pull me through West Chester totally disregarding possible cars that could hit him or people trying to walk on the sidewalk. It took me probably two weeks to finally get the hang of walking a dog who's so strong.

By week three, I had gotten so much stronger that I had the confidence to walk him in the town I live by. I learned different ways to walk with him and to avoid possible triggers that could upset him since he didn't always like other dogs. I had to look up ways to walk strong dogs and get advice from people who saw Jaxson getting aggressive on how to fix his behavior.

In the short time I have been walking taking care of these dogs it has made me realize that they are a test run for future children. Have you ever seen a child throwing a fit in the middle of a restaurant or store; well Jaxson used to do that in the middle of town with so many people watching. I had to learn how to respond well to his "meltdowns" as I called it. Have you ever seen a kid argue with their parents or mess with them in public? I know it's hard to believe since a dog can't talk but I swear this dogs finds it funny to embarrass me in public. This made me learn how to respond to being embarrassed in public by something out of my control. This also showed me that people want to help when they see someone struggle and there are lots of resources on how to fix behaviors. I hope will be the same when I eventually am a mom if I am struggle with my future children.

Olivia has taught me a lot of things also. She has a medical condition that makes her blood sugar unstable. This causes her to lean or fall sometimes when she hasn't been fed recently. I learned how to control being upset when the animal I care for doesn't always have a good day because she would get more upset if I was sad. I learned messes happen; sometimes Olivia has accidents because she drinks more water than normal with her condition.

You can obviously tell the poor dog is upset by what happened and she didn't mean to do it on purpose. Which is exactly how kids act, they don't always mean to cause messes sometimes things just happen. Another thing I was taught by Olivia, was how to handle jealousy. I can't walk her when I walk Jaxson because of her state so she would get upset that she was left out. I had to learn to switch things up from what I first started out. I would give Olivia a lot of attention before walks and when I got back from walks; this helped her not be so upset with me.

Even though I was just dog walking; these dogs have taught me so much. Not only are they a constant smiling face when I see them to brighten my day. They have taught me not to be scared to be a mother in the future and that I can handle a lot more than I thought I could. This is why I would suggest dog walking to anyone if you can't have your own pets at the place you live.

Jaxson pouting because I couldn't walk him that day.

Caroline Domingue

Cover Image Credit:

Caroline Domingue

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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I'm Grateful My Dad Was My Coach, But I Wouldn't Want To Do It Again

It's not as great as it may sound.

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Soccer was always a huge part of my life. I started playing when I was 8-years old and I played on both the recreational and travel levels. Unfortunately, my sophomore year presented a scheduling conflict between soccer and theatre. So, at the end of my sophomore year, I made the decision to hang up my cleats and continue on with theatre.

In the almost 10 years on the field, however, I had quite the assortment of coaches. A coach who seemed like he couldn't be less thrilled to be in charge of a hoard of eight-year-olds, one who made us practice outside in the dead of winter and one who's pockets seemed to always be full of keys that would jingle all practice long.

But I've never had a coach quite as memorable as my dad.

Now, my dad has always been a big sports guy. He loves basketball, baseball, football and even golf, but he never really showed an interest in soccer, outside of watching me play. So when one of my old coaches was ejected from a game and it was either find a new coach in five minutes or forfeit, I was shocked to see Gary Hess volunteer. But he did, and from that moment on, my dad was my new coach. I had always wondered what it was like to have a parent as a coach. I had always imagined that it was a dream, you always had someone to practice with, you could help strategize for big games and you'd always be kind of a right-hand man on the field.

Boy was I wrong.

my dad was nothing if not a good coach. He had a good understanding of the game and he let us all try our hand at positions we were curious about but being his daughter presented some tricky situations. On more than one occasion, the short 15-minute ride from the soccer field back to our house after practice became a time for harsh critique and arguments that we often brought home to my mom... sorry mom.

That wasn't all though, I knew as an athlete that you were supposed to leave it all on the field. If your team won, soak it in and move on. If your team had a tough loss, be upset about it for a second and move on, but when your dad is your coach, it's a little harder to do.

After games I would get to hear all of his feedback, some good and some bad and even when his critiques weren't directed at me, they were directed at my teammates and friends and sometimes his harsh words and even his praise of other people was hard to hear. Of course, it didn't help that he stepped into the coaching job for a group of 14-year-olds who weren't always the easiest to deal with, me being probably the most difficult of all just because it's hard to separate your coach from your dad and your player from your daughter.

Despite our issues, we had a good time and as I got older and my dad got more comfortable with coaching and found his style, we were a much better team. We argued less, though every now and again we'd still but heads. I started to take direction more seriously and he started to understand how to communicate effectively with a group of young kids. We didn't ever have a superstar season but at the end of the day, we had a good time.

Good and bad, I wouldn't trade the years I spent playing soccer with my dad as the coach for anything. But if it came down to it again now I think I'd have to say thanks but no thanks. With that said though, he made me a better player and a better person so, thanks, dad.

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