Owning a pet brings immense joy, love, companionship, and fur into our lives. However, alongside the pleasures of being a pet parent, there often comes an unwelcome guest - guilt. Pet parent guilt is a common emotional experience that arises from the fear of not meeting our furry companions' needs to the fullest extent. Even veterinarians are not immune - I experienced it myself when I had to euthanize my dog, Alma, in 2021 after a valiant battle with cancer. It was gut-wrenching.
In this blog post, we will explore the various aspects of pet parent guilt and provide strategies to cope with this challenging inner experience.
Understanding Pet Parent Guilt
Pet ownership guilt can manifest from many different situations, such as feeling inadequate in providing proper care, feeling like you are neglecting pets' well-being, or not spending enough quality time with them. Separation anxiety guilt may arise when leaving our pets alone for extended periods, leading to worry and doubt about their emotional state. Guilt related to a pet's health may emerge when we feel responsible for their ailments, believe we could have done more to prevent them, couldn't do more because of financial limitations, or feel like you chose euthanasia either too early or too late. Additionally, guilt may weigh heavily when we perceive our pets' behavior as problematic because they are bored and lacking exercise opportunities and mental stimulation.
Calling all wild women!
Hello fellow readers and happy April! Spring is either around the corner or already showing up for many of you, and it's time to get back in touch with nature and our true selves. That is why I picked Women Who Run with Wolves for this month's challenge.
While I definitely recommend this book for all female types, it is also a great read for male people because this book can help you understand the feminine and believe it or not, you have aspects of the divine feminine within you as well. I know. Hard to believe...but anyway - I still recommend that you read this book because it is life changing.
I first stumbled across this book about 5 years ago, and have listened to it twice on audiobook already. This is my first time actually reading it and I'm so excited to see what new things I glean!
If you are reading it for the first time, treat yourself to the audiobook. Dr. Estes is a cantadora - a female latin storyteller. Part of the reason I loved it so much on audiobook is because she does the reading and she is a master at storytelling.
This book explores the divine feminine archetype and the wildness that we all have inside ourselves (because we are, in fact, part of nature even though we like to separate ourselves). She talks about the powerful forces we have inside, such as instinct, intuition, creativity, and love. In this book, she explores the wild woman and helps us come into contact with this ageless powerful part of our psyche. I admit - I straight up cried through some of the stories. I hope this book resonates with you and I would love to hear about how it impacts you in the comment section.
If you need a reading schedule or want to follow along with the schedule I am using, here you go:
April 1 Introduction Singing over the Bones
April 2 Chapter 1 The Howl
April 3 Chapter 2 Bluebeard
April 4 Chapter 3 Vasalisa the Wise Tasks 1-4
April 5 Chapter 3 Vasalisa the Wise Tasks 5-9
April 6 Chapter 4 Hymn for the Wild Man
April 7 Chapter 5 Skeleton Woman
April 8 Chapter 5 Skeleton Woman
April 9 Chapter 6 The Ugly Duckling
April 10 Chapter 6 The Mistaken Zygote
April 11 Chapter 7 Joyous Body
April 12 Chapter 8 The Feral Woman
April 13 Chapter 8 The Feral Woman
April 14 Chapter 9 Returning to Oneself
April 15 Chapter 9 Returning to Oneself
April 16 Chapter 10 Clear Water
April 17 Chapter 10 Clear Water
April 18 Chapter 11 Retrieving a Sacred Sexuality
April 19 Chapter 12 Marking Territory
April 20 Chapter 13 Battle Scars
April 21 Chapter 14 Initiation in the Underground Forest
April 22 Chapter 14 Initiation in the Underground Forest
April 23 Chapter 15 Shadowing
April 24 Chapter 16 Wolf's Eyelash and Afterword
And as usual, I invite you to join me for a facebook live on the last Tuesday of the month at 5 p.m. (April 25th) MST/7 p.m. EST where I discuss the book. Bring your favorite bevvie of choice! To find facebook live (I call it DRSW Afterhours) https://www.facebook.com/events/589769789726646 I hope to see you there!
If you need the book, I also included an amazon link where you can order it, and if you would like to see my entire reading challenge, go to this page. Alternatively, you can check out the other reading challenge posts on my blog orreading challenge page.
You probably know that I believe that healthier, happier, more emotionally intelligent humans make for healthier, happier pets. This is why I started a monthly reading challenge - so we can also improve ourselves together! When you create a better you, everybody around you (including your pets!) benefit as well.
If you missed my January and February reading challenges, well - you can still get caught up, especially since this month is a much easier read.
March's book is Mindful Moments. I chose this book for a couple of reasons:
A couple of tips for reading challenge success:
1. Try to read at the same place and time every day to build consistency and good habits.
3. Try keeping a journal about your thoughts as you work through this book.
4. Get your book for next month - Women Who Run with Wolves
5. If you got behind on the reading challenge for January or February, this is an excellent time to catch up!
5. Join me for a Facebook Live on March 28th at 5 p.m. MST/4 p.m. PST/7 p.m. EST as I discuss this book during DRSW after hours - I will drink wine, you can have your bevvie of choice, we will chat, and have a great time. Be sure to mark that you are attending, and I will see you there! :-)
Happy reading, and stay mindful!
Need the books?
I believe that healthier, happier, more emotionally intelligent humans make for healthier, happier pets, which is why I started this monthly reading challenge! When you create a better you, everybody around you (including your pets!) benefit as well!
This month's book is Mindset: the new Psychology of Success. I chose this book because, I've read it before many times, and it has greatly impacted the way I think in all aspects of my life in positive ways. I used to have a really tough time with failure...really tough. I felt like it defined me, damaged me, and every time I failed it was the end of the world.
This book helped me reframe all that, so I want to read it again with you! Consider this book your love note to yourself during February, the month of love.
Here is the reading schedule I will be utilizing:
2/1: Chapter 1
2/2: Chapter 2 Grow Your Mindset**
2/3-2/5: Chapter 2
2/6: Chapter 2 Grow Your Mindset**
2/7-2/9: Chapter 3
2/10: Chapter 3 Grow Your Mindset**
2/11-2/12: Chapter 4
2/13: Chapter 4 Grow Your Mindset**
2/14-2/16: Chapter 5
2/17: Chapter 5 Grow Your Mindset**
2/18-2/19: Chapter 6
2/20: Chapter 6 Grow Your Mindset**
2/21-2/23: Chapter 7
2/24: Chapter 7 Grow Your Mindset**
2/25-2/27: Chapter 8
2/28: Chapter 8 Grow Your Mindset**
The chapters in this book are longer, so I gave us several days to get through them. The 'Grow Your Mindset' days are for the sections at the end of each chapter where the author gives us several exercises to work through to...you guessed it...grow our mindsets.
A couple of tips for reading challenge success:
1. Download the PDF calendar, print it out, and post it somewhere you will look at it every day. Check off each day as you complete the reading or exercises for that day.
2. Try to read at the same place and time every day to build consistency and good habits (remember our book from last month!)
3. A journal is helping for the grow your mindset exercises.
4. Keep notes on what stands out to you - I would love to hear about it!
5. Get your book for next month - Mindful Moments, by Deepak Chopra!
January is a perfect time to start new habits that support your overall wellbeing. The book I have chosen for this month to help us become the greatest version of ourselves is Atomic Habits, by James Clear.
The reason I chose this book is because Clear uses tiny changes to easily create remarkable results (and that is the book's subtitle). I like tiny changes, and I like easy, and I've noticed a couple of bad habits that I would like to change (like scrolling for an hour on reels instead of building my business, my health, or my relationships).
As I go through the book, I will be posting my thoughts, a-ha moments, things that I am doing because of the book, etc. all on facebook - so please follow my progress there to see what I am learning and doing differently.
If you want to grow yourself and do this book challenge with me (yeah let's do it!), then get the book (I have an amazon link below) and follow along on this schedule:
January 12th: Introduction
January 13th: Section 1 and 2
January 14th: Section 3
January 15th: Section 4 and 5
January 16th: Section 6 and 7
January 17th: Section 8
January 18th: Section 9
January 19th: Section 10
January 20th: Section 11 and 12
January 21st: Section 13 and 14
January 22nd: Section 15
January 23rd: Section 16 and 17
January 24th: Section 18 and 19
January 25th: Section 20
January 26th: Conclusion
January 27th: Review any parts that you want to read again
January 28th: Rest!
January 29th: Rest!
January 30th: Make a plan to implement one thing from the book, and share with me on facebook what you chose to do.
January 31st: Start your new plan!
New habits take practice and accountability - let's be accountable to each other!
And if you want a look ahead to February's book - we will be reading Mindset: the New Psychology of Success together. Please join me!
Dr. Sarah Wooten is a well known international influencer in the veterinary and animal health care spaces. She has 16 years experience in private practice and over 10 years experience in veterinary media work, and is a certified veterinary journalist.