In my 32 years on this planet, I have learned that life is like surfing.

Sometimes you catch the wave and have a joyous voyage through the folding water.

Other times, the ocean can knock you off balance, wrap you up in its strength and send you crawling to the shore.

This month has been more like a wipeout for my pack.

There was the immeasurable loss of my grandmother which was followed by Toby getting a nasty bladder infection, me taking a horrible spill while out hiking resulting in painful bone bruises and Bella getting a GI bug which resulted in her rapidly losing 4 pounds which she didn’t need to drop.

Despite the chaos, I am happy to say that we are all mending even though the pain is still palpable.

It dawned on me the other day that things would have been more unbearable if I didn’t have the help of those who assist me in being the best dog mom possible.

For starters, a compassionate and thorough team of vets who may think I am crazy but nonetheless take my concerns about my dog’s well being very seriously.

Then my dog walker who dependably has been here when I couldn’t physically walk the pack.

On top of these professionals, are the fellow dog lover friends that I have made in my Dog Hiking Group. We’re not with each other everyday or even every week but I love the fact that they “get us” when we all hit the trails together.

Of course, my close family and friends who welcome us into their homes and are there for me if I am ever in a jam.

Last but not definitely not least, are all of you and the online dog lovers.

Words cannot describe how writing this blog and connecting with all of you has changed my life and my dogs’ lives for the better.

Without everyone, it would be very difficult if not impossible to be a dog mom.

Before becoming a dog mom, I was too reliant on myself. I never wanted to bother anyone or owe anyone anything. So I paid almost always paid my way (even on dates) and quickly reciprocated if someone did something nice for me. The idea of having someone else help me filled my body with anxiety.

Now, I become worried if I don’t have enough support.

I cherish and am grateful for  my “dog mom village” because without it I would be the village idiot.

Are you still building your village? Maybe you want to relocate to another village? This place can help and is made just for dog parents: http://www.pawstotalk.com/newcommunity

-Margot