This is Shelby the Miniature Aussie Bulldog. Shelby came to us as an anxious puppy.
She is 3 years old, and has already undergone a knee surgery (TPLO) and it looks like she’ll need another one. She had a UTI that took a year to clear up with many rounds of antibiotics.
She has arthritis, allergies, extreme anxiety, sensitive skin, crooked teeth, a bent tail, and ATTITUDE. She’s on 4 different medications to manage some of her health conditions, has a physiotherapist, a behaviouralist, a homeopath, and a nutritionist (that would be me).
When Shelby goes out for a little wee break, she is terrified and she is triggered by loud noises, anything with wheels, small children, dogs that run towards her and get in her face, sirens, and ghosts. If any of these things are encountered during a walk outside, Shelby will try desperately to march us home to the safety of the couch you see in this photo.
With all of the issues that we’ve helped Shelby through over the last 3 years, we absolutely and steadfastly adore this dog with everything we’ve got and will do for the remainder of her life. We will always look after her and try to give her the most beautiful life we can, just like we’ve done with our other children =) .
Dog lovers (and parents) out there will know exactly what I’m talking about.
The other night when I was pressing my forehead against her forehead to try to communicate how much I love her, Shelby whispered to me … “mummy, how amazing would it be if you were able to turn that same love and care and acceptance you’ve got for me towards yourself, even when your body doesn’t do what you want it to and it’s not perfect.”
She’s a smart girl.
It’s not possible to create happiness or make healthy changes from a place of loathing and focus on faults – even though it looks like I’ve just focused on all of Shelby’s faults!
It’s only possible to create happiness and make healthy changes from a place of love and acceptance of yourself exactly as you are right now. These are the starting points that make all positive changes sustainable.
I’d love for you to be able to embrace this concept!