Waggleview® with Sally Wallace Lynch, Writer and Nutritionist
A waggleview® reveals the incredible bond between the human and animal connection. These special interviews remind us to mindfully live in the moment, as our pets do every single day. Read our featured waggleview® with Sally Wallace Lynch, writer and nutritionist, to find out how her dogs inspire her.
The Dog Owner: Sally Wallace Lynch, Writer & Nutritionist
Dogs type and Name: Chappy, Golden Retriever. Luna, mix Wheaton Terrier/Black Lab
Q: Why did you choose these dogs? My daughter’s friend’s dad’s dog had pups last summer and we went to visit the litter. Chappy was the tiniest of the litter, and my heart melted right away. I knew even when he was 2 weeks old that he was our guy. Luna’s little face popped up on the computer on PetFinders way back in 2004. I just knew she’d be coming to live with us as our pup.
Q: Do you talk to your dogs? If so, what do you talk about? YES! A lot of the time, Ihave to talk to Chappy about not being afraid of things, people or dogs he’s meeting for the first time. Today, it was the garden hose. He’s never seen it before, so when we looped back to the front of the house after our walk, he noticed it and postured in a defensive stance, growling. I introduced him to it, and explained it was just a garden hose. He sniffed it and they became instantaneous friends. Other times, we just talk about whatever the day brings.
Luna and I have been tight. It’s always been just me and Luna home alone when I worked at home. I tell her everything. I have to tell her now to be patient with Chappy, her crazy little pup brother.
Q: If they could talk to you, what would they say? Chappy would say that he loves our walks in the rez, and that he’d like to run more free to chase the squirrels and birds. He likes walking next to me, but prefers to run through the woods without the leash. Also, he would like me to stop stopping him when he digs because it’s so much fun. He likes digging holes in my planters and grass and gardens. Wherever there is dirt, he’d like to dig. So please let me dig. And take me swimming every day, not just once a week. Swimming feeds my soul, he would say. He smiles a lot when he’s swimming.
He would also tell me he’d prefer more snuggle time in the morning. Everyone rushing around in the morning and he really needs more time to wake up.
Luna would say she’s tired, but she’s still got lots of life left, and that I should give her more treats because life is so damn short for her now. The whole losing weight conversation is for the birds, that I shouldn’t waste time with such things because she is who she is and happy that way. Also, that she likes the grooming she gets but her legs don’t like standing that long. I listened to her when she told me that. Also, that she sometimes absolutely 100% hates Chappy not because it’s really hate when she growls and nips at him, but because she’s afraid he will hurt her, like he did when he jumped super high, fell on her and she went splat flat on the ground after her legs gave out.
Q: If your dogs had a job or career, what would they be doing? Chappy loves to stand by the ping pong table and run after the little ball when it goes off the board. He brings it right back to us. So maybe a ball boy for Wimbledon? He’s also awesome at pulling me when we walk — so hard that I could fall down (he has to wear a gentle leader head collar) and he loves, loves, loves snow — so maybe he’d like to pull sleds in the snow. He also loves loves loves squeaky toys and squeaking them during movies or when I’m on a work call. So maybe a musician or DJ?
Luna would be a doggy burglar alarm. Nothing, not even a fly, is coming into this house without Luna letting the whole neighborhood know. She’s fierce about protecting her house from intruders.
Q: What lesson in life have your dogs taught you? Patience and detachment. Chappy chewed one of the only expensive things I own – a fish-eye silk handmade carpet. He shredded one entire side of it. I put him in a time out and told him not to chew carpets, but rather than get too upset about it, I saw how yummy it would be for him to rip and shred that finely threaded carpet. He has lots of chew toys, but nothing quite as fun. He also loves to eat toilet paper, tissues, paper napkins, homework, this interview paper, tampons, the tampon box! Sigh.
Q: How do your dogs inspire you? Luna is 14, has terrible arthritis and is blind. She still acts like a puppy!! And even though I know she’s in pain, she insists on walking every day – either to see our neighbor’s dog, Bogey, or to walk up the hill and down. She also is fiercely protective of us and barks at every single noise, just in case it’s an intruder, no matter how tired she feels. I hope when I’m 90, blind and arthritic, I insist on a daily walk.
Chappy inspires me to live in the moment. Life is to be sniffed! Life is to be live in the now and to enjoy every second right then and there. He also inspires me to move my legs a lot more than they’re used to – keeping up with his boundless energy.
Q: Where are your dog’s favorite places to go with you? Chappy loves to walk or run at the reservoir here in West Hartford, but his favorite place is to swim at Nod Brook in Simsbury. Luna loves to walk across the street to see our neighbor, Bogey.
Q: Who or what do your dogs find the most interesting? Any animal that moves – birds, ducks, squirrels. A rabbit was in our yard the other day and that was just thrilling for Chappy. Chappy also finds Luna the most interesting. He loves to sniff her and bark at her. Luna doesn’t find Chappy interesting at all. She sticks her nose up in the air or growls at Chappy when he gets too close. But if they’ve gone separate ways for any reason, Luna is always happy to see Chappy for the first fewseconds they reconnect so she’ll find him interesting for 2 seconds. Luna finds her dog sitter, Chris LaValley interesting. She has loved Chris her whole life.
Q: What is the most annoying thing other dog owners do? Let their dogs come up to us without asking. Chappy loves other dogs, but if he’s on a leash, he gets growly. Luna doesn’t like most dogs. On walks, I’m supposed to be training Chappy to ignore other dogs so when we sit on the side of the path and wait for dogs to pass, I find it annoying with dog owners let their dogs walk or run up to Chappy with his head collar on. Of course, he growls. Off leash, he’s super friendly, but not all dogs react very positively to him.
Q: What does being a responsible dog owner mean to you? Keeping Luna and Chappy safe and happy. If we’re in a situation where they might feel scared or compromised, I try to avoid it. That jumpy dog that is coming the other way? We go on a different path. Also, Chappy is terrible at recall if he sees a dog in the distance so I keep him on a leash when we’re not home. He’s run up to people and dogs, barking, wanting to play but scaring them by running up to them. He doesn’t come when I call because he gets fixated on the other dog, so now it’s leash at all times, even at Nod Brook where most dogs are off leash. Also, I am lucky to work from home so I give him lots of exercise, and I don’t leave him alone for any long periods of time.
Q: Do you ever dress up your dogs? If so, as what? Chappy was a mouse for Halloween. Luna was a Viking. Also, on New Year’s, they both had hats. I haven’t succumbed to doggie fashion trends yet, but mostly because he’s a dirty dog who gets 1-2 baths a day. Wouldn’t want to have to add extra laundry to that list of duties!
Q: How have your dogs changed your life? Luna has always been my steady companion and she’s taught me to be a more sensitive dog owner. I never really understood that dogs have very different needs and personalities. She always growled at dogs who approached her, and she taught me to respect her and not always apologize for her response, to say, “Luna isn’t very friendly with other dogs or Luna would prefer you not come up to her.”
Chappy has turned my life upside down. Maybe I’m too lazy or tired to walk? Too bad. He’s added a lot of high energy to my life. I also have been inspired to start a dog-centric business. I have some ideas popping, so we’ll see where it leads me. If the ideas manifest, well, I guess they’ll have really changed my life.
If you would like to follow the adventures of Chappy, please following his Instagram page at golden_chappy
Chappy was recently bit by a Copperhead snake and survived! Here he is with a worried mom at the vet.
Here’s more about the story at WFSB news
Q: Do your dogs have a philosophy of life? Chappy is a one-with-nature dog. For him, it’s just unnatural to be in a house, although when he’s tired he looks pretty comfortable laying by my feet. He loves water and dirt and other animals. All things nature.
Luna’s philosophy of life is to enjoy the moment because that’s all we really have. She likes to chillax on her bed.
Q: I love my dogs because they are teaching me to be IN THE NOW.
Q: Have you ever made dog treats for your dogs? If so, please share your recipe. I spent way too much money on turkey hearts and no-hide bones, so I should learn to make my own treats! Open for suggestions.
WAGGLEVIEW®: These interviews are focused on leaders in business, the community, or at home. My hope in doing this is to present remarkable and respected people in their community with their beloved pets. Who can resist reading about pets and what these people do? This is a platform for people to display their talents; their own business, a new book, a deeply loved passion for a charity or their own job. It also shows their love for their pet!
Thank you Sally for taking the time to participate in the Waggleview®.
How does your dog inspire you?
Please comment below.