Just kidding- no they don’t! That is part of what makes dogs so special. My dogs have never cared about how my hair looks! And trust me, my hair (or lack thereof) has looked pretty crazy throughout the years!
Growing up I had beautiful long thick hair that just started falling out when I was around 17 years old. I remember trying everything I could find that said it helped with hair growth but nothing ever worked. Turns out, I have androgenic alopecia which is also known as female pattern baldness. I ended up cutting my hair really short, right out of high school because it was so thin and was just getting worse. For the last 12 years, I tried really, really hard to not let it stop me from being my true self but deep down, I know that I lost a piece of myself when I lost my hair.
That is why I’m so grateful to have always had dogs in my life, I don’t know what I would do without them! I started spending all my spare time with my dogs instead of people. Dogs don’t care how much hair you have, even if they have better hair than you!
In October 2015, about a week after I had to make the hardest decision of my life to put my sweet sheltie (Jake) of 10 years down because he had cancer & was in pain. Tavish’s previous owner, whose a friend of the family asked if we wanted him because she was looking for a new home for him. Dave and I have known (and loved) Tavish since he was a puppy, we even watched him for a week or so once, so we knew he would be a great fit in our family. However, since I had just lost Jake and we already had my late grandmother’s dog, Ali, I wasn’t quite ready for another dog… but thankfully my parents were! I remember them saying “well… can we do a trial run, just in case it doesn’t work out?” Believe when I say that trial run only lasted about 30 seconds! He’s been a loved member of our family ever since!
Unfortunately our beloved Puppa Tavish unexpectedly passed away on March 5th 2019 surrounded by family. We still can’t believe this happened and miss him terribly. He was a truly amazing dog that came into our lives when we needed him most and he brought so much joy with him everywhere he went, we will never forget him. Up until his last day with us, he was full of life, love and attitude like always! Our family won’t be the same without this joyful golden but we will always see him when we look at Jax and Jasper.
Tavish was such a happy, handsome dog who LOVED attention and you couldn’t help but love him! The more time we spent with him, the more he made us smile and after a lot of thought, my mom decided to stud him out and bring home one of his puppies. That is how we got the joyful goofball that we all know and love as Joyful Jax! Once my mom brought him home, you can bet I was at her house every spare minute I had! He was such an adorable little fluff ball of joy and we loved watching Tavish and Jax play together! They constantly made us laugh and even though this may sound crazy, they genuinely made us feel happier.
I LOVE taking photos, so naturally I would capture every moment I was with them on camera. I couldn’t help it- they were just so adorable and they brought so much joy into our lives! That’s when I realized that I needed to share these photos with other dog crazy people and I created the Instagram account’s @Joyful_Jax, @Puppa_Tavish & @BestBud_Ali. People seemed to love our dogs just as much as we did and the pages grew way more than I ever thought they would! So my husband Dave and I started spending all our spare time taking the dogs on adventures and photographing them along the way to share with our new community.
After each adventure, we would come home exhausted, sore, and sometimes even frustrated because it didn’t go as planned. But most of all, whether we were just in the back yard or out exploring somewhere new, we would come home with little more joy in our hearts. At the end of March 2018 Dave and I brought Jasper home and of course I had to create an Instagram account for him too @JasperTheFriendlyGolden. Over the years with the help of my pups, I started growing stronger and stopped caring so much about what others thought and started caring more about what I thought.
In October 2018, I made the biggest decision of my life and quit my safe and reliable job of 11 years so I could focus on doing what I love; photographing my best friends-my dogs! I absolutely LOVE what I’m doing now and I’m so grateful just to have the opportunity, however as someone with really thin hair, it’s not easy for me to get in front of the camera with my dogs. I’m not even kidding when I say that I wear a hat 95% of the time-sometimes two hats, just to hide my thin hair (or lack thereof.)
I know that some people might not understand why it can be hard to live your life to its fullest when you have such thin hair or suffer from hair loss. Some say “it’s just hair,” or “your beautiful the way you are.” And don’t get me wrong, I know that those are both true statements but what no one really talks about how much hair is apart of your identity and how difficult it is to not let it negatively impact your life.
I spent the last 12 years worrying about how my hair looked or if you could see straight through it to my scalp and worried about how the wind, water, lights would affect it. Living through my 20’s worried about my lack of hair sucked and it wasn’t easy but I’d like to think I went through it for a reason. I always did my best to not let it stop me from living my life to its fullest. However sometimes it did and still does but I wouldn’t be nearly as strong as I am today if I didn’t go through so much of my life with thin hair.
Don’t get me wrong, I embraced my thin hair as much I could, I tried not to dwell on it, I tried to focus on the positive things in my life- like my dogs and I started going to yoga/meditation classes (which I really didn’t think would help but it really did!)
But nothing made me really feel like myself again until I put my first wig on…well that is after my brain adjusted to seeing myself with a normal amount of hair again! I had to wear it around the house and out on short trips where I knew I wouldn’t run into anyone I knew for a full week to get adjusted to having a normal amount of hair. Now I’m so excited to have options again and honestly I’m kinda mad that I didn’t start wearing them sooner!
We are all self conscious about something whether it’s our hair, acne, weight, ext. but we cant let it control our lives. When I’m struggling to not let my lack of hair control my life, I go do something that makes my soul happy and that usually makes all my worries disappear… for awhile anyways!
Are you or someone you know living with hair loss? Or do you ever feel self conscious about something else? How do you stop it from controlling your life?
Let me know in the comments!
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