When Change is a “Ruff” Ride

When Change is a “Ruff” Ride Rachel Donnelly June 28, 2024
When Change is a “Ruff” Ride

Our beloved black lab mix, Rhett Butler, just hit the big ONE! But instead of a grand birthday bash with a puppy cake, we found ourselves embarking on Operation Doggy Diet. Why, you ask? Well, during our last vet visit, we were told Rhett was less “lab” and more “blob.” Too many treats, too much peanut butter, and apparently, cheese isn’t a dog’s best friend—news to Rhett and heartbreaking for him!

Rhett is the epitome of food-driven. If it fits in his mouth, it’s fair game—from the occasional firewood he drags from the backyard, hoping to sneak it indoors, to every stray cigarette butt he can find. Yes, my dog has a smoking problem, metaphorically speaking.

So, we toughened up. We swapped the puppy chow for adult fare, cut the peanut butter smoothie bribes, and declared our kitchen a cheese-free zone (at least from Rhett’s perspective). It’s been a tough transition. He’s now lighter on his paws but heavier with his barks, pleading for just a nibble of the good stuff.

Rhett Butler contemplating life, cheese and whether or not we’ve created a pet trust for him.

This whole saga got me thinking—change is like pulling teeth, but often it’s for the best. Whether it’s cutting back on treats or overhauling daily routines, the process is rough on everyone involved. And that’s a lot like estate planning. It’s not just about writing a will; it’s about re-evaluating your life’s blueprint. You’re deciding who gets the responsibility of honoring your wishes, who manages your affairs, and even who might take the kids to soccer practice if you’re not around.

Ready to start? Here’s how you can begin your estate planning journey:

1) List Your Assets – Start by cataloging what you own—from property to bank accounts, digital assets to family heirlooms.

2) Decide Your Beneficiaries – Think about who should inherit your assets, and how you’d like them distributed.

3) Choose Your Executors and Trustees – Select trustworthy individuals who will carry out your wishes and manage your estate. And make sure those individuals you’ve chosen for these roles have the time, bandwidth and tools to do their job.

Estate planning is like sitting down with your family and saying, “Hey, let’s figure this out together.” It involves everyone, from choosing executors and trustees to informing them about where the heck you’ve stored your important documents. Sure, it’s about as fun as putting a lab on a diet, but just as necessary.

We could’ve ignored the vet’s advice and kept spoiling Rhett. Easy? Sure. Responsible? Not so much. Similarly, avoiding estate planning might seem simpler now, but it’s a lot messier later.

Change is hard. But it’s also worth it. Just ask Rhett, who’s already enjoying his newfound spryness—minus the extra cheese.

Thanks for reading, and let’s embrace the changes that make us and our loved ones better.