Today is our fur baby’s tenth birthday. I wanted to dedicate a blog to him because he is such a major component in our lives. I honestly have a tough time thinking about when he was not a involved in our daily activities. For your reading pleasure I have listed ten lessons that our handsome boy has taught our family. You are now warned, this is a fluff post, but for all you non ‘dog people’ do not fret I have added my normal dash of humour for your entertainment.
LESSON 1: It’s not just the two of us anymore. Our dog was the BETA test, the self checking step to determine if my husband and I were “prepared” to begin a family. We married at a young age and this was an opportunity to certify that we had reached that minimal threshold of “adult hood” and to ultimately be responsible for another living being. In hindsight, we were.
LESSON 2: To be happy. This dog is twenty four hours, seven days a week constantly happy. Our puppy has a chicken allergy and therefore his diet rarely changes. Can you imagine eating the same thing twice a day for ten years straight and still have a smile on your face? We can leave either for the day or simply ten minutes and his reaction at the door is pure pleasure to see us home. It is now customary to say hello as we run to the back door to let him out. Not only because he might need the restroom break, but his energy fuelled by his excitement needs to be expelled. If this simple act is not done in the swiftest fashion his strong animated tail will clothesline small children, send coffee table knick knacks into orbit and hit the sensitive area in the male human species. Following his exit he can be seen prancing, jumping, chasing imaginary prey and rolling around in the grass or snow. Even when I am coming home from a long day, kids driving me crazy, hearing crappy news or exhausted from adult-ing his superfluous energy always brings a smile to my face.
LESSON 3: To be patient. When my husband and I picked out our puppy, they immediately bonded. It was like the impending crescendo of a Hollywood blockbuster. When their eyes met across the room, I knew I had no more say on which adorable canine would be coming home with us. I could have been sitting in the corner wearing little to nothing and holding a big juicy steak and neither of them would cared to glance in my direction. This tight bond grows each and everyday. I see it each afternoon. Our dog, content that three out of four of us are home will not settle until his other half makes his way up the stairs and through the front door. He does it without music, the internet, phone games, nothing! That my friends is patience.
LESSON 4: To listen intently and to ask the right questions. One thing I can most certainly say about my dog, is that he never interrupts, well unless the doorbell rings. He is a perfect sounding board and always around when I need to bounce an idea off especially when its in regards to food preparation. He knows precisely how to react with a lick of his lips, a tilt of his head or a roll of his eyes.
LESSON 5: To relax. A day of defending the house against random intruders, aka postal carriers, or inquisitive birds can really take a toll on the pup. Whenever I cannot immediately spot him I will most likely find him curled up on one of his beds. Additionally, if I ever make the mistake to wake him, his hooded glazed over eyes quickly remind me that everyone needs to take the time for themselves and that I should just wait until tomorrow to do the dishes, or fold the laundry. I usually listen to him. They are very persuasive eyes.
LESSON 6: To stay on target. Walking with this dog can be an adventure and a testament to my growing biceps. When our “tracking” dog finds a scent, it takes quite a bit to focus his attention back on the path ahead instead of his more attractive tangent. His headstrong mentality continues throughout the evening when I wish to put my writing away and sit back with a drink and my Netflix account. As you can no doubt see from the picture above, he is right there, standing guard to make sure that my attention does not drift from the task at hand and achieving my dreams. He is my trainer, my coach and cheering squad all wrapped up in a soft furry case. I told you those eyes are persuasive.
LESSON 7: To have fun. Who says that a pile of snow, a random twig or a generic ball couldn’t bring hours of entertainment? In his limited world pertaining to our house, our backyard, on leash walks and on occasion a trip to the in laws farm, my dog knows how to use the time he has and to enjoy life. His zest for life is infectious and forces me to reorganize my priorities and to find the joy in the simplest things, like my children’s laugh or wine.
LESSON 8: To lead by example. Our dog has been a security blanket for this family. He protects, defends and leads into battle whenever and whatever the situation may be, such as a dark room or an unknown path. He gives that small push that my children require when they feel insecure and gets my rear end out of our plush recliner in the evening when to take him for his nightly excursion.
LESSON 9: To spend time as a family. This day in age more family time is spent in front of a screen. It’s not just one large one anymore like back in my childhood days but multiple tiny handhelds baby screens. It’s like the old tube TVs spawned and issued tiny offspring to repopulate in our device dependent, attention thinning world. Our handsome boy has shown us that digital living is not what it is all about. We can go outside, play games, whatever our heart desires and we can do so as a family, our fur baby included.
LESSON 10: “The greatest thing you will ever learn is to love and to be loved in return.” – Eden Ahbez. No other words needed.
Thanks for reading.