Today, I did something my best friend used to do. I found the sun and I laid in it. Yes, it sounds a little peculiar but I’m fine with that.
My best friend was a beautiful dachshund, that I got in South Africa. My entire life I wanted a puppy, dreamed of a puppy and couldn’t wait till the day I would get one.
When I was fourteen my family was moving again and I didn’t want to go. This was the first time my brothers wouldn’t be with us. When you move a lot as a child it is nice to have your brothers with you, even if they aggravate you to death.
My father’s solution for me to be happy about the move, was a bribe. If you come and leave your brothers, I will get you a puppy. It worked very well. After being in the country for only 16 hours or so I was already looking at newspaper ads for my new friend. We found an ad selling puppies and after someone gave us a ride we searched for her home. Pulling up to the fenced in yard, we all got out of the car and asked, Is this the place? Our question was answered with eight or so grown dachshunds barking their heads off at us.
It was the place, she was the only one left and I couldn’t have been happier. She was the best dog anyone could have ever had. Honestly, I doubt I would have been able to choose one.
My very own puppy. Yes, she was perfect. Yes, I was that delusional about her because the truth was she was naughty most of the time. And yet to me she was perfect and without flaw. It is a little glimpse into why parents always think their child is perfect. When in fact you know they are a terror.
Going on and on is not my point let’s learn a few things about what dogs can teach us.
LESSON ONE: Happiness
Dogs are almost always happy. They are thrilled when you come home, say their name, pet them, anything really. They are thrilled to be around you, even if all you let them do is sit at your feet. They make everyone feel like they are the best thing in the world.
Think if we did this every time we saw someone, made them feel special and like they are the best thing ever.
Dogs also don’t understand status, they love you no matter who you are. If you are the one who takes care of them, they love you.
One of my first jobs ever was working at a snow cone stand. It was a summer job and it was a blast, I worked with one of my best friends and we ate snow cones every day all day long. There was a gentleman who came in pretty often, he was mentally challenged, he wore torn, smelly clothes and was pretty rough around the edges. He had a little Chihuahua. The gentleman would get a snow cone take a bite and then let his dog take a bite, then he would take the next bite. This dog didn’t notice there was anything odd about his man. He loved him. We as humans can learn a lesson from this dog, loving someone no matter who they are.
LESSON TWO: Enjoy the simple things.
Sunshine, rain, a bug, dogs enjoy everything about life. Back to my opening line, my dog, Winnie was her name, she loved the sunshine. Anytime there was sun shining through the window she would find the spot on the carpet and lay in the sun to take a nap. I did this today.
The last few days even though Spring is technically here it has been cold and dreary.
After coming home today I saw the sun on the carpet and thought, maybe I should just lay down. It was the sun, but my back has been bothering me and laying on the floor could help it. Laying down and letting the sun shine on me was relaxing. Soaking in the sun, having no noise, no phone, no distractions, it is comforting to let the sun shine on your skin and just breath. Dogs enjoy life. Even in the small things. We should do the same.
LESSON THREE: We all need comfort.
My dog was stubborn, like really stubborn, it took her six months to be potty trained and she woke me up every night for eight months. You would call her name again and again and she wouldn’t come. The only way to get her to obey was if food was involved.
My father constantly said that dog is the most hard headed dog in the world. She was definitely, Miss Independent.
But if you were having a bad day or upset she would come to you. I remember once my mother fell, and while she was on the floor crying and we were trying to help her up, Winnie came running and licked my mothers tears away as fast as they were coming. Anything to bring her comfort.
We should comfort those in need, even if it means just sitting next to them while they cry. When someone is in pain most of the time it is not about the words but about your presence.
LESSON FOUR: Be nice, even if they don’t like you.
Dogs have this ability to be kind and gracious to anyone even if they don’t like them. They don’t seem to understand someone not liking them and even if the person is mean to them they are still loving and kind to that person.
I once heard a man say a dog is a real Christian, you could step on their foot and they will lick you. Lock them away and they will still be excited when you come home.
What if we were all kind to people even when they clearly didn’t like us. I’m telling you dogs are so much better than us.
LESSON FIVE: A walk.
A long walk can fix almost any problem. This is something I love, a good walk is so enjoyable and helpful.
As a writer sometimes you can become overwhelmed with a plot point or what ending will work, or have your characters in a situation you can’t seem to get them out of but a walk always seems to solve the problem.
Stephen King, always said if you are stuck in a part of your book; go for a walk.
Go for a walk.
My niece walking, Winnie.
Dogs are amazing. Animals are amazing. Be a dog for a moment, relax, breath, enjoy the simple joys in every day life. The sun coming up, beautiful wild flowers, silence, birds chirping. I know I sound like a hippie. But the earth is a beautiful place and we should enjoy it.
My dog was with me for sixteen years. I wanted her to live forever but she just couldn’t seem to make it. She died the way I have always wanted her to and how I think most of us would want to go. Going to bed and not waking up after having a wonderful day surrounded by family who loves you. Even that night before she went to bed I hugged her and told her I loved her. If we could all be so lucky.
If you learn something you are still alive, you are growing. Every living thing is growing and for me I am always looking for ways to grow and I will learn lessons from anyone; even dogs.
Thanks for reading. What have you learned today? OR this week? What do you still want to learn?