Lessons From a Not-So-Dumb Dog
Published on May 28, 2014
Lessons from a not-so-dumb animalSadly, a very close friend is faced with having to take their dog to the vet tomorrow to face a battle at its end. I know its the great circle of life, but if it's your dog and they have been in the family for 15 years its hard. I know because I went through the exact same thing a few years ago. I was shocked how hard it was. What came of that experience was to reflect on Jessie's life (my dog) and what I could learn from it. Turns out there was much. Enough actually to write an article for Alive Magazine. I have copied the lessons from that article below. Perspectives from a dog; In our colourful Blackberry, Bluetooth world, stress is a nemesis most of us struggle with daily. We spend too much time preoccupied by those things that we can do little about. Our minds trick us into reliving the past and agonizing over the unborn tomorrows. For Jessie, there was only the moment to live in and relish. Here are some of the lessons that my teacher and best friend shared with me. Give Unconditional Love Jessie never kept score. The affection she showed every day was sincere and without strings. I could always count on her to make me feel appreciated the moment I walked in the door; I didn't always earn it. Live Guilt-Free "Borrowing" a slice of toast off the kitchen table or sleeping on my bed when I wasn't home were simply impulse things that made her happy. She was never riddled by guilt. My bed felt just as good on Thursday as it had on Monday. Never Hold a Grudge Once, some years ago, Jessie was left outside all night in the rain. For some reason she hated her doghouse and refused to go in it-some kind of canine protest over décor, I expect. When I opened the door in the morning and found her out there, all she could do was jump up and lick my face. Others may have wanted to slap it. Enjoy the Little Things It always amazed me to see how much she enjoyed all the pleasures of life, no matter how trivial. I'd probably show less enthusiasm about winning the Super Bowl than she showed over yet another ride in the car, a crust of toast, a toss of the ball, or just a pat on the head. Her appreciation of the little things in life never waned. Make the Most of a Situation "Wherever you are, be there." This sage advice from American motivational speaker Jim Rohn was advice that Jessie lived every day. Her downtime was taken up with a snooze in the sun, a roll in the grass, or just cocking her head to one side when the kettle boiled. I don't recall ever seeing a bored look on her face. Don't Complain Never. For all the times she had to "hold it" until I got home late from work, Jessie never complained. After eating the same dry kibble (with the occasional treat tossed in) year after year, Jessie never complained. Although she was never allowed to actually "get" the neighbour's cat, Jessie never complained. And, in the final stages of cancer, an occasional whimper was all she let out. The last thing she did before she slipped away on the vet's table was to lick my hand. Right up until her final moment, Jessie never complained. The greatest lesson Jessie taught me was to just live in the moment. After all, is today not one of those tomorrows we held out so much hope for? Some may say she was just a dumb animal. Looking back, I'm not so sure. Have an excellent day.