Last night my husband went to a football game, so I excitedly planned a me-centric evening of cooking lovingly, listening to great music, and going to sleep early – ahh. All three plans came to fruition, but the details included a glass of wine and Disney Pandora; it got emotional quickly once Pocahontas started to sing Colors of the Wind while I was mid-onion chop.
To my credit, I only hit the snooze button four times (maybe five?) this morning. When I eventually opened my eyes, I woke up groggy. Despite my thoroughly planned morning schedule, I made my coffee and was about to flop on the couch and scroll through the various social (political seems a more apt term these days) media channels when Charlie reminded me of his needs with a light growl and a tail wag.
My butt hit the couch only long enough to help propel me back off of it. Charlie, my coffee, and I went outside to for our morning walk. My iPhone said it was 68 degrees, and the scattered clouds over a budding sunrise created a shifting tableau of pinkish fluff way over our heads. I sipped my coffee and closed my eyes, smiling. When our canine physical therapist Suzanne asked if Charlie and I had been walking, I told her that I wanted to walk, but Charlie wanted to wander – or stand statue-still and supervise the squirrels.
This morning I realized that when I get impatient with Charlie’s plodding, frustrated that it’s taking away from my yoga time, or feeling like he should “just poop already!!” that feeling only serves to frustrate ME. Many of us love dogs, but may find at times that their priorities do not match up with ours 🙂 They don’t care if we’re late, if we’re busy, if we’re impatient, or if we want them to hurry up. Charlie doesn’t care if I’m steaming! And why should he? Maybe it’s time for us to shift our focus from our own busy minds and worlds, and take into account more of what our calm, happy canine companions think is a good idea. Charlie is a pretty easy guy to please, as long as he’s being fed, watered, walked and snuggled! Oh and the belly rubs – all the belly rubs for our guy.
I think a lot of dogs are like that! Obviously some have special needs, be they ear drops or diabetes vaccines or the like. Charlie’s partially torn ACL makes it tough for him to stand up after he’s been lying down for awhile, and it also impedes MY peace of mind when he goes up and down stairs! So he currently wears a Help ‘Em Up harness so we can… well, help him up 🙂
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Maybe it’s a happy-go-lucky lab puppy whose biggest problem is not remembering the last time he ate (10 minutes ago) or a senior pit bull mix who requires special medical attention and parental advocates to insurance companies who banned pits. But I think dogs are more perspicacious than we give them credit for.
While I stared at the clouds, full of wonder and gradually fuller of coffee, I realized that if Charlie hadn’t prompted me to walk, I would still be sprawled on the loveseat, scrolling through pictures of nature and selfies. If Charlie hadn’t insisted on an early bedtime last night, I might have stayed up too late waiting for Matt to get home from the game – and I like going to bed early! And if Charlie didn’t routinely give SUCH puppy eyes while he lies on the floor (or sofa, or bed – he’s not really downtrodden), I would never lie down on my side and scratch his ears, looking into his sweet face and feeling grateful.
A photo posted by Eliza – A Happy Wife (@happywifecreativelife) on
Clearly I don’t listen when those puppy eyes tell me he hasn’t had a cookie in weeks, or he NEEDS belly rubs when I’m mid-conference call.
But he’s such a happy guy and I can get stressed out easily. So when he wants to go for a walk, or lie down for belly-rubs, that’s a great moment for me to pause, and enjoy the time with him. And I couldn’t write a post about dogs without mentioning their gratitude for saving them. I’m a huge proponent of adopting rescue dogs, EVEN if you want a puppy/purebred/specific breed or mix. Check out petfinder.com and just search for your dream pet – then make sure it’s a good fit for you by doing a little research 🙂 Charlie knows we rescued him, and in so many amazing ways, he thanks us every day; which reminds us in turn to be grateful! So in learning about life from Charlie-pup, I plan to start listening to him more.
That’s my life lesson for today, and I figured I’d share it with you lovely people, since I know many of you have dogs, and the rest of you still have souls, too! 😉 I actually think cats fit into this lesson as well, in case that’s more your style – as independent and curious as they are, cats inspire us to temper social interaction and just be, listen and watch the world.
Charlie may be resting comfortably on the couch, but he looks so cuddly – I am going to take a hint from him, and get a snuggle in before I do yoga. So now we know why I’m zany, peppy, and hedonistic – I’m inspired by my pup 🙂 Sending you waggy tail vibes and hoping you get some good snuggles in soon!!
A Happy Wife