Almost seven years ago, I brought home a cute little puppy. (Seven years! Seriously. Where does the time go.) Truth be told, I was totally unprepared. I had done some pet-sitting, but I was totally unprepared for the reality of day-in day-out life with a clever and active puppy in the house. If I had known what I was in for, I don't know if I could have done it. And yet, I would do it again in a heartbeat, and I will do it again in a heartbeat when Atlas leaves me someday.
When I brought Atlas home, I knew that I would love and adore him forever, and that he would bring fun and laughter and furry companionship into my life. What I did not know is that he would teach me so much about living and being. It never would have occurred to me that a dog could be a fabulous teacher, if I were willing to slow down and listen.
I thought I'd slowly write down the things that I have learned from watching the pup over the years, in case they are of use to others. Here are a few of them.
Whatever you are doing, do it to the fullest.
If you are smelling, smell. If you are eating, eat. If you are napping, nap. If you are wriggling on the grass, wriggle on the grass. If you are chewing a stick, chew a stick. If you are watching a cat, watch a cat.
If you want something, ask for it.
If you ask for it, you just might get it. And if you don't get it, that's fine too. If you really want it, you can ask someone else or ask again later.
Life is an adventure.
Even a walk to the garbage bin can be exciting. You never know what you'll come across. And even if everything is exactly the same, it's an entirely new moment.
When the weather is hot, take the time to sit on the grass in the shade.
It's cooler there. And it's nice to just be for a while.
You are worthy, for no other reason than because you exist. And exactly how you are, is exactly perfect.
Somehow, dogs know this instinctively.
I hope the pup sticks around for another seven years. Maybe by that time I will have fully absorbed all his lessons and be able to apply them.