Not a day goes by that I don’t envy and admire my dog a little. Not just because he gets to sleep all day and doesn’t have to work – he also embodies many of the characteristics and behaviors I aspire to, and struggle with.
Here’s some of what Jake reminds me to to:
Live in the moment
Jake isn’t obsessed with the past, or neurotically planning the future. He doesn’t have insomnia (at least as far as I can tell). Like the Buddhists, he lives in the moment, enjoying the now instead of regretting the past or obsessing about the future.
My lesson: Put down the smartphone, and look at the clouds, the grass, the piece of ball fluff hanging from Jake’s mouth.
There’s almost never a time when Jake doesn’t want to play. Meanwhile, there’s almost never I time that I’m not whipsawing between feeling guilty for not playing with him more and irritation that he’s putting his toys in my lap again. Can’t you see I’m screwing around on Facebook, dog? I always feel better when I do play, yet I am convinced that adults shouldn’t.
My lesson: When someone asks me to play, play. They may not ask again.
Jake likes pretty much everyone. The mailman who delivers to our office is one of his favorites, and it seems like every time we visit an off-leash park he makes a new friend. Recently, one of those friends was a spectacularly blue-eyed mutt with an owner wearing big dark sunglasses and a hoodie. I was apprehensive at first, but as our dogs played together, we chatted and I found out she and I had a lot in common!
My lesson: Looks can be deceiving, and people can have a lot more to offer than what you see on the surface. It’s worth taking the time to find out.
What lessons have you learned from you dog? What inspires you about your pets?