A dog's life

A dog's life; this phrase is meant as "the good life."   A dog's life is a short one, some shorter than others.  They come into our life as a puppy, a cute, wriggly little addition to the family.  But then they can drive us mad with their puppy antics.  Some of the regular puppy antics torment us leading to the inevitable "never again, no more puppies."  From puppyhood, through adulthood and into senior years our dogs are teaching.  Every step of a shared life with our dog is a learning one. 

I feel very strongly that every dog that we share our life with changes us, opens our eyes so that we may see things we may have never seen before.  Take people who have never had a dog before, never wanted one, never got the whole dog thing.  If by chance they end up with a dog they are changed forever, never to be the same pre-dog person again.  Dogs are constantly affording us lessons on life and what is important.  Patience, understanding, flexibility, caring and so much more. 

How many people have not had their patience tried by a puppy?  I have.  I think patience is one of the most important things you can learn in life.  Life sometimes is just too hectic, too rushed, too busy.  Our dogs teach us to just chill, relax, don't stress about the small stuff.  Looking through the eyes of a canine we get to see the world from a completely different aspect.  We see the world one way, dogs look at it from a different direction.

Yesterday I had to use my baby gate; I don't use it often now but I'm glad I kept it all these years.  I had a guy here working and I was on my computer with the dogs in my room.  It was important that I hear the guy if he called me so the baby gate was used.  For me it was a good option, it served the purpose, not for Luke.  He was a complete stress monkey, he stressed so much about the gate that I thought he might just have a seizure.  So instead of removing the gate I altered my behavior, I got as chill as I possibly could.  We walked around, near the gate, looked at the gate and generally didn't give a hoot about the gate.  It worked, he stopped stressing and just looked at it occassionally.  Luke has taught me this, it is essential I alter my own behavior for him. 

Having a new puppy can turn our lives .upside down, but we must make many adjustments.  The prime goal is to teach our little ones how to assimilate smoothly into our human world.  This while meeting their canine requirements.  When our dogs are in their prime we need to alter our routine to accomodate their need for stimulation, both mental and physical.  We take great comfort from hanging out with our dog when they have passed the puppy stage. We beam with pride as they display their good behaviors while out in public.  And we take great joy in watching them enjoy life.  It is the little things in life that dogs take joy from, this is a huge lesson for us. 

Do our dogs care if we drive an old beater truck vs. a big shiny new SUV?  No.  Do they care if we are size 4 or 24?  NO.  Does it bother them if we stay in our pajamas all day and snuggle in front of the fire?  Heck no, they love it.  Dogs take great joy from sitting, walking, running, watching, swimming or sleeping beside us.  There favorite thing to share with us?  Our time.  And it is time that we must give to make our time more enjoyable.  When we take on the role of canine guardian we have work to do.  It starts from day one and continues for the entirety of our dogs life.

Sharing time with a dog is life altering, if you allow it to be and let them in your heart.  Once inside they surely can mess with your head and your heart.  What they give us in life lessons creates a better us for the next dogs in our lives.