After nearly five years of not so subtle hint dropping my husband lovingly relented and agreed to adopt a dog. (happy wife, happy life) Our last dog was an exceptional creature. The perfect dog really. I truly missed the companionship and wanted our son to grow up with a pet to love and care for. After much online browsing of local rescue groups, a little black lab caught my eye. We attended the rescue group’s meet and greet event to see if her online persona lived up to real life. She was indeed mellow, gentle, and pretty darn cute.
It was decided, we were getting a dog. Despite how badly I had wanted that to happen, I also knew change is always an adjustment. It has not all gone as smoothly as I’d hoped, but we are settling in together. In her first month with us, she has reminded me of some important lessons.
- Our past influences our perspective but doesn’t determine our future. A rescue dog comes with a history you don’t know. Our sweet girl has been through some rough times that we don’t know much about. Her back story affects how she sees the world. She has some fears that we don’t understand but must respect. This same premise holds true for every single person. Everyone we interact with has gone through stuff we know nothing about. Their history gives them a perspective that is different from our own. Keep that in mind and cut everybody a little slack. Second chances are important, both to offer and to seize.
- Don’t let your imperfections hold you back. You are no less beautiful with some flaws. Our three-year-old pooch has a few blemishes. She has a couple little scars on her nose, but her face is no less adorable. She had a litter of pups, so she has saggy little teats. Unsightly to some and a badge of honor to others. Regardless, she is oblivious and will expose herself for a belly rub every chance she gets.
- Get outside early and often. Morning walks, preferably in the woods, are the best way to start the day. I love both morning and sunset walks, it wakes up my senses and renews my spirit.
- Make your own comfort a priority. This girl knows what she likes. The softer and plusher the better. If the biggest bed in the house is behind a closed door blocked with a laundry basket, push your way past the obstacles until you get the rest you need. Smart girl.
- Unconditional love is the best. Greet those you love with enthusiasm each and every time they return. Love them with all you’ve got on good days and bad.
These are things that I already knew, but sometimes I need reminders. Life gets busy and it is easy to forget even these simple things. It is also easy to forget to stock up on paper towels, but that’s another story. Like I said, it hasn’t gone entirely without incident. Perhaps if I got a treat each time I did something right my memory would be better? I would surely need longer walks.
I’m grateful for these reminders, they can rescue us all.