"For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." ~ Deuteronomy14:2

Sunday, July 12, 2009

If I went "to the dogs"... that wouldn't be such a bad thing.

Maybe we all need to re-prioritize like a dog does.
I've been reading up on another forum and decided I have some attitude adjusting to do.... not usually the Mary Sunshine type.... I need to focus more on my character building than on my willpower. Hope you enjoy this... or you may have seen it around already. This is dedicated to my two fuzzy canine daughters (and was adapted here for my own personal reflection not for commercial use) from Ten Things I've Learned from My Dog by AC Gaughen.
Jessie (1/2 Beagle, 1/2 German Short Haired Pointer)
Daisy (Bassett Hound)
Ten Things I've Learned from My Dog
~Let your loved ones know you love them.
When we're hanging out at the fish camp, walking, or driving in the car, my dogs love to check out the scenery. Play with me, stick their heads out the window, run around like puppies though they are graying. Every now and again they'll pass by me and stop and lick my elbow, knee, tummy, or ankle. Basically the first body part she sees, whether the skin is exposed or not. Doesn't matter. She just gives me a lick and moves on. Jesse was a stray, and she must touch me... she leans hard against my leg, puts a paw on me when I'm resting... it made me very uncomfortable at first, I never had a dog that needy. At first it was annoying, but later on as she began to realize that I would give her what she needed in time, food and affection every day rain or shine, I have come to enjoy being loved by her even to the point of giving her a corner of my blanket so we can share, while I watch a show and she lays at my feet. Dogs are totally uninhibited in their affection, and I wish I could be more like that.
~There is adventure all around you.
My dogs can turn a backyard into a wonderland amusement park. There are things to chase, smells to track, there's a compost pile that basically acts as a coal pit that needs mining for a diamond. No detail of life around a dog goes unnoticed or unappreciated; upon a dog no detail is wasted. The attempt to appreciate everything around us--and be wildly excited by it--is absolutely transcendent.
~ Don't be afraid to ask for what you want.
Hungry? Let someone know. Have to go the bathroom? Rock it. Want attention? Nudge people in the leg until they pet you into a love-loves coma. Dogs make it obvious their wishes and wants, and they make it increasingly more obvious until their desires are satisfied. Not that they are totally bull headed or stubborn about it--they submit to the leader, who essentially decides if they will be fulfilled or not. Humans have to be the puppy and the dog owner both; we experience the desires and decide how to fulfill them. As much as we need to balance our desires, we also need to be more vocal about what we need in our everyday life.
~Always be curious.
Daisy loves to check the counter tops and trash cans and eat anything she can get her nose into. Now, this means she's eaten raisins, banana peels and chocolate wrappers, but she's also gotten her fair share of treats and goodies on the sly. Dogs know to try everything; it might land you in the hospital, it might get you a treat, but taking chances is always worth the risk.
~Enjoy the simple things.
Daisy enjoys her blanket and will demand that we hurry up when it is being washed. Some dogs literally run in a happy circle every time they defecate. Daisy sleeps and relaxes with happy abandon. Eating a meal is a highlight of the day for Jesse, and a walk in the park seems (for them both) to be the best life can get. Dogs really know how to appreciate the most basic things in our lives.
~Trust your instincts.
My dog Jesse can hear the door open and then she tenses up, and starts barking until one of the humans recognizes the entering person. Daisy starts to growl any time someone she doesn't know comes too close to her or the yard when we are not out there too. Dogs blend their instincts with social cues and act based on those two things alone. It may not be polite, it may not be correct, but they think of who and what they love above all else. Trusting your instincts is something everyone needs to do.
~Trust your loved ones.
Dogs have an innate and infinite trust in their owners; once a bond develops between a dog and another person, it is forever and takes a lot to break. So once you choose someone, a loved one, a friend, once you put your trust in them, let it be infinite.
~Greet people like you haven't seen them in a million years.
Dogs do not pull punches. They feel something and they let it show. So whenever my dog sees me, she flips out and starts wagging so hard she shakes, and licking everything she can get her tongue on. It makes me feel so loved, so appreciated. I'm trying to greet people like that, with genuine excitement, and real love. You'd be amazed at the response you get.
~Assume that everyone adores you.
This sounds conceited, but it's essentially the recipe for confidence. Assume that no one is immune to your cuteness and your charm overcomes all obstacles, and people will begin to believe you.
Spend as much time as you can with the ones you love.
Lets be honest, dogs like to be in the center of the action - and at least mine likes to be the center of attention. But they both are happy as long as they with her family --nothing is more important to them. Maybe we all need to re-prioritize like a dog does.

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