Owning a dog is one of the most life-changing experiences I’ve had recently. When you have to care for something other than yourself, It opens your eyes to things you take for granted, and flaws in ways you think. (And if I asked some of my friends with kids, I'm guessing they would say having a baby is 10x the eye opening experience.)
Sure, you’ve got the basic things to think about like water, food and bathroom trips. (Can you imagine having to wait for someone to tell you when you can go to the bathroom or not?!) Beyond that, you have to think about what’s the right things not only for yourself but for her. For example health. Some of us treat our pets health more seriously than our own. In fact, now that I’m writing It out, everything we often neglect or half 🍑ss for our own life, we actually give time to for our pets.
What’s the right food that doesn’t have processed crap that’s bad for her? How often should we take her for a walk? How are her teeth? What does the Vet say? How can we train her to be a great dog?
How often are you playing with her? I’ll go for hours and hours working without taking a break at the office, but when I’m working near my dog, not even 20 minutes will go by before she starts nudging me with her nose and staring and me with deep, loving eyes, asking me to play. (Which I️ give in immediately :)
When you’re traveling, you miss your pet. When you’re shopping, you think about things she might like. When you make decisions and plans, you have to think about her too.
All of this sound like work, but the responsibility melts away when you’re playing chase with her.
The one thing about pets, dogs, in particular, is they are completely present to what’s going on around them. Everything is something new to explore and experience. Even old paths become new, filled with new smells, sounds, and sights missed last time around. They also love you completely too. It doesn’t matter how much you have in your bank account, what you do for work, how many people you connect with, or how intelligent you are — they love you for you.
There’s a lot to be learned from the life of a dog. Even silly things like chasing squirrels. To us, a squirrel is a distraction. ‘Look how distracted that dog is’. But to the dog, that squirrel is the most important thing in the world in that moment and she’ll give It her all to chase It down. And when she fails, she springs back up ready for the next adventure. Squirrel after squirrel. Chase after chase, with no less lack of enthusiasm from the last chase.
What do you chase after with enthusiasm, even if you fail over and over again?
What are you willing to chase after?
Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
And wherever you are, keep smiling :)
— Josh Waggoner