Lessons from my Dog
It was this time last year that I was so excited I could hardly wait to jump in the car and drive 8 hours round trip to go pick up my new puppy. I have been wanting a dog ever since I could remember and it was finally the right circumstances that I could make the decision. I guess you could say he was my 2020 gift.
In September of that year, I decided to get on 3 different rescue sites. Like other dog lovers in 2020, we all had the same idea. It was nearly impossible to have anyone respond. I waited for a few months and without one call back a little voice inside said to look on Craigslist. So I did. Unbeknownst to me, I saw someone selling their Aussie doodles. Something had me reach out to the owner and within 5 minutes she emailed me back saying, “Sorry, we have sold all the puppies.”
Then I followed the second voice that said ask if she knows anyone with Australian Shepherds. I emailed her and she emailed right back again. “As a matter of fact, my daughter who grew up in Tacoma, WA now lives in Oklahoma on a farm and raises Aussies, here’s her number…she’s bringing 10 puppies to SeaTac airport on January 5. I called her right away and before I knew it she was sending me adorable videos of her puppies. From the moment I saw Miko’s video I knew he was the one. A combination of chill, active and playful. Plus he was a red. That combination of auburn, copper and white is just so beautiful to me.
Miko has taught been a huge teacher for me. Here’s what comes to mind. Reflections of my dog and how dogs teach us so much:
Unconditional love – no matter what he’s always licking my face and telling me that he loves me. Even if he gets in trouble (which is a rare occurrence) he comes back to love me even more, telling me he’s sorry and that he loves me more definitively.
Presence – he’s taught me how to be present. I have learned to stay connected to my feelings and not push them away because I don’t want to feel something.
Active – I was active before but now it feels like I really am. Everyday we are outside doing something. Weather it’s running around at the dog park or taking a walk on the path or a hike in the woods, I have been outside breathing in the fresh air every single day with him – even when there’s a big hail storm and raining, raining, raining.
Patience – oh boy. He’s taught me to be patient. Raising a puppy is no joke. From the first 6 months, you have to watch them like a hawk and even the next 6 months you need to make sure they are not getting into mischief. I’ve learned to enjoy slowing down to do something repetitive. From throwing a ball a million times to making sure he’s not eating his leash, patience has definitely been a virtue.
Sleep – For the first 4 months I barely slept it seemed. Getting up every 2 hours when he was 2 months, 3 hours when he was 3 months, 4 hours when he was 4 months and so on, gave me a new appreciation for sleeping.
Caring – Taking care of another being is one of the most special things you can do. It’s been such a gift to care for an animal and the love he gives out is a ripple effect and contagious.
Communication – I just love communicating with Miko. It’s amazing to think that we can communicate with no words. He truly hears me it seems. It’s amazing we have our own language.
Happiness – I am so grateful for the way I feel when I’m with him. I feel genuinely happy and he just makes everything better.
When Pawffice opened up downstairs – the addition to co-working space for dog owners – I was so excited that I could bring Miko with me to the office and have him meet friends and play. It’s the perfect solution when you have a dog. The space is quiet and peaceful. If you do have a dog and you don’t want him/her to be alone during the day, think about moving your office downstairs. We will welcome you with open doggy arms!!
And – if you have ever experienced owning an animal, congratulations! If you haven’t – I highly recommend it. It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving and is the best decision you can make for yourself. There are so many animals that need to be rescued. Just look up your local humane society or My Dog is My Co-Pilot is a good one too. They go to kill shelters all around the US and rescue dogs and cats. They are amazing!!