Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Things I've Learned From My Dog

A couple summers ago, my husband Tyler decided it was time to get a dog.  Toby is a great dog and a wonderful companion.  I had never had a pet dog in the house, so I didn't really know what to expect.  Now two years later, here are a few things I have learned from Toby:

Live in the present


Toby came to us from the shelter.  He had traumatic experiences, but he didn't live in the past.  He didn't say, "People are no good; I think I'll give up on them."  He said, "That was hard, but I am open to the idea that there are good people in this world and I can move on."


Never give up


When Toby first joined our family, Kiko (our cat rescue) was incensed.  She was seriously mad.  At everyone.  For a long time.  But Toby wanted her as a fried.  He was determined.  He had decided they would be friends, so he started working at it.  


You could almost see him telling her, "How's it going? I'm Toby.  Nice to meet you.  Nah, I'm cool.  It's all good.  I'll just sit here quietly and let you make the next move."  He just got a little closer every day, always respectfully tenacious.  Little by little, he chipped away at his goal.


The other day, I saw Kiko lick Toby's forehead.  Yes, it took two years (that's a lot of dog time) and a lot of patience, but Toby made his goal a reality.


Smile


Toby has a great smile.  I mean look at this.  And he smiles a lot.  Even after something disappointing happens.  He just shakes it off and starts smiling.  Smiles are infectious, and they can make you feel better.


Be eternally hopeful

I start cooking and here is Toby.  It doesn't matter how long the cooking takes, or what's cooking, he will sit like this.  Waiting.  For the possibility of a morsel.  For the suggestion of an idea of a possibility. 


Whether or not he got any last time I cooked, he will sit here waiting.  For any amount of time.  I can be there an hour later, and he will still be there.


Always hoping.  Sure in the belief that good things will eventually come.


Be adventurous


Toby is always ready for an adventure.  He is always ready to explore.  He doesn't care that it's unfamiliar or strange.  He is confident that something awesome is out there waiting, if he'll only take the initiative to find it.

Take a break


It's okay to check out sometimes.  Toby knows what he needs.  Sometimes the world is just too much and he needs a break from everything.  I mean everything.  So he sticks his head under the couch/bed/chair and ignores everything.  Sometimes you need to ignore everything and take a breath.  Toby knows he suffers from hyper-vigilance, so he hides his face and doesn't distract himself from his much needed rest.


Be supremely patient

For some reason, we find it highly amusing to put things on Toby's head.  And he is always patient with us.  Here is his patient face:



He never starts yelling or telling us we're jerks.  He just sighs and waits for us to finish.  Because he loves us.  He puts up with these brief annoyances because he knows the pay off will be worth it.  More snuggle time with his favorite people.


Put your head out the window


Smell everything.  See everything.  Taste everything.  Life is short.  Don't waste your time.


Family is most important


 More important than work, more important than money, more important than belongings.  Kinda goes without saying, huh?




3 comments:

  1. Wow. Uhhh.... wow. I love Toby so much more now. I'm glad you were intuitive enough to realize all those lessons, and share them with us. How incredible - I wanna be like Toby when I grow up! Give him kisses for me!

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  2. Oh so you are a writer and photographer too! I loved reading this! I may have to follow your blog too!

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    1. Yeah, I have definitely learned a lot from Toby. :) Thanks for reading!

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