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Dog Inspired Lessons
Sweet Cooper ain’t having it. Looks like I’ve got to get out there in the cold and take him for his walk. I think you would agree his look says “tell it to the paw cuz these beautiful ears ain’t listening to your lame lazy excuse. Now get your coat on and let’s roll.”
Can you see me now?
I work from home and when I’ve been staring at the computer for a few hours not even blinking, Cooper will make his way to my desk and then pop his head up from under the desk and climb on my chair or he will give me the stare down if I’m on the couch with my laptop. In the past, I would push him back down with a firm “not now I’m busy.” Last week I was walking the trail and kept thinking of Cooper and his “do you see me now moments.” I had an insight. Cooper, was once again teaching me a valuable lesson on being present with our loved ones and giving them our full attention.
How often do you see couples at dinner staring at their phones or the TV behind their date’s head instead of paying attention to each other? I’m guilty. It has become acceptable behavior, the norm. Then dinner is served and the focus is on eating. The check is paid and dinner is over. How much of that dinner was spent with the full focus on each other or even tasting the food?
Following Cooper’s example, we need to single to each other to “see me now.” We turn off our phones or put them on vibrate during movies. It is the rule after all. Let’s continue that practice when we are spending time with each other. Put the phone in airplane mode, no beeps, rings or dings to pull your attention away. Can we not spare an hour from our device to give each other our undivided attention?
When I got back from my walk I decided the brown-eyed stare down was an opportunity to take a stretch break and to get a glass of water. Now, I grab my water, give Cooper a scratch, open the back door so he can do a quick run in the yard. Toss the ball for a few minutes and enjoy the view. Then I head back to my task. It’s done wonders for helping me keep my water goal each day, and a quick stretch break helps me take a deep breath and has a calming effect when I get back at it. And Cooper either entertains himself with a toy he found in the yard or gets fascinated by a squirrel and is happy and content. He didn’t need hours of my time, just a moment or two to feel like he mattered and to know that I remembered he was an important part of my life. Isn’t that worth a few moments?
Your life will be much more memorable if you stop and smell the flowers, or watch a bird build its Nest.
When I lived in Texas, we couldn’t wait for the Bluebonnets. There was a short window of time to take pictures and enjoy their beauty before the heat hit and they withered back. Every year we would take the pups to a local field and snap away, just like all the other families in Texas. We tried to find a spot that wasn’t trampled on and tried not to add to the trampling. It wasn’t always easy. Looking around at the families snapping away at their little angels, I noticed no one was enjoying the flowers. Tensions were high and the kids were getting restless waiting for that perfect shot. Mothers were yelling at dads to take the shot from a kneeling angle or move over to that tree nearby. I’m sure the resulting shots were gorgeous, but what about the opportunity to stop and smell the flowers? Was that lost or was it just a quick scratch and sniff and on to the next errand on the list?
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I love this daily prompt. It brought back the sweetest memory.
“Always get an Orange cat,” the vet said.
I adopted Tiger from the pound and it was his first exam with our vet. He was my first orange cat, but not my last. We were laughing so hard because every time he tried to listen to Tiger’s heartbeat, Tiger would break out in the loudest purr when he placed his stethoscope on him. “I guess I’m just going to have to trust that his heart is healthy,” he said.
“Orange cats are the friendliest in my experience,” he continues. He was so right. Tiger was such a loving part of our family. Our hearts still break at this passing and it has been 10 years. If you are at the stage of opening your heart to a new pet, get an orange cat!