I’ve been “confessing” a lot lately here on this blog. I confessed that I used frozen pre-made risotto to stuff my Mushroom Lover’s Risotto Stuffed Mushrooms this past Monday. I confessed I used Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes for my Christmas dinner for family and friends. I’m sure there are many more, but you get the picture.
I must be full of guilt about somethin’ and now that it’s New Year’s Day and I have no New Year’s resolutions to make (I fear I’d break them anyway), I’ve decided that these 5 Life Lessons from Dogs were about as good a list of New Year’s Resolutions as anyone could make.
So, I’m adopting these 5 life lessons from dogs as my 2015 New Year’s Resolutions!
If you haven’t made any new years’ resolutions yet, don’t you think these are as good as any you had gnawing in the back of your mind, straining to reach the surface for a commitment? Dreading to even think about saying them out loud (or, heaven forbid, share them with anyone), because like me, you’d stray from them before January comes to a close?
Okay, time for another confession: I get AARP magazine in the mail. Yep, I’m old enough to be an AARP member! And, here’s another confession: I usually read it cover-to-cover. It must be an “age” thing because I find most of the articles worth reading and while the magazine isn’t that big (around 70 pages), I find myself hanging on to them for months at a time and even rereading some of the articles (oh, lord, I’m turning into a hoarder!).
Anyway, this month’s magazine, the December 2014/January 2015 issue, has a wonderful article, “Our Dog Years”, written by David Dudley. It’s available online, so if you don’t have access to the print magazine, you can read the article here: What Our Dogs Teach Us About Aging.
A fascinating article about the similarities of aging in dogs and humans, (i.e., “doggy dementia” has a close parallel to human Alzheimer’s – working theory: dogs live in our environment, eat our food, drink our water, live in our homes), the “real story” is author Dudley’s 18-year relationship with his dog Foghat (yes, he named his dog Foghat).
A beautifully written piece, you will be crying buckets by the last page as Dudley describes the last moments with his beloved pet. These 5 life lessons from dogs that I’ve listed in the pinnable photo above (yes, save it to your Pinterest boards!) are actually from the last paragraph of his story.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that I don’t have a dog. I have a cat – a boy named Coco. But, I’m a dog-lover, too, and have had dogs all my life. I just don’t have one now. There is a story behind that, which I’ll keep brief for this post:
My husband, Charlie, and I had 2 cats and 2 dogs when we married: Haley (a female Dalmatian/Australian Shepherd mix), Jack (a male Chow/Lab mix), Tinman (a male gray tabby) and Dorothy (a female calico cat). Yes, they were all named after either Jack Haley, the Tinman in the Wizard of Oz, or Oz characters, but that’s a story for another day.
We got each of these pets at different times over a 2-year period. So, they aged all together and while they lived long lives, we lost them all within a 2-year period. And, we lost them all to cancer. Each one had a different form of cancer, but each had cancer. It was a devastating 2-year period of unimaginable grief.
So, when we were ready to try again, we started with a rescued kitten we named Coco and had every intention of adopting a second cat. But, time got away from us, the fire happened, the rebuild happened, our elder care journey was in full swing and having more than one pet seemed too much to handle. So, Coco, our beloved and very spoiled Snowshoe Siamese is our now 8-year-old baby.
I bet you are wondering whose dogs are these dogs in this post, right? A few are the beloved pets of my friend, Christin, a avid animal-rights supporter. As a foster-mother to dogs, she has worked tirelessly behind the scenes with an animal rescue group founded by her veterinarian.
Christin doesn’t live in my community, but one about 80 miles north. When setting the date for a planned weekend visit with her in 2013, she’d forgotten that she’d committed to helping out at an adoption event. So rather than cancel on me, she asked me if I wouldn’t like to come and spend the afternoon seeing what they do. So, I did.
Some of these dogs are rescue dogs that were up for adoption that day. Since it is now more than a year later since I took these photos, I’m sure they have all been placed in loving homes. But, here’s the thing: there are always dogs (and cats) out there that need loving homes. Here’s a link to their website: Compassionate Animal Rescue for Medical Aid.
Without further ado, here are the 5 Life Lessons from Dogs with photos taken by me of either Christin’s dogs or rescued dogs from CARMA:
#1 – Eat the best food you can afford.
This is my friend’s, Christin, late dog Zeke with his empty dog bowl in the background. Zeke was a wonderful dog; Christin’s much-loved, dedicated companion for many, many years. Christin feeds her pets only the best pet food available. Shouldn’t we, humans, eat only the best food that we can afford, i.e., limit our consumption of pre-packaged foods and fast food and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables?
#2 – Go for a walk, even if it’s raining.
This Chiweenie, waiting for adoption, begs a CARMA volunteer for a walk!
#3 – Take a lot of naps.
Christin’s current dogs, both female, both adopted, Blue (on the left) and Amelia (on the right) resting at the top of Christin’s stairs. She lives in a 3-story house so they get pooped out following her up and down the stairs throughout the day. This time, they decided to wait for her to come back up the stairs!
#4 – Keep your teeth clean and your breath fresh, so that the people you lick will not flinch.
This is Vet Tiffany, cuddling (and not flinching) one of the rescue dogs up for adoption that day as he happily licks her face!
And, I captured this adorable pair of Chiweenies, up for adoption that day, sharing their love with a CARMA volunteer.
#5 – And when someone you love walks through the door…
even if it happens five times a day, go totally insane with joy.
One of the rescue dogs going crazy for affection from a CARMA volunteer!
BONUS LIFE LESSONS
#6 – If someone reaches out to comfort you, accept it graciously.
Vet Tiffany scratching the ears of one of the Chiweenies.
Christin kissing her dog, Amelia.
Sweet Chiweenie breaking my heart with that adorable face!
#7 – Wag your tail often…life is good!
Happy New Year!
(other stories about animals)