My New Role Model
In my last post, “Slow Down,” I wrote:
Is it fun? Then why am I not doing it?
Yes, I want to have more fun. And no, this is not exactly an original idea.
I stole it.
I stole it from Theo.
Yes, my dog is my new role model.
I’ve observed over the last 8 months that he’s pretty happy. So why not do more of what he does?
And PLAY is definitely on the top of his playlist.
If it’s fun, Theo wants to do it. All the time. He can play fetch with his bunny a zillion times a day, and guess what? The next day it’s still fun.
And sometimes he will have fun that he is not supposed to have. We have done our best to train him to be good boy. And last week he even graduated from Obedience School – but let’s just say he did not exactly make the honor roll.
As much as we scold him, there are many times when the temptation far outweighs the cost.
Getting dirty, for instance.
To Theo, going into the muddy bog to play with frogs was definitely worth the bath later. I need to remind myself that getting dirty and sweaty can be fun. And just because someone tells you “no” doesn’t mean that you can’t try it anyway.
Being scolded isn’t so terrible. I can see from my puppy that the best way to handle it is to listen courteously…
Then do what you want.
I’ve also seen that you have to try stuff. Being brave can give you access to wonderful pleasures. The stairs may be really scary, but once you’ve mastered them, you can sleep on the bed – (if no one is looking.)
On the other hand, Theo has also taught me that it is okay to be timid once in a while. There’s no shame in being afraid. When we go to the dog park, he’s very cautious around the other dogs. Just yesterday, I reminded him that he doesn’t have to be afraid of a dog with a name like Sweetie, for God’s sake. But I also understand that no one should force you into anything you’re not comfortable with. Trust your instincts. Sweetie could be a nine-and-a-half pound biter.
Pay attention. You never know when an opportunity may come your way. You have to be ready to seize the moment.
Take joy in simple things. You don’t need expensive toys. Just taking a walk feels really nice. And if you want to bring something with you, it doesn’t have to be a monogrammed designer bone. You could take a toilet paper roll, for example.
But by far, the most important lesson I have learned from my dog is:
Be generous with your forgiveness. Make your forgiveness complete. Let go of your anger as quickly as you can. Don’t nurse your grievances. Don’t hold a grudge.
I’m not talking about how easily I forgive Theo when he has been a bad boy.
I’m talking about how easily Theo forgives me.
I haven’t had a dog for a very long time. I’m not good at raising a puppy. I’m set in my ways. I get aggravated quickly. I lose my temper at least once a day… sometimes once an hour. I scold. I holler. Sometimes I cry.
There are moments when Theo must think that I am a total lunatic.
The next moment there he is. Ready to cuddle. Giving his whole heart to his lunatic mom.
I want to be more like Theo.
I’m sure he can teach me.