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Friday, August 16, 2013

1460 lessons she's taught me...

Today my girl is turning 4 years old. I can remember the smell of her puppy nose like it was yesterday, the day my then fiance (husband-to-be only three days later...) surprised me with the fluffy, little fur ball the morning after my bachelorette party. As that saying goes, timing is everything. She was two months old when she came home.

Everyday of our life together, we are learning from each other. Everyday! It's not like the learning we did in the first few months... like how to get pee out of carpet, and how to avoid her puppy teeth.  But she also learned alot too, and fairly quickly and easily:
  • sit
  • stay
  • lay down
  • up
  • shake (both hands)
  • high five (both hands)
  • go to bed
  • wait (for a treat or to eat dinner)
  • speak
  • go find _________ (we play hide-n-go seek lots!)
  • the names of people
  • the names of various toys
  • how to wait for and catch a treat from her nose
  • how to catch a Frisbee
  • the way to get exactly what she wants from every person she meets with those big, brown eyes

And now the lessons are more subtle. I have to pay attention, and take note.

Recently we found our stride when we go for long walks. There was a time she use to nearly choke herself to death as she pulled me behind her (I'm nearly 3x her size too!). But that took all these years for us to learn each other, and figure out what works.

She teaches me patience because she never goes to the bathroom when it is convenient. And after I sort the laundry in to color piles, she takes mouth fulls are spreads them all around the house. Surprise!

She teaches me that true, unconditional love is limitless. There is really no end to the love she gives. Yes, there is a tradeoff. Her vet bills are huge, her food is expensive, and twice a day we pick up big, stinky, hot piles of poo. But those eyes. That fur. Those snuggles. Price-freakin-less!

She reminds me that everyone deserves our time. She really loves humans. And she has a very special gift with senior citizens and toddlers. She'll sit by the side of an older person, and just look deep into their soul, letting them talk to her and pet her. She's in no hurry. She is truly therapy. And for kidlets, she instantly rolls on her back to allow them to rub her belly. She'll let them tug on her ears, snatch her toys and get all kinds of up in her grill... seems like she has no personal bubble at all. The closer, the better!
She taught me, and continues to remind me, that everything can be fun, and there is always time to play! Even at four years old, home girl loves to play!

She teaches me how to make the seemingly small things into memories and moments. Seeing the world through her experiences has been everything for J and I. We took her on a 14 hour road trip, one way. And she loved every second of it, hardly sleeping at all. She's been to the lake, to the beach, to friends' homes, to the park, to post office and more... Have dog, will travel!

And most importantly, she reminds me that if you strip it all away, as long as we have each other, we'll always be okay.

This four year old doggy, who is 1460 days old today, has taught me 1460 lessons or more. She is family. She is my doghter. She is my spiritual match! She saved me from depression. She made J and I a family, and she made our little, humble house into a palatial castle that oozes fun and laughter. She is the most amazing dog on the planet and I love her so much!

Happy, happy, happy, happy birthday beautiful girl! I am soooo glad you were born!



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