It was a sunny and warm Sunday afternoon when I sat down to write the draft of this. My dog Pax and I had just returned from a walk. It was hot but he had a good swim in the lake so now he is lying near me taking a nap. My dog is wonderful teacher if I pay attention to what he shows me about life.
Pax speaks in his own language by the sounds he makes and the actions he takes to indicate: what he likes, when someone his invading his space, when another dog is trying to take his toy, and when he is so happy when we get home. What do his messages show me about life?
When he makes noise to tell us he likes something it is his way of saying how much he appreciates us giving him attention. He loves to be hugged, petted, scratched etc. He purrs almost like a cat. We can learn from this that it is good to share our appreciation. Appreciating is a two-way street, we benefit both from being appreciated and giving appreciation. Those who care for and about us appreciate loving affection.
He understands the importance of boundaries that is why he lets someone know if they are invading his space. He loves to look out the upstairs window where he barks at people who come too close to our home. He does the same in our backyard. We all must learn to respect our own boundaries and say “no” when we need to and keep our distance from people who are not healthy for us to be around.
When another dog is trying to take his toy sometimes he gives them the growl that clearly says back off. He understands the importance of placing limits on others. It seems we as a nation need to place limits on how much BS we are willing to put up with. I know Pax would really growl if he saw how much intolerance is going on out there, how much we waste on war, how much we let the people say nonsense and spread misinformation and don’t hold them accountable, how much we let the religions of the world tell us what to think, say, and do and so much more. There is much to growl at and to say that is enough and we are not going to put up with it any more.
Lastly his apparent joy when we get home is about appreciating the moment, about appreciating those we love, about valuing our relationships most of all. As he sleeps away as I write this, I think what a joy he is, what a gift he is to our life. I too get excited when I see him after I have been away. We all need love, we all need to be cared for, and we all need to have relationships that nurture us. Pax is excited about life and it is infectious.