In April I adopted a little tornado of a dog named Hayley from Ark animal rescue centre as a companion to my amazing friend and dog, KD. Hayley appears to be a Daxie x Basenji but looks like a miniature ridgeback (if there ever was such a thing). And in the last few months since adopting her, I have learnt more about life through my 2 amazing dogs than one could imagine learning from what some may think of as just dogs.
First lesson : Pick up after yourself! Hayley is a terrorist of note and has chewed through more things than you can imagine (the list is too long to post)! Being rather tall, she can also get to things that K never dreamed of and I know he encourages her to get things for him - KDs favorite chew is obviously food, followed by pens and H just adores socks and underwear!! And nothing makes you more alert to put your washing in the basket than a puppy running out onto the lawn with something of that nature when you live in a complex!!!
Second lesson: Patience! Not everything happens instantly. Sometimes we just have to breathe and wait. Hayley loves planting socks and I am sure she is hoping that one day the socks will multiply into a garden oasis of fluffy, colorful socks. So, just like she waits in patient hope that my Flanders sock will multiply, we too need to learn that not everything happens overnight and when you cannot change things (like a sock not growing), sit back, enjoy the ride and watch the pretty sock!
Third lesson : Smile! Even when things are crazy, little H and big brother KD will do something cute or crazy. Usually it is H smiling with her crazy grin and doing something insane like playing in a freezing water bowl on a winters day or KD rolling over for a tummy tickle or crawling into my bed during the day and making it look like I did not make my bed. But, no matter what: these 2 remind me daily that its ok to giggle at stupid things even if it is a silly dog splashing water on you on a cold winters day.
Fourth lesson: A hug is worth more than money. K isnt big on hugs so this is where H has come in - putting those long arms around your neck and putting her head on yours is often one of those special moments after a long day at work. Only problem is that she will stand there all day if given half a chance whilst K eats her food (and mine if he gets a chance).
Fifth lesson : Get outside. Now, this has never been a problem for me but has been a good reminder. Having 2 hyper dogs (as opposed to 1 hyper dog) has meant that now I really cannot escape walking every day!! Some days, all I want to do is chill on my couch with a glass of wine but the 2 nutters bully me and make sure that that does not happen!! They make sure their mom gets out and gets fresh air.
Sixth lesson : Sleep is good. Dogs are nearly as good as cats when it comes to being sleep experts and we can all learn a lesson from them when it comes to animals and how much they sleep. I mean, just look at how happy, care free and energetic animals are and how much they sleep versus how humans are in general.
Seventh lesson: You are never too old to learn! KD is back at school and is having a blast (he just likes the eating part but learning comes as a result) and he has even started agility, which we are both enjoying. (But, please dont tell K I said he was old cause he is only 6 or 7 so is only a teenager and will pee on me if he hears I called him old!) So, get out there and learn something even if its something small.
Eighth lesson : This is a lesson on uniqueness so I am going to call it Chasing Cars. Although they are both dogs and are alike in that they have 4 rather long legs, cute ears, bark, cuddle and adore their human (aka me), they are also uniquely different to each other: K is an independent boy who cuddles on his own terms and does not really do dog-like stuff like chase balls but would do ANYTHING for a tummy tickle or a piece of liver bread. He is distinctly half human in his thinking. On the other hand, Hayley chases balls, cars, plays in water and would do ANYTHING for a cuddle or a run. My point is that no matter how similar people may seem to each other, they each have their own unique characteristic that makes them who they are and as such, we need to treasure that difference.
Ninth lesson: Pee in a tunnel. Yep, you read that right! Every now and again, do something off the wall. K likes to mark his spot in odd places (like tunnels and doggie water bowls) but it makes him happy. Hayley likes to run like a lunatic and make other dogs chase her. So, perhaps we too need to do something crazy but maybe not following Ks example of peeing in odd places!
Tenth lesson : Bury a bone. Have you ever been in your garden and seen the fossils? Well, I have and its not of a dinosaur. Yet, dogs think that a buried bone is the best thing ever because it is their treasure that they found and stashed away for a rainy day when they needed something yummy to chew on. Personally, I hate when K brings his month old bones into the house or when H rediscovers the sock that I thought the laundry monster had eaten but they get a major kick out of it. The lesson: keep a good book handy for when you need a break from the norm. How do I equate a book to a bone? Look at how zoned out a dog gets with a good bone and then you do the math.
I could go on and on about the lessons that these 2 have taught me but for now, that is more than enough!