Friday, October 4, 2013

Puppy Dog Lessons

 Last weekend we loaded up and headed out to a nearby park for some unplugged down time, much needed and much enjoyed.  Besides vehicles packed with what we needed for staying in the cabins, we had all the packing for bringing all three of the dogs with us.  Two labs and one labradoodle came along, much to their delight.  They spent time splashing in the lake, sleeping in the sunshine, and stretched out on blankets.  We packed everything they would need.  And they packed in a few lessons along the way.

Jumping In
My sweet labradoodle pup is more a girly girl than not; more pillow than puddle.  So, while the labs jumped into the lake with abandon, she decided that sitting on the dock with me was just fine.  But, they must have looked like they were having such great fun.  I could see her wanting to join in, but she held back.  Unexpectedly and at a full run, she took off and launched into the water.  Sometimes, you just have to acknowledge the fear and jump in anyway. 
Oh, and she didn’t jump back in later, but she did manage to wade in up to her belly.

Dragon, Pillows, Air Conditioners – Gotta’ Lean into the Little Joys
Don’t leave home without your dragon (a.k.a. safety blanket).  My pup simply will not go to bed without her stuffed dragon.  So, dragon of course went along with us.  Pillows are our friends.  And for many of us, they are kind of an expected part of our bedroom set.  But, just because we are used to it, we don’t want to lose the joy of the feel of a pillow under our heads.  And, when you are in the car, it can feel good to lean into the air conditioner and really soak in the cool air.  Of course, not when you are driving…  It isn’t always the big things that are joys; it is a myriad of little things.

Be Happy To See Loved Ones
Whether I’m gone five hours or five minutes, I get a wonderfully enthusiastic greeting from my pup.  She is so happy that I am back with her.  Don’t forget to show others how happy you are to see them too!

Focus on the Stick
Before a dog can swim out and get a stick in a lake, they have got to know where the stick is.  So, they get focused and wait for it to be thrown, watching for the splash for where it lands.  If they get distracted, they would have no idea of where to look.  It is easy to lose focus, but when we need to keep our eye on the goal, it is time to look at the goal and don’t look away.
Don’t Just Notice – Do Something
An evening campfire was feeling better and better as the cooler night temperatures set in.  As we moved our lawn chairs closer, I noticed that my pup was showing signs of getting cold.  Getting ready to leave the fire and take her in, I reached down to pet her and noticed that I was touching two pups.  One noticed that the other was cold and moved over to cuddle in.  Next thing I know, they were both sound asleep and warm and comfy.  I often get so busy, I miss that someone else is having a rough moment.  And, if I miss it, I certainly can’t lend a hand or warmth. 

The dogs went on vacation with us, and taught a few lessons along the way.