Wednesday, March 30, 2011

You Could Learn a Lot from My Dog

Hey you. Yeah, you're the one I want to talk to: The one with that stressed-out look. What's wrong now? Feels like the world is crushing your insides and it's hard for you to breathe without worrying about the next possible shitstorm? What shitstorm? You're alive. That's a pretty nice thing, and you have to expect shitstorms, but they shouldn't be your whole life. That's not what living is about.

I'll tell you a story. My dog Kitty, who's part miniature pinscher, part terrier, was abandoned somewhere in Nome, Alaska, found by someone who worked at a pizza parlor, and she was vicious. They had to handle her with gloves.

Yeah, she had to look for her own food, her own shelter, had to weather the extreme cold in that part of the world.

We found her on a website run by a woman who takes in dogs like her in Alaska, and we knew she was the one for us. She came down to us on Alaska Airlines at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. Mom was worried that we would have to use gloves, too. We didn't, but on that first night with us, she slept alone on our couch.

Gradually, though, she warmed up to us, claimed the rocking chair in the living room as her own, and you know what she loves to do? She loves to go outside on the patio and sit exactly where the sun shines. She loves that warmth more than I think I could possibly love books. She goes out, she comes in, she goes back out a little later. She follows that sun all day. In the late afternoon, she goes to sit under my window because that's where the sun is.

And she sits. She brings out her favorite orange tennis ball, and she sits down and just looks around quietly, beaming at the sun, her eyes closed sometimes, just loving that warmth with her entire body and soul. Maybe you could benefit from some time in the sun like that. Find something in your life that you could love just as much as Kitty loves "Mr. Sun", as we call it for her.

(The same thinking applies to our other dog, Tigger, part miniature pinscher, part Italian greyhound, who loves to have me blow on his tummy when he's laying on his back. He's loved it ever since he was little.)

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