Archive for May 14th, 2009

Pets, Happiness and Change

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

I haven’t felt the best this week. I’ve been battling a cold since the end of last week. I thought it was just about gone, but tonight my head is pounding. I feel like someone’s hitting me in the temple non-st0p. Hopefully it will cease when I lay my head on the pillow.

Last night after I clicked the light off and crawled under the covers I had a few thoughts racing around the empty space in my mind. I didn’t try to slow them down because things like that are just a fact of life for me now. After about 10 minutes I could hear the pitter patter of small feet. Although it was pitch black I knew who it was. My dog Theo was coming to hop in bed with me. Within a few seconds he was nudging me with his wet nose. He gently placed his nose under my jaw and moved his head up and down. I scratched him behind the ears and petted him for a few seconds. Then, he laid down next to me.

He seemed closer than normal. I smiled to myself and began thinking of everything that he has given to me. I have often said that he was probably the greatest gift that I ever receieved. At the time I got him I didn’t know how big a part of my life he would become, but time has definitely found a way to show me.

He’s like a spoiled child. He could be the worst dog in the world and I would still love him. He follows me around the house like a shadow. He has been beside me in my best and worst times. He loves me because I love him. I now understand that I have given him a good life. Although he can’t talk, we can silently communicate with each other. When I’m down I can tell that he knows it. I can easily see when he’s not feeling up to par as well.

The other day I had to have blood drawn to make sure my liver and kidneys are still functioning ok. As I sat in the chair I glanced toward the wall and saw a small picture of a dog with a quote next to it. The quote said, “A dog is the only thing that loves you more than it loves itself.”  As soon as I read it I knew exactly what it meant. No matter what happens every day, Theo always greets me the same way. He runs to the top of the stairs and wags his whole body when I greet him. I can see the excitement in his furry little body. It’s funny because I could have had the worst day in the world, but the sight of him instantly makes me smile. I love him likes he’s my own child.

He’s getting older now and I’m just thankful for all of the great years we had together. Every day with him has been a gift for me. I do know that if I ever find someone that can love me as much as he does I will be the luckiest man on the face of the earth. It’s so easy to give pets unconditional love. The reason it’s so easy is because they don’t speak. There are no direct feelings involved other than love and happiness. Of course, every once in a while something happens where we might be upset for a short time, but within seconds it is forgotten. There are a lot of lessons to be gained from that. If more people treated their loved ones like they treat their pets the world would be a better place and there would be a lot less failed relationships.

Shortly before I closed my eyes last night I patted Theo on the head and scratched behind his ears. I softly said to him, “I love you buddy.”  Then, I closed my eyes and let my mind begin to roll. I’m not sure his life is easy, but I wish I could be him for a few days. He doesn’t have to make very many decisions. Instead, he just waits for his daily dose of attention and enjoys his life. It sounds so simple, so I’m sure in all reality it probably doesn’t work that way in his world. Some pets have better personalities than others, but they are all unique in their own way. People are very much the same way.

For all of you that have pets, whether they are cats, dogs, lizards, hamsters or rabbits, think about the way that you interact with them. When you chose your pet you chose it for a reason. The pet gave you something you needed and you returned the favor to it. Most pets bring a lot of joy and happiness to our lives. They can bring us up when the whole world is crumbling down around us.  As your lives go forward remember how easy it is to love your pet once you let it inside your world. There are many things that can make us happy, but we sometimes ignore the most important ones that walk into our lives unannounced. They might have what we need and really want, but underneath we’re afraid for some reason. We’re often unsure of why, but something holds us back.

However, we give everything to our new pets. Our pets make us feel good from the start. I’m sure you have all experienced the same thing when you have met certain people. Some people make us feel good, but instead of picking them up and giving them attention like we do to our pets, we push them aside. We might not even know why we do it, but we do.

If something makes you happy then go with your gut. Fear is what makes people brave, but it also kills just as many people in the process. Go someplace, sit in silence and ask yourself what really makes you happy. Look back on things that brought you happiness and how you reacted. Did you give the experience a chance to blossom or did you walk away because you were afraid? Then, look at the things that brought you pain and misery. Did you stay because you were afraid to cut yourself loose? Did you think you deserved what was happening to you or were you just content with living a life filled with misery? I can’t answer these questions for anyone, but if you’re caught in a gray area it might be time to determine what is best for you and what you have to do to get there. If people treat you well you should embrace them like your favorite pet. There’s no better feeling than seeing Theo on top of the stairs wagging his body every day. I’m sure we’ve all had people that made us feel the same. The secret is to latch on when they appear because once they’re gone there’s no saying that they will ever return. Life is full of choices and sometimes the most happiness that we ever could have achieved might be passed up because we didn’t acknowledge it when it knocked on our door.

Open the door slowly and gently. Let the happiness soak into you one day at a time. Every night when you go to sleep think of where you want to go in life and take a good look into your soul to see if you’re on the path that is the most fulfilling. An unlimited amount of happiness could be right in front of you if you take the chance to find out. Sometimes you have to leave the comfort of your current life, but once you start going forward you’ll be forever thankful that you took the chance. From the greatest risks come the greatest rewards. Do yourself a favor and acknowledge true happiness when it knocks loudly on the door. You’ll experience soft knocking from time to time, but the sun will light up the sky when you allow it to. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow could very well be found after you answer the door.