In our inconsistent world, some of the most powerful lessons we learn come from children and (in my case) our dogs. This is only my opinion before I get a truckload of replies all denying this is the case.
There is a tv program that tracks young four and five-year-olds at play. I love watching it as I am reminded or there resilience and love of basically having fun. They also say what they think, which is also a mind opener. If we say what we honestly think the only thing we often open is a can of worms!
I have had many dogs come and go in my life and they all taught me something different, some times about myself. The poodles my mum had basically taught me:
you cannot make someone do something just because you wish it to happen. Poodle number one often was dragged by me out on a walk and I inevitably arrived home carrying him!
Poodle number two taught me that simply giving someone time and sitting with them, listening or holding their hand is often all that is required.
Poodle number three; fun is important.
However, I was reminded of all of these things when Bob arrived into our lives. He was a great people dog. He loved to sit at the gate and wait for the children to pass by on the way home from school. This feat alone gained him many jelly babies, some crisps and a few extra inches around his middle, and a long list of admirers. While he did this, Ellie and her collection of tennis balls would appear and she would push the balls through the gate while the children chucked them back.
He was patient, sitting calmly staring at me at 6pm each evening to remind me it was time for his food and meds.
He gave comfort to both Ellie and me whenever we returned from a long search cold and tired, with a wag of his tail and a lick across my hand and on her ear, he appeared to say, tomorrow is another day.
It has become evident that Ellie continues to miss him but that too is another learning curve – dogs emotions run deep.
From Ellie I have learnt a different set of lessons, never give up, don’t say can’t without trying. We have done some crazy things like swimming the river Boyne, or on one occasion climbed a great height (in torrential rain)to get around fallen trees and blocked pathway to find a missing person. Taking shelter from a snowstorm in a forest and then hitching a lift back to base in a tractor.
I’m not getting on that!
I would love to know what others have learnt from their canine buddies and what adventures they have taken with them.