While HisFI and I are not parents to homosapiens, we are parents to our animals. Animals offer unconditional love. We were both raised with animals. I on a small rural farm and HisFI on a ranch that trained and bred horses. In fact we met at a veterinary clinic where we both worked for several years.
The love for animals was so strong we even broke a lease for it. One of the worst financial decisions we have made, but still one of the best lifestyle choices. We rented our first apartment together and it was amazing. We even had a great view of a greenspace. Only catch? No animals allowed.
This literally killed us. I was ready to rescue every kitten I could find and stash them away in our closet….haha! Don’t worry I never followed through. Finally, the no animals and insanely loud neighbors above us set us looking to rent a home. We found a home in an ideal location that allowed up to three pets and had a great yard. Thus, breaking our lease and paying out the nose so we could grow our fur baby family.
I do not regret this choice in any way because our animals have taught us so much. When I look at Twila our dog, she has some of life’s lessons down. The way animals approach the world can teach us all something about values and awareness.
Twila has set meal times. Set meals and gets the same walk every day at 3:45 when I come home. She knows this and is ready to quickly comply. She loves the long hikes on the weekend and small treats that break her routine, but remains content with the daily flow.
We use these walks for our own exercise as well. Our new Borzoi Henry helps even more now as we have to get up and out to wear down his puppy energy.
HisFI and I both wrote down an ideal morning routine for ourselves. This has changed the quality of life for us. We also set boundaries for TV watching and date night. The routines have allowed for time spent together and staying productive. The routines line up with our goals and give us structure.
Humans and your pups crave some structure. While a routine is essential, we also have days where routine must be broken. Travel, hiking every weekend, happy hours, finding adventure and taking classes at the gym give us variety to keep us from becoming robots.
Twila gets the same walk everyday like I said. Occasionally we take a different block to the trail by our house, but we end in the same field. Everyday she runs gleefully through the field racing and sniffing and generally enjoying herself. She finds the joy in the simple things and does not stop to think about what is missing or what else she needs.
She simply is.
Honestly she has living in the present down pat and I am a bit jealous. This has led to a kind of positivity I am striving for. To find the joy in the simple things. To see the mundane as magical.
She is always watching. She watches our movements and body language. She looks in the trees and observes the seasons. She smells the air and searches for a squirrel. Yet she does not hold expectations for the squirrel, only that she be aware of its presence.
Being aware allows her to navigate the world in an informed fashion. Her reactions seem appropriate to the situation because of this (most of the time). She is occasionally a total scardy cat, but after being reassured she resumes her normal state not long after.
Isn’t the same true for us?
A favorite pose of her’s is to stretch out on the entire couch and take a nice long nap. Meanwhile, we aren’t really sure where to sit. Napping daily is a part of animals lives. Resting, sunbathing, stretching every single time they get up an taking those ridiculous long sighs.
If only I could remember to do that and practice a little more self care. (Working on it!) It is ok to rest. Do not be too much of a work horse.
Not only is Twila kind to herself she is constantly kind to us. Reminds us gently. Waits patiently and always makes sure to reward us for any kindness we show her. In the evening when she cuddles up by my side and lays her head in my lap, I can’t help but be so filled with love.
While it may seem that this post was only a ploy to post a zillion photos of our super cute dog, it kind of was. It is also a post to remind myself (and you) of the attributes I often leave by the wayside when in the hustle and grind of it all.
If you all have fur babies I want to here about them! I want to hear all about the lessons they have taught you.