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Furry Teachers

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I am a dog nerd.  Always have been and always will be.  I come from a long line of dog nerds.  I've always had a dog (except when I was at university and first few years of working).  I love my dog.  I love all dogs.  If you don't know me, you might recognize me as the person who drives through downtown Haliburton with my Golden Retriever, Bella,  seated on the front seat beside me.  I often take her to the Rail Trail to walk.  There  are so many things that I love about my dog.  I love to rub my face against hers and feel her soft fur.  I love to massage her soft ears.  I love how she greets me with such enthusiasm even if I have only been gone to the store for 10 minutes.  I love her company when I walk.  I love how she snuggles on the bed with me (my husband doesn't like that as much).  I love that she is always happy and I love her even when she has done goofy things like eat the family pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving (yes, my brother-in-law had grown the pumpkins and made his own pies and my dog ate them), or when she chased a skunk while on a leash and we both got sprayed by a skunk.  Everyone who has a dog has funny stories to tell.  My daughter  loves to remind us of the time our friend "Toby" got arrested and taken to jail for barking while we were on a camping trip.  His owners did pay his bail and sprung him,  and the stories have lived on for years.

I found this old email that someone sent me a while ago, and I don't know the source.  I didn't write this list of what we can learn from our dogs, but I do like it.  Dogs are teachers as well.  Here is the list. "Always run to greet loved ones when they come home. Never pass the opportunity to go for a joy ride.   Recognize the ecstasy of fresh air and wind in your face. Take naps. (I do that!)   Stretch before rising.  Run, romp and play daily. Thrive on attention and let people hug you.  Avoid biting when a simple growl will do. On warm days, lie on your back in the grass. On hot days, drink lots of water and find the shade.    When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.  Enjoy long walks.   Be loyal.   Never pretend to be something you're not.  If what you want is buried, dig deep until you find it.   And, when someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle themgently. " Unknown

The hardest part of owning a dog is when they pass on.    Because we love our dogs so much, we miss them terribly when they go.  When our last dog, Mollie, passed away I painted our kitchen red because it was so quiet without her under my feet all the time.  The red reminded me of her energy. I know several dogs who have passed in the last month and I know how much their owners miss them.  I just keep visualizing that all dogs go to dog heaven and get to run around as much as they want and eat bones all day long.  Thank goodness for dogs!

Lynda Shadbolt loves her dog, Bella, and teaches yoga at Blue Sky Yoga Studio in downtown Haliburton.

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