July 6, 2013

A Puppy Can Change Your Life.

Believe you me, I’m so stating the obvious here.

I mean, who doesn’t love a puppy?

Their breath, Buddha belly, exuberance, joy, complete energy 24/7 and their need of everything new. It is absolutely infectious!

Any new addition to the family is welcomed and life-changing. Knowing that you are taking care of the most unconditional giver of love—besides a child—a puppy has the capacity to warm your heart and turn your entire life around, all in one fell swoop.

As a part time dog sitter, I have the fortunate ability to be caring for one such puppy.

She’s only seven weeks old and she has been in my care for about five days. Initially, I was a little nervous, as it has been over six years since I’ve cared for a puppy, maybe longer. I feel like the universe is showing me more of myself than ever—it’s as if this puppy-sitting gig landed in my lap for a reason.

I haven’t had a dog of my own in over seven years—I thought “It’s cool, I’ll rescue one eventually when the time is right”. But, to take care of a puppy, who needs constant attention, sleep and learning behavioral skills, well this took me by complete surprise. Mainly because I wasn’t so prepared for it.( My apartment is small and not puppy-proof. I have wires and glass and flip flops all over the house, which are satisfying chewing materials.)

The day I was given this puppy to care for, I had no clue as to just how house-bound I would be over the course the gig. I was fully prepared to return the puppy to her traveling owners and that would be that.

Well, I’ve admittedly grown so attached to this little being that I don’t know if I can imagine a life without a dog again. I mean, my own full time dog—this puppy has changed my life. I’m more present than I have ever been. I do adore and appreciate nature and the outdoors, yet being with a puppy, even the simplest leaf-chewing excursion on some random patch of grass has new meaning.

When was the last time you actually plopped yourself in some fresh grass on a summer day without a care in the world? Out of the blue, with no plan?

A puppy will give new meaning to “change”. They upset your routine. They mess with your sleep. They want to tear up everything and play with your fingers, earrings, chin, paper towels, pillows, bathroom toilet brushes, the list goes on. This will pull you so out of your comfort zone that you wondered why your house had to be so perfect to begin with.

Throw perfectionism out the window. Throw routine out the window. As a matter of fact, throw your old life out the window. That is, if you deeply desired a change, but weren’t sure what it looked like.

To be in the presence of something so small, who has a profound effect on daily comings and goings, is like the absolute answer to spontaneity. How could anyone possibly get upset with a puppy?  No yelling. No stern commands needed. They need positive reinforcement, a soothing voice, lots of hugs, praise, and training. That’s kind of a no-brainer, though. Puppies teach us; they teach us patience, willingness and how to open our hearts.

How does such a tiny little life-changer completely alter my world? I’ll tell you how—it’s called unconditional love. No expectations, no attachments, no nothing. Just straight up, love.

Now, if I could only detach myself from the tiny cherub long enough to return it to it’s rightful guardians….


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Ed: Bryonie Wise

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