Thursday, September 1, 2016

Lessons from My Dogs

Little Clemmie has been living with us and being my youngest child since the end of March. And, she has grown up quite a bit since then... She doesn't bite my legs anymore. She understands most things like "leave it" "drop it" "off" "stay" and what I call "play school." 

I have to remind myself all the time that she's still a puppy and that someday, in the not-too-distant future, she will be calmer. But I also realize that some of her behavior is just who she is. 

She's inquisitive, curious, a thinker. She doesn't sit still very often. Even when she's tired, she has a hard time turning her brain off. "Oh! There's a toy!" "Oh! Hannah's home from work!" "There's the cat!" "That dirt needs a hole in it!"

When she's in the car, she sits up straight and looks out the back window -- and the side window -- and the front of the car. There are lots of nose prints on my windows. Occasionally, she'll "talk" to a dog or a person she sees from her spot.  

She gets excited when she meets new people and new dogs. She engages almost immediately when she enters the dog-park. She runs directly for the group of dogs who have already introduced themselves and who have been playing well with each other for a while before she got there. She approaches as if to say "Hey! I'm here! My name's Clemmie. I love to play. Who are you? Betcha can't catch me!" And then, her new friends start wrestling with her and they chase each other and she plays and plays.  

Raney, on the other hand... is a different dog. She was once a puppy, too...but she has ALWAYS enjoyed hangin' out with people more than introducing herself to and engaging with other dogs. She's not unfriendly, but she simply prefers people.  If there's a park full of dogs, she almost doesn't acknowledge the dogs; she just heads for the people to say "Hello. Please pet me. Mmmm! I think I smell a treat in your pocket. I'd love to be your friend."

She played a lot when she was younger and she pulled some shenanigans, too. And, we had to teach her that she couldn't bite us and eat our shoes and stuff... But I don't ever remember her being as "on" all the time as Clemmie. She was a bit cuddlier -- still is.  Clemmie likes to be loved, but it's hard to sit still for all that.

The other day it occurred to me that both of my sweet baby girls have something to teach me about how to approach life. Clemmie is almost always smiling -- at everything and everybody (unless I'm scolding her for doing something that she knows is wrong.)... Raney (who also knows how to smile) is calm... just kinda goes through her regular routine. She loves to walk. She loves to simply BE with her people. She doesn't really need us to do a lot with her, though she's happy if we play. 

I think there's a lesson for me in their personalities: 
- Relax and enjoy what you have in your life.
- Learn new things! SMILE! Embrace adventure!

I have some good dog-babies.