Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lesson From My Dog

I don't know if you've ever heard anyone talk about what they've learned from their dogs. It's usually said during the old age of a dog or shortly after their death. "My dog taught me how to live." "My dog taught me about patience and kindness." "My dog taught me how to love again." Well you know what? The only thing my dogs have ever taught me is that if you eat poop, you'll just throw it up. Or that if you eat q-tips or condoms, they'll come out in your poop. And if you bite someone, they'll likely bite back. As you can see, this isn't a big learning curve. Not that deep or meaningful. I mean, it's certainly good to know what happens if you eat poop or a condom, but it's not like I was hell-bent on trying it.

This summer my little hippopupamus Ruby Tuesday changed that. While I was 18 light years away from her in Tennessee, she stayed with her friend Gracie The Pug. I use the term "friend" lightly here since most of the time she has been anything but friendly to Gracie. However, the Wife and I insisted that they be best friends. I have repeated the phrase "Be nice" over and over and over and over. And over again.

So I wasn't overly confident about leaving her for over a week, even though I left a list of the "magic words" with our pet sitter. The first night our pet sitter asked if she could leave Ruby out in the house while she was gone for a bit. Uh, no. Better not. Let's not kill Gracie the first night.

But in the next few days I was texted photos of Ruby sleeping on the same couch as Gracie. Not right next to her, but I wasn't going to ask for the world. I received an update text relaying the bedtime story about how Ruby slept on one side of the pet sitter while Gracie slept on the other. The really shocking news? There were also two cats in the bed. WHAT??? Ruby slept with CATS???? Another photo showed Ruby sleeping on one side of a lap on the couch with a cat on the other side. Like four inches away!!! Holy hell!!!

Once I got home, I saw with my own eyes how my baby girl walked right past a cat. And she KISSED Gracie!! It's like I didn't even know who this dog was!!! On top of all of this, she was so happy. I mean, she's always happy to see me. She's a dog and she loves me. But she was bouncy and silly and doing this little horsey-kicky-butt-jump thing. She didn't even do that as a puppy.

Then I noticed a physical difference. My dog lost weight. A lot of weight. My little hippopupamus was replaced with a canine supermodel. Her waist was tiny. I could feel her ribs; who even knew she had any? I could even feel her spine.

With her weight loss she also lost her insecurities about being around other animals. She became accepting, even loving. And not like dogs have any big stresses in life, but I would even call her carefree.

So this is the secret to happiness. Get skinny. If I get skinny, I will be less irritable. If I can leap high into the air I will be nicer to people. If I can show off my spine and my ribs, I will be satisfied. Supermodel skinniness = happy life.

Now, if I can just get someone to reduce my meals to half a cup per meal. Twice a day.
Yeah, not so much.

Maybe I just shouldn't try learning things from my dog.


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