Where every Tuesday: I confess.
Confession: I have learned more from my dog than she has from me.
Have you seen the bumper sticker that says “Who Rescued Who?” We celebrated her one year GOTCHA DAY and in the short year that she’s been in my life, I have learned more than I could have imagined. From a mange-covered dog in a shelter to a healthy, energetic ball of muscle, she has changed the way I look at the world and is constantly reminding me of these life lessons.
Always give people another chance
Toula was supposed to be put down numerous times, they had the syringe ready to go, and just couldn’t do it. Something about that dog gave her another chance. We live in a world where people are more likely to write you off when you make a mistake and not give you another chance. But that’s not where we learn and grow. Whether it’s your spouse, kids, friends, co-workers, give them a second chance. They may just be going through a rough patch at the time. Everyone is fighting a battle, has struggles, and sometimes they make mistakes. But, be like that rescue worker, and look past the mange to the heart.
Believe that good things will happen
It is obvious that Toula never lost hope that she would be rescued, give another chance and find a perfect home. As you go through your daily struggles, whether they be big or small, never lose sight of possibility. As hard as some things may be, there can and always is a positive and an opportunity for growth.
Don’t judge a book by its cover
Everyone wrote her off because she was so sick and had such terrible mange. She didn’t have hair, was so malnourished, and close to death. Now you can’t even recognize the same dog – healthy, vibrant, and full of life. It’s easy to judge an outer appearance and fall into a stereotypical assumption of what someone is like. How often have we (myself included) judged someone based on tattoos, piercings, clothing, hairstyle, hair color, car they drive, job they have, etc. Try looking into the persons eyes and striking up a conversation. I guarantee you will find the best in people that way. Some of the best people I know, I had a stereotypical assumption when I first met them.
Always clean your plate and try new foods
Okay, okay maybe you don’t have to clean your plate but……Toula does. It does not matter what food gets put down (carrots, green beans, turmeric, yogurt, sweet potato, zucchini and of course – dry and wet dog food) she is thrilled, excited, and over the moon for whatever food she has. I get stuck eating foods I know I like and she reminds me to try new foods. We are so lucky to have the options we have.
Attack life with your mouth open (also known as dive in head first)
Several times a day Toula runs around the house with her mouth wide open, tail wagging, ready to give you excited nips and “love kisses.” She is ready no matter what for adventure, going outside, and whatever life has to offer. She shows her enthusiasm by running around with her mouth open. Lately I have found myself more and more excited for small daily adventures or bigger weekend ones. I even run around with my mouth open. 🙂
Have you seen her ears? She uses what she was given to listen to everything. We could all take a page out of her book and listen more. Put our ears up, pick up what everyone is saying and be tuned in.
Always be on alert
How much do we miss because we are in our phones, working, and simply not present. Toula goes outside, sees a squirrel 6 trees over, and is on high alert. She knows what she wants and she is focused and ready. Her eyes are always up, looking out and she doesn’t miss a beat. We could all learn from her squirrel hunting ways.
Always be grateful
I can feel her gratitude every day. The way she looks at me, the way she snuggles, and the way she follows me around the house. I can tell that every day she knows where she came from and she is beyond grateful for where she is now. We can all practice more gratitude but more importantly, we should express that gratitude to those who matter. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in every day life, stresses, worries, and more but take a moment and be grateful for the flowers outside, the fresh air, the house you live in, the coffee you drink and all the little AND big things. Your comment to someone could mean as much to them as rescuing Toula does to her.
If you’re looking to adopt and rescue a dog, I can’t recommend Spot’s Last Stop Rescue enough. Check out their page for all their CUTE dogs and follow them on Facebook. I DARE YOU TO GO THEIR HOME PAGE. 🙂
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