I know that people say they learn all kinds of interesting lessons from their children. Since I am childless, I have yet to experience this phenomenon. However, I have learned some interesting lessons from my dogs. Some of them are rather entertaining and some make me think more than I would expect considering that I’m analyzing a dog’s behavior, but I thought I would share some here.
Loki is our first puppy. Our first experience in joint parenting. He’s an absolute delight, except when he sneaks out to eat poop. But if he has one fault, it’s that he’s an extremely jealous dog.
Attention. Toys. Treats.
If you have it, he wants it. If another dog is getting it, then he definitely wants it. Even now that we’ve had Sam for almost a year, he still doesn’t deal well if she gets something when he does.
For anecdotal evidence, there are the many times that he has climbed onto the couch to be pet by B. Sam will come up with a toy and down Loki will jump to go take it from her. As soon as he is off the couch she drops the toy and takes the attention. This leads to a cycle where he will bully her out of the way but always run back to grab the toy. Currently, he’s sitting by the door of our house with a rawhide chew in his mouth, whining lightly while Sam eats hers. Yes he has his, yes they’re exactly the same, but he’s upset because she has something too.
I wonder, sometimes, how often I’m like that. How often do I look at something someone else has and instantly become dissatisfied with what I have?
There is power in living in the moment and enjoying what you have. The power to say that what you have is, not only enough, but something worth reveling in. There’s freedom in not having to constantly chase after something greater because you are satisfied with what you have. There is joy in being happy with what you do have rather than lusting after what you don’t have.
Sam has finished her bone. She clearly enjoyed it. Loki, meanwhile, is still sitting by the door just holding his. He hasn’t had the joy of eating it because he was so distraught that she had hers. He let his jealousy rob him of enjoying a simple treat.
I don’t want to be Loki. I don’t want to hold onto something good and disregard it because someone else has something equal or better. I don’t want to compare myself or what I have to others and what they have. I don’t want to play this game any more.
I don’t want to look at the girl across the room and worry that she is skinnier than me. I am a strong and healthy woman. I’m in the best shape of my life and my worth is not in the number on the scale or the size of my clothes.
I don’t want to look at the couple that has the fancy car and be jealous that we drive simpler vehicles. Whether we have different priorities or not, it doesn’t matter. We have good cars (well, will as soon as I buy mine) and we like them, so who cares what make or model they are?
I don’t want to see pictures of other people’s travels and have nothing but jealousy fill me. I’ve been to some amazing places and will travel to more soon. I want to be grateful for where I have been rather than sad or jealous that someone else is going somewhere I haven’t been.
I want to enjoy what I have. Which is an awesome life with an amazing husband and two rather humorous dogs. I have family that love me, friends who have my back, and so many things to be grateful for. That’s what I want as my focus. That’s what I want to remember.