Life lists, bucket lists, to conquer lists, or reaper lists (talk about morbid, yikes!) – whatever you call them, they all amount to the same thing: a list of things you want to achieve with the time you have left. I’ve been a little obsessed with mine for some time, ever since I was originally inspired by Mighty Girl quite a few years ago. I don’t update it all the time but I like to go back occasionally to cross things off or add new ideas. It has evolved itself slowly and changes all the time.
But I digress.
Yesterday I read an article about a little boy in Manitoba who started a life list for his long-time service dog, Bingo. He has called it Bingo’s “Lick It List.” It all began when the thirteen-year old Jack Russell was diagnosed with canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome and was not given very long to live. Because Bingo had saved the boy’s life multiple times in her short life, he wanted to make her last days special. Among the items on the list is getting Bingo treats from around the world.
It’s a bittersweet subject, I know, but I was touched by the story and had to share it. It also got me thinking about my childhood dog’s final days. I wish I had done more for her, in celebration of all she had brought to my young life. On a more positive note, it also reminds me to pay more attention to the time I have with my dog now, to treat each day with her life the gift it truly is.
If Shiva was going to write a life list, I wonder what things she would include. Does she have any goals she would like to achieve, any proverbial mountains she would like to climb? What kind of things would a dog consider accomplishments?
I doubt she wants to swim with the dolphins, a popular item on most human lists. Maybe she wants to finally get the cat to play with her or learn how to open the refrigerator. Or perhaps she dreams of one day visiting every off-leash dog park in North America.
In reality I am sure canine wishes are much more mundane. Time with family, a good chew toy, maybe a dip in the lake every once in a while, and most dogs are pretty happy. They know how to find the biggest joy in the simplest of things. Most days if I could ask Shiva what she wanted to do, she would probably just say “hang out with you!” She doesn’t care about checking items off a list or traveling to exotic locales. I am sure Bingo is content to spend her final days the way she has most of her life – at home with the boy she loves.
Regardless, that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to think about. What do you think would be on your dog’s “lick it list”?