As always, it has been a long time since I have written you a formal letter. Longer, even, than the last time. I like to think I haven’t bothered because I haven’t had the need to communicate with you outside our physical interactions. I may be wrong, but we seem to get each other a tad more these days. What do you think?
Never mind, I take that back. I don’t want to know.
We both realize this is a lie, of course. Almost every minute we are together I am obsessing over your mood. “Is she relaxed? Am I stressing her out?” These are the questions that run through my head every time I look at you. “Are you happy?”
You aren’t telling.
That isn’t true either. You are telling, I am not observant enough or selfless enough to pick it up. Me, me, me. Such a typical human, eh?
To be fair, you aren’t the most considerate dog in the world either. When you are wanting to go outside, you don’t first wonder if I am feeling tired or ill. When you are hungry, you don’t worry about saving some of your for later, in case we run out of money to buy more. This is why you are so amazing. This “in the moment” thing you have going for you. It can be trying sometimes, yes. Your struggles with separation anxiety are proof of that. Sometimes I wish I could just tell you that we will be back or that something is temporary, like when the vet was trimming your nails. It will be over soon, I said with my eyes. I don’t know if you understood.
Because I am human and can only see things in my near-sighted human way, I am jealous of how you embrace the positive of every situation. You don’t think about later when I might go to work and leave you alone, you just savour the brilliance of the now. This is the most important lesson you have to teach. No doubt I am a frustrating pupil.
All of this hit me this morning on our usual walk. Being a Monday I was tired and impatient and wanted to get everything over with as soon as possible. Being a dog, you didn’t know about Mondays. You only knew it was morning and we were outside and there were things to explore. It meant nothing to you that I wanted to continue on our way so I could get home and get the next step of my day going. To you, there was no difference, in that moment, between today and yesterday, or all of the days previous and to come.
This was what struck me as I tugged on your leash, anxious to move on. “C’mon Sheevs,” I believe I said. “This isn’t a Sunday. We can’t spend an hour sniffing at a leaf.” The second the words were released into the air, I realized how silly they sounded. And how inaccurate. The only thing preventing you from sniffing and me from relaxing and savouring the warm summer sunshine were my concerns for what was yet to come.
“The days are long, but the years are short.”
This is the one philosophy of Gretchen Rubin I try to embrace. Dogs know it instinctively. You are in no hurry to get to the end. Nor should you be. Nor should I.
Thank you, puppy, for reminding me how special these moments are, and how fleeting. Too soon we may not be able to linger together. In my future impatient moments, I will strive to remember this. As frustrating as daily life can be, it is all over too soon. The little things are what matter the most. Our walks together are something I will always treasure. Before they are something of the past, I should make the most of them, just the way you do.
Lots of love, and probably too many treats,
Your grateful human