Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A four-footed perspective:

Life's way too short.

So wag your tail...as much as you can.

This week several of my friends have had their four-footed companions pass on or develop terminal diseases. It brings life into sharper focus. And what jumps out at me and them is how the animals who live alongside us not only share our everyday lives but our past.

Here's what I mean...when Heather, my golden retriever came into my life as a pup, my son was 2 years old, my daughter was 5. When Heather left our lives last year, my son was 19 and my daughter 22. My friend just said goodbye to her calico cat after 18 years. When her cat joined their family, their son was four. Her cat, Cleo, died this week. Her son is now 22, her daughter is in her 30's, married and living in Spain. What's brought into sharp focus here? The years may seem to drag when you're living them day by day, but when someone part of your daily life is gone, you realize that life flys by. One year you have a puppy, a toddler and a kindergartener and another year down the line, you have a teenager, a college graduate and an elderly dog.

My other friend found out her 4 year old dog, Duke, has a terminal heart condition. He may live 6 weeks or 6 months, no one knows. The sharp focus...life is short, way too short. So if all he wants to eat is butter and eggs, so be it. If he wants an extra cookie, blanket or walk in the park? He gets it.

So what's really important? Quality of life. His and hers. Yours and ours. Everyones.

Brings me back to my New Years Resolution: I Quit. Remember? I quit rushing. Multitasking and stressing. And fearfully listening to the latest health scare. Instead I'm breathing, eating and living everyday with as much joy as I can. Sounds easy. But I can tell you with life's little changes that have come my way this year, it's been tough.

I have a new four-footed canine friend, Jilly. Although she's not a pup anymore, she's still got lessons to learn even after two years, we're still working on 'come' and 'sit'. But, as I watch Jilly, get excited to go for her daily walk or jump after a ball, I realize she's got a lesson or two to teach me, too. One of the big ones: Jump. Jump for joy. Why? Because life is here, enjoy it while you can.


Janet Grace Riehl said...

I'm glad you're sticking close to the true meaning of your New Year's Resolution "I quit!"

Good girl!

Janet Riehl

Susan J Tweit said...

"Jump for joy" - what a wonderful lesson to remember. As I come off of seven months of writing seven days a week to finish three books and a small handful of magazine articles, jumping for joy sounds great. I'll trade you that realization for a fresh spinach salad from my garden! (Oh, and if you'd blow some of that rain our way we'd be thrilled. We're going straight from winter to drought.)


Susan GT said...

Thanks for the 'pat on the back'. I needed that! Now the big question...Do I get a treat, too?


Susan GT said...

Sounds like a great trade to me, when do we eat?

You can have as much rain as you like, but I warn you the next couple of days bring snow, too! So you better cover that spinach.