Positive Perspectives - Follow that dog: Lessons from a canine

Published on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 22:16 - Written by By Debbie Townsend Guest Columnist

Recently I had the experience of being home all day.

It gave me the opportunity to watch the meandering of my Corgi.

Other than making sure she has food, water and the opportunity to relieve herself, I am mostly unnecessary for her daily life.

As I watched her that day, I couldn’t help but think there was much I could learn from following a dog.

Here are a few things she taught me:

When she’s hungry, she eats. When she’s tired, she sleeps. When she’s thirsty, she drinks. When she’s cold, she finds where the sun shines brightest and sprawls out in the warm spot on the floor.

When she needs to change position to soak up more light, she does so with no regard to how awkward she looks or whether her least-becoming parts are showing.

When she’s too warm, she spreads out in the coldest place she can find. When her bed is too warm, she drags the blanket off.

When the bed’s too cool, she drags it back on. When she gets up from a nap, she stretches all her parts in every direction.

When she’s overwhelmed, she goes under my bed to take a break from it all.

When she feels threatened, she yells at the top of her lungs. She continues yelling, undeterred, until she feels I have sufficiently handled the situation.

If I reassure her all is well, she simply goes back to what she was doing with no further thought to what agitated her earlier.

If I am impatient with her, it hurts her feelings, and she finds a place to hide. If I apologize and show her I still love her, she believes me and gives it no further thought. Regardless of how I leave things between us when I leave for work, she is ecstatic to see me when I return.

When she wants to play, she carefully sorts through her toys to find one with a squeaker that works and then squeaks it at me.

I squeak the toy at her, toss it, and she dutifully retrieves it, squeaking all the way. When she plays, she plays with all her heart. We repeat this process until she has enough, which she indicates by simply getting a drink of water and lying down instead of returning the toy.

She is very independent, but if she needs anything, she asks the person who can help her. If the house is full of people, she doesn’t waste time or energy pestering every person there. She makes her request to the one person who is able do something about taking care of her need.

When it’s bedtime, she readily jumps in bed and sleeps as though she worked all day, with no worry or thought for the day ahead or the day behind.

When she gets cold, she goes under the covers. When she gets hot, she gets out of the covers. When she feels something in-between, she just sticks her head out. And she never stresses about whether she gets a certain number of hours of uninterrupted sleep.

My dog’s life is simple and dictated by what is best for her at any given moment; yet she makes time for me.

I learned a lot from watching my dog that day. Now if I could just figure out the magic answer to the riddle of that perfect and elusive potty spot so we wouldn’t have to walk all over the hill night and day in search of it.

Debbie Townsend is a Hawkins resident.