Our dog Cal, who passed away two weeks ago, taught us far more than we ever taught him – lessons about fears, opportunities, manners and more. Here are some of the other things that we learned over the years from our delightful dog.
If you put on your running shoes or took the leash off the hook at the door, Cal would always jump up ready for a walk. In his younger years he was a great running companion. Lately our walks were more like leisurely strolls. We always said we would know when his time had come if he didn’t get up for his leash. That’s exactly what happened.
Lesson #6: Participate more in life. Cal was actually the inspiration for this Spontaneous Combustion principle about grabbing opportunities to get out in the world.
Sometimes it seemed like the dog was waiting on us all the time. He had to wait until we were ready to go for a walk or to get him his food. He had to wait to go out and wait to come in. All of those things were out of his control. So he patiently waited. If he could have I’m sure he would have taken care of it himself but instead he had to wait for us.
Lesson #7: Sometimes you have to practice patience while waiting for someone else to get their act together.
Border collies typically live to be about 12 years old. Apparently Cal didn’t get the memo. He died just two months short of his 16th birthday. Although in the last few years, he lost his hearing and was not as spry as he once was, it didn’t stop him from doing things he loved like going for a walk. Maybe he was a little slower but he had the same enthusiasm. Maybe it was all those walks that kept him in pretty good shape.
Lesson #8: You can exercise until you are 112 – especially if you have made it a priority to be active.
One of the things that always amazed me was Cal’s keen interest in the walking path of the day. Even though we might have walked that route a hundred times before, Cal always walked it like it was the first time. He looked at everything and of course smelled everything.
Lesson #9: Be present. Approach the world with beginner’s eyes, and nose, and you might be surprised what you discover each day.
Cal was always happy to see us, never held a grudge, shared his love and affection abundantly. I once saw a t-shirt that said
One day I hope to become the person my dog already thinks I am.
I think we all felt that way.
Lesson #10: The best love is unconditional love. Anyone who has had the privilege of sharing their life with a dog already knows this lesson by heart.