Up until a year ago, I was a pretty much a cat person.
I really wasn't interested in having a puppy and there was no way I'd ever think I could learn life lessons from a dog.
Sure, we had dogs growing up, but I wasn't interested in all the work.
I always thought of cats as easier to care for than dogs. I just wasn't interested in having to take a dog out for walks and clean up after him.
Cats are quiet and dogs bark.
Cats keep themselves clean and dogs need baths.
With 5 kids and 4 cats already, a dog wasn't even in the picture.
Until my daughter, who had already endured 2 knee surgeries in 2015, started begging for a dog once again. She had asked for a puppy for years and we had said no. Too much work. But as we approached her third knee surgery of the year, something changed. Something intangible. We said, "We might consider getting a puppy."
What made it more crazy was that she would be leaving for college 8 months later.
But my daughter researched a breed that was small but didn't bark. (Because I had so many migraines, a barking dog wasn't a good idea.) One that loved people and was extremely loyal and cuddly. She found Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Then we saw the price tag. It looked like a no go.
She and my husband scoured the internet and we found a couple of puppies that were ready to be placed in a home. And they cost far less than most. I called the breeder on the way to the city where my daughter would have her 3rd surgery. I explained we would like to come in a week or two since my daughter would be on crutches and need tons of care post surgery. The lady was very sweet, but couldn't hold the pups without a non-refundable deposit. But since she lived 3 hours away, we just couldn't do that without seeing the dogs first. Which one would we even pick? So, I said we'd get back to her. I hung up a little sad. Would they still be there in a few weeks? I didn't know.
My daughter had surgery on that Friday. We drove her back home and on Saturday morning, she insisted my husband and I go get the puppy. She was in awful pain and needed help. We said no, but she insisted her oldest sister could take care of her just fine. My eldest agreed.
So, off we went.
Funny side note. This week, my daughter questioned me about why we went the day after her surgery. She didn't remember insisting we go! We figured that was because of the pain meds!
Liam picked us when we got there.
He crawled up in my arms while his brother ran around like crazy, and the deal was done. We had our puppy.
Since Liam entered our lives a little over year ago, he has taught us so much.
Here are some life lessons I've learned from my dog.
Unconditional love. He's so happy to see me. No matter what. Whether it's been 5 minutes or two hours, he gets so excited when he hears me coming. It doesn't matter what mood I'm in, he loves me. Unconditionally.
It's okay to get excited and show it. I love how he wags his tail so hard that his whole rear moves with it! He dances and jumps with excitement to see me or to play. I need to dance more!
Enjoying the outdoors is wonderful! He's gotten me outside. I really enjoy watching the seasons pass, day by day, as I take him for his walks. Before Liam, I didn't notice the changes as much. It really gives me time to think and enjoy the sunshine.
Exercise is a great thing! He's gotten me off the sofa and more active. I love to take walks with him. I love to throw balls with him.
It's good to focus on someone else. He needs me. He can't let himself out, or get his own food and water. It feels good to focus on him.
There are new things to appreciate in life everyday. He sniffs the air and the ground and gets excited about new things he encounters. He get excited over blowing leaves. His days are never dull and just about any little thing can make him excited.
I need to play everyday. He has such a playful spirit. Whether it's playing ball, or jumping for strings he loves to play. I find I relax when I take the time to play with him.
Joy is contagious. When he's so happy to see me every morning and every time I come home, it makes me happy to see him. His joy spreads.
Cuddling is therapeutic. I love when he plops on my lap or cuddles up on my legs. Especially if I'm not feeling well. It's comforting to have him there.
Liam's taught us so much and I can't imagine not having him. He even got along great with the cats from the beginning. He and Lady are fun loving buddies.
I'm thankful our daughter kept asking for a puppy. He's been a far bigger blessing to us than I expected!
What life lessons have your pets taught you?
Life Lessons I've Learned from my Dog (click to tweet)
Blogs I join: