My Dog Taught Me This

May 09, 2022
well-being coach & mentor transformational life coach enjoy life things that bring me joy

Don't sacrifice your joy for things that aren't really that important.

My dog of 15 years was such a great teacher to me in so many ways, especially on this matter.

My Girl, Maliika crossed over the rainbow bridge a few years ago after a long 15 years together. I still reminisce memories with her in my mind all the time.

Maliika LOVED swimming. I don't think I've ever known another dog that was as passionate about swimming as she was.

Swimming brought her SO much joy and it was something that we loved doing together.

Anytime we were near a body of water, it was really hard to keep her out of it if I wanted to.

There were times when I did not want her to swim.

Maybe we were taking a quick stop to walk somewhere and I didn't have towels in my car to dry her off. Maybe I was dressed up to go somewhere after and I didn't want to get all wet & dirty. Maybe the shoreline was pure mud and I did not want my car full of mud afterward.

As she aged, her hips gave her a lot of issues, and jumping into cold water to swim would sometimes affect her hips up so much that she had a hard time walking back to the car.

She never listened to me in those times unless I absolutely made her, and she taught me a big life lesson about joy through her passion for swimming.

On those days that my outfit or car got all wet, or she had to jump back in the car covered in mud and I had no towels, witnessing the joy that those experiences brought her made those little inconveniences not matter at all.

Even when she was old and would swim in cold water for too long and have a hard time walking back to the car, I knew, that she knew it was 100% worth it.

One of the last times I took her swimming, she totally overdid it. At 14 years old with really bad hips, she swam like she was 2. We only had about 1/4 mile walk back to the car, but as we began walking back to the car I thought that I might have to carry all 70lbs of her back.

As I walked slowly beside her, encouraging her, a guy walked up behind us and sounded very concerned about her...

"What's wrong with your dog?" he said with so much concern in his voice.

I said something like "She's 14 years old, and has had bad hips for years. There is nothing that brings her more joy in life than swimming, so every once in a while I just let her do her thing as much as she wants to, even though her body pays for it, and then we go home and she gets some medicine for pain and sleeps it off. I know, that she knows - she's making a choice. She makes the choice to do the thing that brings her SO much joy, even though there is a consequence for her. This might be the last time that she has such a swimming day, and I'm so glad she enjoyed it. Even though she's struggling to walk right now, do you see that big smile on her face?"

The guy looked down at her & smiled. He said " I can totally relate to that. Riding my motorcycle brings me so much joy. I have a bad back, and I know that whenever I go out for a long ride I will be laying down for a day to recover. Every time it's 100% worth it. The things that bring you joy in life are important"

Cheers to that my friend. Cheers to that.

What's a little mud in your car or a sore body for a day when it comes to moments of pure joy?

What's letting the laundry pile up, when you can have a Saturday afternoon doing something that you absolutely love?

What's letting some things go that aren't that important so that you can have some fun?

When you can take a swim in life, jump in and swim.

There are so many things in life that we love and that bring us joy that we don't indulge in enough because of reasons that don't really matter that much....reasons that aren't important enough to stop us, but we let them stop us anyway.

No, I'm not advocating for hurting your body or doing things that could harm you permanently, I'm just saying that it's important to recognize when the reasons that you are not doing the things that bring you joy are not really that important.

I would still be happy to have mud all over my car any day to see the joy on my dog's face from a muddy shore after a swim.

Whatever brings you as much joy as swimming brought to my dog, jump in.

The things that bring you joy in life are the things that make life worth living.



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