This week my awesome and wonderful dog Marcy turns 5. I’ve had Marcy since I was in college- I was turning 21 (birthday gift to myself) and she was 2 months old. I knew instantly that she would change my life in ways I couldn’t predict. She has been with me through many different events over the past 5 years (kinda crazy to hear that) and there are a few things I’ve learned over those years. Here are some- in no particular order:
Nothing is wrong with being particular:
I’ve found that no two blades of grass are the same with Marcy when it comes to going to the bathroom. This applies well to life in general- people and places are different. Be aware of it at the very least and don’t be afraid to look for it.
Loyalty to others:
Anytime I have had Marcy off leash (such as at my parents lake house) Marcy makes it a point to make sure she knows where I am. Part of it I’m sure is making sure she knows where her next meal comes from but I’m convinced the other part is love. She truly wants to be around me 24/7 (you should see her face in the morning when I have to leave for work) and she teaches me by her actions what true loyalty is everyday.
Food is a perfectly acceptable tool:
All dog owners know that food treats are some of the best tools/bribes to get your dog to do what you want it to do. Marcy is no exception to this rule and has come to expect treats in certain situations. Food is a surprisingly good motivator in general as well. Bringing in donuts or brownies to the office does wonders for productivity/team building/making connections.
Observe the little things:
Not only does this rule come from Marcy’s bathroom habits, but also her ability to read faces/expressions and sense moods. She has gotten so perceptive that just my facial expression without saying a word can tell her if she did something right or wrong. My body language is also part of the puzzle- if I stiffen when someone walks by me (and I don’t feel safe) she picks up on it and goes into “guard dog” mode. Being a expressive person, this is something I need to remember in dealing with others everyday. Sometimes my expressions will say what I am thinking before I say a word.
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want:
If Marcy is hungry or needs to go outside, she lets me know. If she is scared and needs a place to hide (darn thunderstorms), she lets me know. It’s a sigh of relief when you know that asking for things isn’t bad, you just can’t expect to get what you want all the time. (However, in her case….)
Forget the past:
No matter what happened 10 minutes ago or 10 days ago, Marcy is always excited to see me. She forgives quickly and moves on. I’ve struggled with this lesson myself, sometimes I find it tough to forgive. I see how much fuller Marcy’s life is because of following that rule and that reminds me to keep trying.
I look forward to learning much more as Marcy ages. She has changed my life as well as others. I can’t wait to see what’s next!