5 Things I Learned From My Old Dog

Shelby, our yellow Lab, is nearing the end of her life. Late yesterday afternoon, she fell three times during our walk and just wasn’t right. She’s losing weight and showing her age. We know that last trip to the vet is drawing very near, which breaks my heart. As I held her and stroked her yesterday, I reflected on all she has taught me.

Shelby

Shelby

Exercise Daily. Shelby is 13 years old. Quickly coming up on 14. In spite of her advanced age & arthritis, her tail still wags and she perks up when she sees me carrying her purple leash.

Greet Those You Love With Enthusiasm. She sees me every day, yet every time she sees me she wags like crazy. It never ceases to make me feel special in her eyes.

Don’t Judge by Appearances. A cat was dumped on our road during a snow storm a couple of years ago. We got him neutered & got his shots, and he now sorta answers to the name Patches. When Shelby and I go for a walk through the fields, Patches goes, too. Shelby is so gentle with him, and he winds through her legs, rubbing and loving on her. Whodathunk a battleworn tom cat and an elderly Lab would be such good friends?

Be curious. As you can see from the pic above, Shelby is a curious girl. Our walks include frequent side trips to check out a quivering rabbit, a covey of quail or something dead (I’m not sure why stinky dead things are so interesting, but apparently, they are).

Enjoy. Whatever you are doing, enjoy it. Whatever you are eating, enjoy it. Shelby’s face has an expression of total bliss when I rub her ears. She loses herself in the moment and simply enjoys. How often do we rush through life without stopping to simply enjoy the moment?

 

 

 

5 Things I’ve Learned from Geese

Snowmaggedon 2011

Snowmageddon 2011

  • Avoid bad weather – every winter in Missouri, the hubs and I wonder¬† why on earth we continue to live somewhere that experiences cold weather and snow. We watch the geese fly south, and know that those geese are so much smarter than we are. After all, they feel the weather change and say, “I’m outta here!”
Flock of Geese

Flock of Geese

  • Travel with friends – I know it’s hard to see in the photo above, but see all those specks of black in the photo above? They’re geese. A big flock of geese. They stopped in at a field a few miles south of us on their way north. Seeing huge flocks of geese heading north is one of the signs of spring that I most look forward to. I always wonder how they know where to go, if they take the same route every year, and if they hang out in family groups.
Honk, Honk! (thanks to HVargas with WANACommons)

Honk, Honk! (thanks to HVargas with WANACommons)

  • Encourage those around you (honk, honk!) – the next time you see a flock of geese flying overhead, listen to them. The geese behind the leader honk to encourage the lead goose to keep going. We all need encouragement.
Geese in Flight - Compliments of WANACommons (mikeinwayne)

Geese in Flight – Compliments of WANACommons (mikeinwayne)

  • Mate for life – geese mate for life. It’s truly for better or worse. The two geese raise goslings, migrate and survive together. If something happens to one of the mates, another couple will “adopt” the single goose. Think about that the next time you see three geese together.
Goose Arrow (via WANACommons / rawdonfox)

Goose Arrow (via WANACommons / rawdonfox)

  • Work together (and occasionally switch up who takes the lead so you share the load) – the next time you see a V of geese flying overhead, pay attention to the lead goose. He is taking the lead, cutting into the wind so that it is easier for those following him to fly. But he isn’t the only one to lead. As the flock flies, the leader occasionally drops back and another takes the lead. They share the burden and work together, so that they all reach their destination together.

Beauty of Nature: Snow Geese

The past couple of days I’ve seen huge flocks of geese. On my way into work yesterday I pulled to the side of the road and snapped a pic of a flock of snow geese. They were amazingly beautiful. Awesome – in the true sense of the word. The sound when I rolled my window down gave me chills.

Snow Geese

How many times do we pass right by the beauty of nature without appreciating what is there?