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?