I’ll firstly apologise to all the humans in my life for leaving them out of this blog, mostly!
On Wednesday this week I felt pretty blue, crap actually. I got home after 14hrs had passed already into the day, I’d been up since 5am. I was tired. I was battered and a bit bruised (psychologically). All I wanted to do was get in, do what I had to do and get to bed.
When I drive home, before I get to where I park I have to pass the porch on my house, I always look in and there they lie, waiting. My two dogs. I am immediately lifted, I grab the keys to the house, I occasionally remember to put the car in gear (how it hasn’t ended up in the road I have no idea!) and grab my unicorn flask, my love island water bottle and my blue rucksack covered with birds, I throw this over my shoulder and walk to the house.
They’ve started to recognise my car, the sound of it I guess, the routine of it stopping and then my footsteps. They are now on four legs and I say through the glass – HELLO! Now I have verified my presence they dance around crazily, on two legs mostly and I can’t quite get in because they are jumping on me, they are squealing, they are besides themselves that I am home. In five seconds I am made to feel like the most special person in the whole wide world.
I sit down and I let them mouth their little teeth on my wrists, for some reason they like to do this then they’ll get a toy and show it to me. Their bums waggle 100mph, this goes on for a few minutes before I get ready to take them out which gets them even more excited of course. We go out for an hour every morning, the most beautiful part of the day where there’s almost nobody else around. In the evening due to the long day I often take them over to the field for their favourite thing ever to do. Ball catching, ball chasing, ball chewing.
I fear the neighbours probably think I have lost it a bit as I get a bit over excited during this half hour of the day. Inevitably my work will have been stressful – productive, rewarding, even fun – but inevitably stressful. So this is where I wind down, with my dogs, in a field, red ball thrower in hand.
Towards the end when they get tired we play ‘catch’ and every time they catch the ball I put my hands up in the air and shout ‘wooooooooo well done’ and laugh out loud as they proudly bring the ball back to me, wagging their tail feverishly and dropping the ball at my feet to do it all again.
This is the time of day when I often feel my best and it sets me up for the evening. The stress has almost vanished, replaced with – well a whole lot of love!
I got my first dog just a few weeks after Tesni died. I felt guilty about it (of course). You can’t replace anyone. You certainly can’t replace your child. But having my new furry tiny pooch made me get up in the morning, it made me walk, it made me care, it gave me focus, she needed me, she wouldn’t hurt me, she loved me. So much.
As I watch them jump to catch the ball and as I catch myself giggling out loud in the field, it made me think about love. I love them so very much and I realise that is hard for some people to understand, but I do. It got me thinking, what is love?
I made a list in my head of why I love the dogs and as I got through them I realised it isn’t dissimilar to love in relationships, the reason the dogs are so happy is not by chance, the reason I love them doesn’t just happen when you get your furry friend, the two-way healthy love bond is only there because of a whole lot of work.
The ingredients needed for love whether animal or human are the same.
Love them truly and they will love you back. Want the very best for them and they will protect you. Be kind to them and they will never hurt you. Look after them while letting them be free and they will respect you. Provide them with safety and they will do everything they can to keep you safe. Be loyal to them and they will never distrust you.
Communicate softly and they will reward you with eyes full of love. Have patience and they will grow. Be fun and they will smile (with their tail!) back at you.
Because they know I love them so much I can also get away with the odd time of being too tired for that second or third walk and they’ll forgive me because on the whole they know I love them and every day I do my best for them to be happy.
Love more, love honestly, love with kindness, love without selfishness, want the best for your loved one, be kind, look after them, let them be free, provide safety, be loyal, have patience and most importantly have fun, ‘whoop’ out loud in a field, dance in the kitchen, take long walks by the sea, respect, talk, listen, smile.
Let’s all ‘be more dog’!
Happy Sunday xx