Endure or Adore?

His hot putrid breath hits my thigh in short powerful pants, penetrating the material with moisture.
“Otis – Please!” I implore as I push his face away from my thigh. His body remains immobile and stiff as he simply stays in his too-close-to-me stance.

This is the joy and agony of an old dog. We detect no pain in him – he never whimpers or cries. He sleeps long and deep, still has an overly healthy appetite.

As his eyes and ears have diminished in strength, his nose has developed super power and he’s been finding food at the bottom of bags and deep inside pockets that he gleefully chews through to devour even the smallest of morsels. Destroyed bits of bags and material are unwelcome gifts he leaves around the house.

His hair falls out easier; it’s coarser, dryer and seems it puffs out from him like a cloud, leaving an outline on the floor like the chalk line from a crime scene. He gets up and leaves his hair outline behind. He does this multiple times a day, and night.

Otis is breaking my heart, which in the broad stroke of life is making me stronger. For every crack, tear and sorrow, I feel a drop of resolve and gratitude forming to repair it, to sooth it, to enrich me. In the breaking I am rebuilding ever stronger.

“I could not endure the pain of losing a dog at my age.” I’ve heard others say. Endurance is not the point. We humans are resilient creatures and can learn much from our canine companions. A dog’s life is so much shorter than most of ours – I have experienced the death of a beloved dog before and I will again. I have also experienced the death of my parents, one from a sudden stroke and the other a slow agonizing process from a life too-well-lived in younger years.

Enduring is not what I’m doing with Otis, nor what I did with my parents. I am showing love; strongly, loyally as I was and am being loved.

What if we used this same philosophy with people? – Especially the stinky ones, the cranky, old in body or simply old in soul ones as we move through our day.

We may want to push them away, we may be frustrated, irritated and annoyed, and yet, what a reminder that all people, all living things, are not to be endured – they are to be adored –(even if from afar) it’s a good thing to remember.

Putrid breath, panting, moving slow and losing hair is fair – I picked Otis, he has shared my life for 15 years, he’s part of my story, which would have less color and adventure in it without him.

How are you looking at the people and pets in your life? Especially the ones you picked – and if they are in your life you did indeed pick them! Are they a nuisance or a necessity? Are you enduring them or adoring them? A true answer might be – “I’m doing a little of both!”

However now, with this reminder, maybe you’ll look out of your eyes with more compassion, more comfort and comedy. Because regardless of the breath – people and pets for me are a necessity – and the sharing of a life well lived is not to be feared, it’s to be focused on – that – and brushing your teeth!

You create your day by the way you think! Be Present!
Go make it a magnificent day!

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& The Schuh Crew

Shawna Schuh, CSP

Helping Sales Professionals, Executives, and Service Teams profit through advanced people skills.

2421 Hwy 47  | Gaston, Oregon 97119 | 503-662-3044

www.ShawnaSchuh.com | www.CYUY.com


~ by Shawna Schuh on August 28, 2009.

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