10 LESSONS I LEARNED FROM MY TWO DOGS
A Job Well Done!

Protecting

Why Do They Live Such Short Lives?
I have often asked the question and wondered why our pets live such short lives. Then I realized that if we kept them twice as long, the pain of losing them would be twice as difficult. We make them a part of our family and our lives. But to them we ARE their life.

“Everything is beautiful in its time”  To read more, click here

THEY CHANGED MY LIFE

In 2003, after much begging and pleading from my children and husband, I conceded to having a dog. It was like a dream come true for them, but for me, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I really wasn’t an animal person and I couldn’t bear the thought of a dog sitting on my furniture. I thought it was unsanitary. Yet for the sake of my family, I made the effort to tolerate it. Well the joke was on me. Little did I know that my life would be the one that would be forever changed.

THEY TAUGHT ME LESSONS I DIDN’T KNOW I NEEDED TO LEARN

1. They Greet You At The Door With Excitement
Of course, the dogs would gravitate towards me before anyone else. It’s like they knew I didn’t like dogs and they were determined to change it! They were relentless and it got on my nerves. However, I soon became the master and the primary caregiver. I caught myself rushing home to care for them. At the end of a long day, the cares and stress would disappear when I was greeted at the door. In a matter of weeks, I was the one that would rush home to see them.

My Lesson: I learned to celebrate my family whenever I saw them.

2. The Art Of Rest – They Are Stress Relievers
When I worked from home, I would take a break and sit on the couch for a few moments, stroking my pet and at the same time stroking my cares away.

art of rest

art of relaxation

My Lesson: I learned that sitting and petting them was not as much for them but an opportunity that brought me rest.

3. It’s The Simple Things
A simple game of catch or a short car ride would make them so happy. They didn’t need fancy collars or toys because “I” was most important to them. They understood the value of life. I used to take my kids to work with me and stay for hours into the night. My dogs changed that. They taught me to leave work and come home.

joy rides

PS- Dottie would call “shotgun” and my kids knew they would be riding in the back.

My Lesson: I learned the joy of simplicity. There is only so much you can do at work. I learned to treat myself. Go HOME!

4. Love Is Unconditional
No matter what I looked like in the morning or if my breath smelled unpleasant, they loved unconditionally. As a wife, mom & minister I made it about everyone else. But my dogs always made it about “me”.

My Lesson: I learned a different level of unconditional love, patience, obedience & loyalty.

5. Example of Health – Long Walks & Long Drinks of Water
Weather didn’t matter when it came to taking walks. They loved taking walks to release energy and explore other territories. Studies show that exercise is the best way to release stress and anxiety. Dogs just automatically listen to their bodies. Humans should do the same.
My Lesson: I learned to take better care of myself by taking walks & drinking water. Lots of water!

6. Cooling Off – The Art of Releasing
When a dog is hot, they know how to cool themselves down by drinking water, panting and taking a break. Oh, that we would learn to calm ourselves down when we get upset.

My Lesson: It is better to cool off before you deal with some people or situations. Stay calm. Arrive cool.

7. Speak Up – Be Territorial
They are not afraid to speak up and let you know that you are invading their territory. They set boundaries for people and they protect themselves and their loved ones. Dottie loved and lived to protect us. She set boundaries that no one would dare cross.

territorial
pnut territorial

My Lesson: I learned to speak up and set boundaries. I learned “The Art of Saying No.”

8. Dig For Treasure
They will dig until they find their treasure. They are relentless and don’t give up.

My Lesson: I learned to dig deep into myself and bring out the gifts buried in me. I learned to dig out gifts in others as well. We cannot give up until we discover what we need.

9. They Play, Wag Their Tails & Dance In Circles
They are not afraid to show their emotions or show you how much they love you. My dog didn’t just wag her tail. She wagged her whole body.

My Lesson: I learned to play and enjoy life outside of work and ministry. I learned to make time for myself and to have fun! I also made time to dance, even if I looked ridiculous.

10. They Sit At Your Feet – Waiting On Your Every Move
My little Peanut would wait and motion for me to come to the couch to sit. I can remember being busy cooking and working from home, but he was relentless. He would wait for hours for just a moment to be with me.

My son would often say, “Mom, just sit on the couch with him”. Even though I was not finished, I could see the love and longing in his eyes. Many times I would drop everything to just sit and pet him. Those times were precious and with every stroke and affection from them, I suddenly felt “drifted away”. I would always walk away refreshed and somehow restored.

true love

My dogs came to me at a time when I was very busy with ministry. Ministry is not a 9-5 job. Because it is not a job, it is something I carry everywhere I go. It is who I am. It is a calling.

So What Did I Learn?
I learned that their constant devotion and patience of longing to be with me is a reminder of how I need to be with my Master. I need to make time to spend with Him. If I do not spend quality time with Him, then I am unable to give to others. In being Peanut & Dottie’s master, I learned to serve my Master.

My Goodbye
The season of having dogs was a significant and valuable one for me. The dogs came at a time in my life when I needed to slow down before my body did it for me. No matter how busy I was, I had to come home to care for them.

Once my lessons were learned, their purpose was fulfilled, their season was over and they were ushered from this life to the next.

Thank you Peanut and Dottie. You came to me for a season. I thought you came so I could bless you. Yet in the end, you blessed me in ways I never thought possible. I have learned my lesson from you on how to live, love and relax. Your season is over. You did your job and I thank you for a job well done!

Love,

Mom

the goodbye

 

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