My last Thankful Thursday post earned me three new blog followers, so hopefully it means it’s a series worth keeping! (Although I have to admit I was a bit surprised/bummed I haven’t had a post since then considering I’ve got three drafts in the works…).
Today’s post is inspired by two nights of dog-sitting one of my doggie nieces, particularly once I happened to realize that I dog-sat her for the first time two years ago right around this time. (Given that statement alone, I’m pretty sure that saying I’m a dog person is probably an understatement.)
All humor aside, dogs have been and will continue to be a really big part of my life. The sisters and I were spoiled growing up with a chocolate lab full of personality. She was the first love of my life — all 90 pounds of her.
Although it’s incredibly hard losing a pet (it’s been more than six years and I still can’t listen to Rod Stewart’s Maggie May given the connection to our dog) and I hate how short their lives are comparatively, during our brief few weeks without a dog, I realized I always had to have one. The rest of the family felt the same since that’s when our gorgeous golden came along, and a year later we got a rescue black labrador who is seriously one of the most grateful and happy dogs I’ve ever met.
And I’ve also got two doggie nieces, both chocolate labs. Little Mocha Jo (her story is too precious) fits right in with the other two, and Miley Bear has been my dog fix for the last two years. They all have their own unique personalities, but one commonality (aside from the whole lab thing…) is how much joy they add to my life.
The dogs may seem like a strange thing to be thankful for, but it actually captures what joyful living means for me. Like I mentioned a few posts ago, I’m much more present when I’m with the dogs. Stress, my to-do list, bad moods — that all disappears (and that’s rare for me). But how could it not when I’m cuddled up with a dog or see how excited they get when I walk through the door? Plus they’re great for exercise — Miley even helped me kick off my 5K training program on Tuesday! (I will admit they’re not so great for getting out of bed and/or getting out the door on time…).
There’s a reason adopting a dog is on my 30 Before 30 list, and I don’t know that this post does justice in explaining why. I think it’s just that I’ve realized my life is much better with a dog, and it’s a reminder that life’s not as hard as I make it out to be sometimes. These dogs are content to have food, water, walks/play time and affection. That’s all they need to be happy. Pretty simple recipe for living joyfully if you ask me.