So, it’s our boy Mr Popo’s – who is also the Paw-in-Chief of PawzNRead – 10th birthday. While we celebrate his birthday on November 1 every year, we aren’t exactly certain whether he was born on this date. Why? Because he is a product of the puppy mill who landed up with us serendipitously – we will keep that story for another day. For now, let’s just say it was meant to happen. As he turns 10 today, I wanted to share 10 things my dog teaches me every single day.
As our Paw-In Chief Mr Popo writes O’pawnion pieces which you can read here
Lesson #1: Each day is good enough to be celebrated
Quite like a dog, Popo doesn’t understand nor care much for birthdays. He doesn’t realise how today is different from any other day. Blissfully unaware that certain days are to be celebrated he greets every single day with equal enthusiasm.
Lesson #2: Somethings in life are precious…don’t miss them for anything
Throw a toy but don’t expect the boy to play fetch. Dangle a treat if you want but don’t expect him to drool (unless its boiled chicken hearts). But pick up the leash and he doesn’t waste any time to step out for his walkie. And he knows his walk time so well that sometimes I wonder if I really need a clock at home. Walks are non-negotiable; they can’t be missed.
Lesson #3: There’s no such thing as festive overeating
Unlike a beagle, our boy is not food motivated. He sticks to his regular diet with boiled chicken hearts as treats – be it Monday, Friday or Christmas or birthday. There’s no such thing as festive overeating in his dictionary. That said, he does love an occasional cheese slice or a piece of cold cuts.
Lesson #4: Create everyday rituals
It’s a running joke in our home that Popo’s middle name is ‘lazy’. He only gets up to go for his walks, eat and stretches a bit before going back to sleep. But recently Popo proved us wrong by showing that he too can learn new skills if they are fun enough – such as playing puzzles. These days playing puzzle with him has become our everyday ritual. It stimulates his mind and gives us inexplicable joy.
Lesson #5: Choose your tribe
Here’s the thing, Popo isn’t your ‘take me anywhere’ dog. He generally likes humans more than dogs but not all humans. But when he does take to someone, he gets smitten. He takes no time to claim their spot on the sofa, beg for scratches and do all kinds of antics. He chooses his tribe and chooses it well.
Lesson #6: It’s okay to be afraid
When Popo was tiny – perhaps five months old – a bunch of children playing football threw the ball in his direction that hit his head. Since then, he is afraid of the three Bs – ball, balloon and bunch of kids. We have tried to help him get over his fear and to be honest he isn’t afraid of these three Bs as much as before. But in turn he has also taught us that its okay to be afraid sometimes – there’s no shame in it. Its human!
Lesson #7: Like it or not, YOLO (You Only Live Once)
If he doesn’t like someone, he will show it uninhibitedly. If he is comfortable with a situation, he will let us know as well by lying down with his belly up. One thing that he teaches us every day, every moment in fact, is that we live only once, and we must make that count.
Lesson #8: Don’t take no for an answer
There are a few things he takes quite seriously, one of them is to never take no for an answer. Try telling him “Popo, no don’t roll in the dirt” he will act as if he didn’t hear. If he loves it enough – like rolling in the grass or peeing on the fire hydrant – he won’t listen. Quite persistent that way!
Lesson #9: What’s your why
Call me biased but I feel as if every dog is born with a purpose to add meaning to the life of us humans. For example, I sometimes feel as if Popo’s ‘why’ is to make his humans stay disciplined, be joyful and also uninhibited about showing emotions. I can’t ever stop acknowledging what a huge sense of purpose my dog has brought to my life. Today my life revolves around his feeding time, walk time, medicine time and sleep time. Perhaps, that’s my ‘why’.
Lesson #10: Age is really just a number
Compared to three years ago, Popo has become slower. He does limp occasionally and sometimes feels lazy to move around too much. That’s a reality of having pets, they grow old just like us humans do too. Or perhaps (in this case) it’s us who notice even a small change in Popo more than ever before since his diagnosis – I can’t be sure. (More about that another day). But one thing that we’ve learnt from him is age is really just a number. Its more about how we live – are we happy, are we healthy, are we fulfilled. At the end of the day the tail must keep wagging.
On that note, do join me to wish our boy a Happy Bark Day. Do send positive vibes his way today and every day.