This weekend there was a birthday in my household….
Wearing her Christmas bow earlier today
…my canine child!
Harley was born today — or at least approximately around this date. We aren’t exactly sure since we rescued her as a puppy after her litter and their mom were found on the street. In any event, my little pup is now 3 years old.
About a year and a half ago, I wrote one of my favorite posts, titled A Year with Harley: Life Lessons from My Dog. In honor of her birthday, I’m adding 3 new things to the list of lessons that Harley has taught me.
Snoozing with her ball close by
- #1 – Never forget something interesting
I’ve heard that the average dog has the intelligence level of a 2-year old child. One commonality I’ve noticed between toddlers and dogs is that they can be relentless when they’ve noticed something interesting and want to find out more. For kids, it can mean pushing the buttons on the DVD player or grabbing a glass off a table. For Harley, it usually has something to do with other animals.
One time while hiking at a park, I let her off the leash to grab water out of my backpack, and she darted at, and caught, a squirrel. It squeaked, which I think freaked Harley out, so she immediately let go. However, every time we a.) see a squirrel anywhere, or b.) pass that hiking spot, she frantically tries to find a way to have a second chance at catching a squirrel. Another instance is the time she found a skunk in a sewage grate in our neighborhood. I obviously pulled her away from the animal, but every single time we pass not only that grate, but any grate anywhere, Harley is sure to double check for strange creatures hanging out.
Moral of the story: Remember things that intrigue you. I’m constantly jotting down notes or using my iPhone’s notepad to write down random tidbits I don’t want to forget.
- #2 – A short, intense workout is just as effective as a long, lower-impact one
Sometimes Harley and I can walk for an hour, and she’ll still be pulling on the leash and bouncing with excitement. In contrast, when I let her run around outside, she’ll sprint like a maniac for a couple of minutes, immediately tiring herself out and plopping down in the grass content with life. The lesson here is that a shorter workout can be just as, if not more, effective than a longer one. So if you’ve got just 15 minutes to exercise today, make sure to turn up the intensity and get the best bang for your buck!
- #3 – Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened
Us humans tend to be sad when good things end – say, a vacation or a weekend – rather than happy that it happened and was awesome. Harley simply basks in the happiness of it all — whether we’ve just left the house for a walk, or are walking back up my sidewalk at the end of it.
So live in the moment. Enjoy things while they’re happening, and when they’re over, be happy that you got to experience it.
While Harley has grown up a lot since my first post on lessons that she has taught me, I think that she’ll always have her nutty moments that keep me both laughing and shaking my head.
Harley’s face stuck in an empty ice cream container
Two “Harley” moments from the past week:
– Last Friday I let her off the leash to do a few laps in my front yard, and she took the opportunity as a chance to roll in nasty dog poop and cover an entire side of her body in it. I know that dogs love to cover up their scent and it’s a natural tendency that goes back to their wild ancestors and yada yada, but come on now…. It was beyond disgusting!!
The usual shenanigans in my house
– My husband came home from work the other night while I was in the shower. For some reason, Harley, who is usually on high alert for anyone walking by my house on the sidewalk, if there are postal workers anywhere in my neighborhood, and if anyone dares to ring the doorbell, somehow didn’t hear him come in. Adam, in true form, ran up to Harley sleeping making scary growling noises at her, and you know what my guard dog did? Ran and hid beyond the couch as she whined….ha, well that makes me feel really safe!!
My crazy puppy has been my little buddy these past couple of years, and I love her to death!
What has a pet taught you?
Share a funny story about your dog!