Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Learning Gratitude

The other day, I was walking around with my lunch in my hand trying getting ready to sit in front of the TV. And it dawned on me, that if my dogs were human they would think me very rude. If someone made a big bowl of steaming hot, cheesy pasta and didn't offer you any wouldn't you be offended? Well, I didn't give them any, because Buddy is on a grain free diet, and I don't believe dogs should eat dairy. I don't think they quite understood my explanation. But they still were happy to lay calmly and quietly at my feet.

And then I also thought how I wouldn't be very happy if I could only eat twice a day and had no say in what I was eating. But still, my dogs are very happy to get their raw, tripe and occassional treat.

When we walk, they are happy to go where we go. They can't even potty until we allow them to potty.

The point of this is not that I feel the dogs need a lifestyle change. Rather, it is a reminder to me to be assess my true needs, be grateful for what I HAVE and not worry about what I don't.

Of course, if my pets didn't have some basic needs met, they would be very troubled indeed. This reminds me to prioritize. My family needs food. If I take a hard, honest, look we have more than we need. We don't NEED to go to McDonald's after a soccer game. But we can. We need shelter. My house is not very large by American standards. But how lucky we are that we each have our own room and live in a friendly neighborhood. When I look at my life in this way, I realize how much we really have.

As our Pit, Jesse, grew older she could do less of the things she loved. Yet still she always was happy to go on her walk no matter how short. She always gave kisses full of love and gratitude when I let her on the bed. At 14, she would still get excited to see a meal coming her way. That dog never took one single moment of her life for granted.

I think I've learned a lot about gratitude from dogs. And I am very grateful.

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