Throughout our lives we are often encouraged to do big things; to travel around the world, to break a few hearts (and have ours broken), to dance and sing and laugh and love and cry and yell and become one with our animalistic selves. We are told to live life to the fullest by taking chances, pushing our limits, and experiencing everything at least once. And while these things are exciting, the majority of our lives are spent living. Sleeping, washing, cleaning, eating, grocery shopping, and all of the other things that have to happen to make life possible.
To me, although the “big” things are enjoyable and sometimes awe-inspiring, the in-betweens matter even more. The time spent between living and doing. The time spent with a good book or a movie at home. And it’s the same when it comes to my dogs. Every moment with them, whether big or small, makes my life matter.
When Mylo chases his tail in excitement for supper or steals his brother’s favorite toy. When he curls up at my feet while I read a book in the evenings, or when he plays stealth-attack with Odin. When he walks over to me and burps in my face or puts on his most sad and depressing expression while wagging his tail in the hopes for pets. These moments matter even more to me than the spectacular life events that happen every so often.
When Toady needs cuddle time with his “mama” and flops into my lap, or when he takes his toys and tries to put them in my mouth so that I can play tug-of-war his way. When he pretends to be shameful for eating tissue, or when he ever-so-gently lips a treat out of my hand. These times make me smile and laugh and want for nothing.
When Odin curls around my legs and “talks” to me while I cook supper. When he snuggles into my arms and falls asleep. When he begs for cat treats at the front door. These moments make me remember that although I am always learning to be a better person, I’m on the right track.
If you can step back to enjoy the in-betweens with your pets, you will see so much more than you thought possible. When you take every minute you’ve got with them and enjoy it just as much as they do, you’ll find what it is to be happy and whole. Because no matter where you travel, or how many different languages you speak, it’s the time you take to enjoy what you’ve got every day at home that makes all the difference. It’s sad to think that our pets won’t live as long as we do, but perhaps it’s because they enjoy every second of every day and never take anything for granted. Perhaps it shouldn’t be “you only live once”, but “you can never unspend a minute of your time”. Spend your minutes wisely and take a prompt from your pets. Let things go as easily as they do, smile at their quirks, laugh at their antics, and you will find yourself a happier person than before. And if not, try rolling in something disgusting, it seems to be a most exhilarating experience. At least from what I have witnessed from my dogs.