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Dog Forever

Meg Harris, Real Dogs Real People

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If there is one thing all dog lovers can agree on it is that dogs just don’t live long enough!   We wish they could be with us forever.  

They can be, but it is their forever, not ours.

"Dog forever" is every bit as grand and as long as ours; it seems short to us, only because it is compressed in to a small, densely-packed window of human time.  

Why?  Because dogs live without "filler".

By filler, I mean the time we humans spend being half-hearted, going through the daily grind, being complacent, existing, as opposed to really living.  Dogs skip all of that wasted time.

When a dog plays, it is with all of his heart.  We stand throwing the ball, often ho-hum, thinking about other things, but dogs are IN the game, living the fun.
When a dog naps, it is for real.  They don’t toss and turn, thinking about what they should have done earlier, or have to do later.  They nap like they mean it, without a moment of thought to something else they should be doing.
When we idly rub their tummies while we watch TV, the dogs are totally immersed in the bliss of a belly rub.
When we eat, some meals we relish, but most often we eat simply because we are hungry or bored.
When dogs eat, they eeeaaat!  A treat isn’t grabbing a snack on the way by; it is “Oh My God!  A treat!” every time.
When we go to work, it is going to work to make money.  Even if we really enjoy our jobs, they come with headaches and hassles and hours spent going through the motions.
When dogs go to work, it is with heart and soul; they are tireless and proud.  They see work as a purpose to embrace, not a job.

Now imagine the hours each of us has spent in hindsight, wondering what if?  Or in self-doubt, worrying about how we look, whether we’re good enough at this or that, or worrying what others think, or in self-pity.  That is all filler.

Dogs accept themselves fully and immerse themselves in whatever life hands them.

I do believe dogs experience many of the feelings we do, even the negative ones, but where we humans are notorious wallowers in such things, dogs will let go of them at the first chance they get.  Their capacity, not to forget, but to truly forgive and move on, is incredible.  They are hard wired to get back to feeling good, get back to really living.

Yes, I believe that if we take out the filler, dogs live every bit as long as we do! 

Perhaps that explains their graceful acceptance of leaving this world when it is time.  We have trouble letting them go but they seem to know things we don’t.  When their bodies here can no longer afford them quality of life, it is time to go; confident in their next calling.

There are so many things we can learn from our dogs and this may be the most important.  If we could learn to live as they do, without filler, perhaps our lives would not seem so short as we age.  Perhaps if we had no regrets or thoughts of time wasted, we too, would be gracefully confident and ready for our next calling, when our time comes.

After all, using the 7 human years to 1 dog year guestimate, if we lived without filler, it would be like living 6 or 700 years of our lives with filler.  I think after 700 years, I would feel ready to move on to my next adventure!

I am going to give it a whirl and try to live the rest of my life with a little less filler, a little more like a dog.  I’ll let you know, in a few hundred years worth of living, how it went!

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