Let me tell you the story about my first dog, Blue!
Blue was a golden, not blue, cocker spaniel named as such because when she was a puppy my mam reckoned that she looked like she “had the blues”. In any case, Blue was my dog and I loved her to bits right from the get go!
Early memories of me and my mutt are sparse to say the least. Short of mental images of the litter she was a part of, bringing her home in the car and her peeing on the kitchen floor, I don’t have many to speak of. But hey, I was only 4 years old when we got her – surely an acceptable excuse!
When Blue was about 3 or 4 we moved house. Going from a semi-attached rental property to a freshly built home meant the tiny patch of grass out the back was out and in was a large garden chock full of fresh sights and smells. This, I’m sure, was a welcome addition from Blues point of view because she was anything but a house dog. To this day I am yet to see an animal with as much energy and excitement as she had. It was constant and never-ending. Even at birthday parties with dozens of kids demanding her attention, she was unwavering in her successful attempts to keep up!
This energy was nothing short of awesome. It meant I had a friend that never gave up or was too tired to play. From a responsible dog owner point of view however, that made her a bit of a nightmare. Her attention span was so short that we never did get her trained to do anything and letting her into the house yielded nothing but damage as she scurried around smelling, chewing and investigating every little thing.
That unrelenting energy was backed up with a great deal of strength for a dog her size, too. Anytime we took her for a walk she would be leading the charge, slowing only to take in new smells before hitting it full pelt again! In fact, she was so strong and eager to get moving that she ended up breaking every lead we ever got her. Sick of replacing them, my Dad decide that a commercial rope was a more wallet friendly choice and it seemed to do the trick!
Now, with any pet there will always be times when the workload they bring seems more hassle than its worth, but fortunately these are very few and far between with Blue. Sure I had to feed her, make sure she was safe and pick up her poop (something NO kid wants to do), but I thankfully always realised that it was a sacrifice worth making. In fact, the only times I was ever really annoyed with her was when she got lost; and really, that was just driven by worry more than anything!
Of course, we’d go out looking for her, returning unsuccessful, only to find her sitting at the back door wondering where the hell we were – She wasn’t trying to get away, but the smells and sights of outside the house just needed more ‘splorin.
Truth being told however, this love definitely went both ways and along with being one of the most energetic dogs I ever met, she is 100% without doubt the most patient. As a kid, I was not easy to get along with and was constantly playing with her and winding her up! For example, one of my favorite “games” to play with her was making her sneeze.
Now, I’m not sure if this hold true for every dog, but if you covered blues nostrils with your palm for a second or two she would sneeze when you took your hand off. Every single damn time. Now, I don’t know about you, but a 10-year-old kid putting their smelly hands over my nose doesn’t sound like much fun. Yet, Blue would just sit there and calmly just let me do it, repaying the favor with licks and requests for rubs!
We were actually fortunate enough to have Blue for a very long time and despite being plagued with illness and injury in her later years, she was always friendly and excited to see people. But ultimately, and unfortunately, age got the better of her at 16!
The moral of this story is a simple one – don’t let the happy moments of everyday life pass you by just because they are simple! The best and most precious memories I have of Blue are making her sneeze, feeding her treats off the back step and being greeted by her when I arrived home!
Everyday life is stressful, busy and usually go, go, go, If you let that take control of your life it will making enjoying these small moments next to impossible, because you won’t even spot them to appreciate! The sooner you learn to take a step back, asses what is really important and enjoy the little things of every day life, the sooner you will learn to love the process of “growing up”
Take the time to enjoy the sneeze!