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  • Writer's pictureHoekema Family

Reflecting on lessons that dogs teach us

As my dogs tear around the yard this week, I reflect back on a blog from a few months ago about what lessons our dogs teach us each and everyday. I watch the dogs rip up the sand at top speed finding a new path each time they blast around the trees, weave around the spools, snap at the dangling rope toys as they pass or leap off the top of the hill avoiding the next dog underneath them. A smile spreads wide across my face.

-Live in the moment they say- dogs take each situation as it comes and act accordingly every. single. time.. Enjoy the present moment. I love this one as I don’t think enough of us do it. It’s a great reminder for when sand is between your toes, tear it up, dig it up, live it up, laugh and be in the moment.

Sola still has this joyful obsession with annoying Meiko at every chance she can get. Attaching herself trying to get her to engage. Makes her scruff soggy to no end. Meiko is usually pretty tolerable to this, the odd growl comes out here and there but most of the time she just puts up with it. How many of these lessons can we apply here,

-Play every day - always make time for the activities you enjoy.

-Never pass by the opportunity to run, romp and play daily.

-Exercise everyday - whether it be to go for jog, a long walk or a hike on a nearby trail, get out, sniff the air and put your face in the wind.

-Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

-When your loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

-Jump for joy, dance, wiggle and move - When you are happy, dance around and wag your entire body. There is so much to jump for joy about.

-Forgive and forget - Don't hold a grudge, forgive and move on just like your dog.

Perhaps a little of all of these based off of one brief moment hanging out with my dogs. I think it's important to have a few of these as reminders every now and then.

Isla and Leia can smell snacks in my pocket a mile away and are sitting, laying down, backing up and spinning all at once in unison trying to get a ‘good girl’ pat on the head. (it’s probably just the snacks)

They’ll accept praise and a ‘good girl’ anytime of the day. (then accept the snacks!)

-Accept Praise - Dogs teach us to graciously and happily accept praise and good will from others. (and never turn down snacks)

I giggle watching the dogs let loose and do their laps chasing each other around the yard. One takes off, another soon follows, following by the whole pack by the end. The trailing 2 obviously have no idea what is happening. Squirrels? A cat? A neighborhood group of chit chatter in the background? Or are we running simply for the love of the chase. It doesn’t matter to them. They’ve got each other’s backs no matter what. They are loyal and it doesn’t even have to come with understanding. They are all in, they are always all in.

-Be loyal and dependable - Dogs are pack animals. They stick with their pack. They defend their pack. Be a loyal and dependable member of your pack as well. It'll enrich your life in more ways than you know.

I come and visit my dogs more times in a day then most people realize, simply to say hi, soak up their energy and their positivity of just being around them. Now I’m not sure I will ever greet anyone the way my dogs greet me but my point is, it’s amazing, fulfilling, energy shifting.

-Practice unconditional love - Dogs are always thrilled to see us each time we walk in the door, no matter if we're early or late, grouchy or not, or what we look like at all. A smile crosses their face each and every time they have the greatest pleasure just to be in your presence.

So many great lessons each and every day, every moment, every second I am reminded from them. As much as I’ve gone over these lessons my dogs have taught me before, I am in bewilderment at how often they spark reminders for me every single time I am in their presence. They just have it down. They are aware, tuned in and ready to live their lives to the fullest every second.

-Always find time for snuggles and naps- Slow down, find a loved one, lean in and snuggle and take a peaceful nap.

-If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

-When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

-On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

I take in these reminders from Sola leading the pack, or Meiko being the queen of snuggles, or Isla leaping over Leia as if she wasn’t even there or Leia trying out each of these skills individually as she matures. So regal, so darling, so happy go lucky, so eager for it all. They bring a sense of not only joy to my step but a calmness to my days as the fall sunshine warms every corner of where every nose has sniffed recently.

Meiko is rounding out more and more every day. First it’s me that notices her belly fluff fly out in a way that only happens when new babes are on the way. Then the rounding of her figure, to the filling in of the rest of her. She’s always a snuggly one, a touch me always dog, a nose under the arm or a nuzzle under the chin kind of girl. This all heightens and is laid on extra thick in this time before pups come. I have a sneaky suspicion since I’m a sucker for her snuggles, she is sucking everything she can out of this time that she is in this ‘condition’. I give, I cave, at every moment. What a sucker I am.

I got the mama area to the side of their house up this week, giving her a space to stay clean and dry out of the weather and the sand in the weeks following her having new pups.

Things are coming together as the days tick past oh so quickly. The days turn rapidly from fall to the smell and slight flurries of snow in the air of winter. We skipped right past fall it seems from the heat of the extended summer right into the chill of winter that is now upon us. Gnomes line the shelves in every store, Christmas lights get strung on random houses as I pass and as I come inside my own house I notice our own Christmas Tree has somehow made it’s way up to being the center of attention right in the middle of our living room. It’s simply magical. As the days move forward random packages will show up under the tree unbeknownst to me again, just like magic. Days are flying by. In the blink of an eye, a whirl of storm, a flash of time that spins around us, Christmas will be soon be upon us and I get the honor of hosting one of the most magical get togethers of all…. Sharing of love, sharing of fluff, fur and wiggly warm kisses of new pups. What an extremely phenomenal way to spend a day in your Christmas Break. I am honored to have this opportunity to share with you all. Tickled pink, tossed with tinsel, glowing with glee, what a magical time of year.

Back it up a touch of course to giving Thanks for what’s ahead. Groceries on the shelves, propane in our heaters, a generator to keep our newborn pups heat going when a storm once again rips every other tree out from its roots around us across the lines. Thankful for fulltime jobs, kids flying successfully, lessons being had with minor consequences, health of our loved ones around us and of course of furry companions teaching us all about how to live life to it’s fullest through this holiday season.

Snuggle often, love constantly, share the fur, run with your pack, and simply be more like a dog.


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