Life lessons from a dog, you wonder?? Yes, absolutely.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Take satisfaction in a job well done, and make work fun.
- Our dog, Splash didn’t just get the morning paper; she reveled in the task. She would wait patiently at the door with great excitement, and then run, not walk, tail held high, to the corner of the sidewalk. She would look back at us as if to say, “I’ve nabbed it!” — like it was trying to escape. Then she would grab the paper by the end and drag it up the steps to the house. The Sunday paper was always a great challenge, requiring a one-step-at-a-time hoist. Finally, she would toss it with great exuberance at our feet, tail wagging, as if to say “Thank you sooo much for letting me do this job for you!”. Wouldn’t it be great if we all approached our jobs that way??
When you finish your work, play hard.
- Splash, like most dogs and young children, did not know the limits of play. ”Puleeze, throw that ball one more time, would you??” Or, “Why in the world are you stopping, when we can keep running??” Play was pure happiness and meant to be continued until you dropped from exhaustion.
Learn all you can, and take pride in your education.
- Splash was smarter than any dog I ever had. She loved learning and, unlike me, usually picked things up on the first take. So, we challeged her limits. When she was a pup, I ran out of commands to teach her, so I taught her everything over again – in sign language. This, of course, came in quite handy when a flight back from the UK severed her connection to the hearing world (no wonder she hated that flight!). But Splash’s favorite trick was knowing left from right. Our friends lost many a bet by insisting she could not possibly know her right paw from her left :-)
Love unconditionally, and demonstrate your love often.
- Don’t most dogs teach us this? Out we go to work or to a day of golf. Is Splash sulking when we return, left alone for hours?? Nope. You guessed it, there she would be – tail wagging furiously and a wiggle that should, by rights, shake her tail right off. We could do no wrong.
Live in the moment, but approach the future with enthusiasm.
- Watching Splash on a walk was truly a lesson in life. She walked hundreds of miles with our Worcester Ramblers (UK). Unlike most of us humans, who tended to march along at a steady pace, walking was an adventure for Splash. She would run ahead to see what’s next, run back to the last person in line to make sure they “stayed with the pack”, and then run back up front. She seemed to say: ”There might be something exciting ahead – don’t want to miss it!”.
Savor every meal and treat.
- Splash knew that food was one of the great pleasures in life and never met a meal she didn’t like. But, like most gourmands, she knew that some meals were better than others, and she had a great appreciation for a few special things – peanut butter treats, pizza and fish (yes, fish – probably related to her Portie heritage). Life was really good when these were on her plate.
Unfortunately, Peanut Butter Treats won’t be on the menu at our house for a while. But perhaps you are lucky enough to have someone who would enjoy them? I know that Splash would be happy to share her recipe….
Splash’s Peanut Butter Treats
2 1/2 cups flour, all purpose
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 clove garlic
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup oil, canola
flour, all purpose, for rolling dough
1. Preheat oven to 375 deg. F.
Mix dry ingredients and set aside.
Drop garlic into food processor with processor running. Chop garlic.
Add peanut butter, milk, oil and egg. Blend to a smooth paste.
Add dry ingredients. Blend until the dough forms a ball.
2. Flour pastry board or counter. Roll dough out until about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick, dusting with extra flour as needed. Cut with cookie cutters into desired shapes. (Splash liked everything but cat shapes.)
Place cookies on baking sheet or on a Silpat placed on a baking sheet (my preferred method).
3. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Let cool and store in air-tight container. Freeze if not using with 2 weeks.
In loving memory of Splash, who gave us so very much.
We miss you ….