Our dogs teach us lessons all the time.
My dog, Maggie, is no exception. She does unconditional love extremely well. She is strict about her biscuit sand eating schedule. She’s a pretty linear dog. But one thing that she has taught me over and over is this:
It’s all in the belief. I’ll explain:
She is 14 years old. That’s 98 in human years. As you can see, she looks good, in spite of needing a good wash and grooming. It’s still very wintry here and I am reluctant to cut her hair too close until the weather breaks.
The most amazing thing about her is this: she doesn’t think she is old.
I doubt that she thinks about it at all – she doesn’t share those things with me. But when she meets another dog, the first thing she wants to do is play. She immediately shifts into the play position.
This morning, we met a man walking a visibly old dog. I asked him if his dog was friendly and he told me she was very old and not interested in playing.
When I told him how old Maggie is, he was incredulous. He said: “I thought she was 2 or 3.”
A little further along, we met a small, white dog who was looking for a playmate. She didn’t have to look twice. She and Maggie tore around a field having a great old chase. I finally put the brakes on, afraid that she is much more optimistic about her ability to walk tomorrow.
We walked 45 minutes in a beautiful, wild park. At the end, she hopped into my car without hesitation and we were on our way back home. She’s having a good nap, but is losing no sleep thinking she’s something she’s not – old – at least in her mind.
If you know someone who is feeling old, share Maggie’s story. They may redefine themselves and play again.