“I want to be the person my dog thinks I am…”
Being a professional pet sitter is such a fabulous career for me. There are so many reasons why; great clients (two legged as well as four!), being able to be outside in the fresh air and having the ability to make my own schedule are just a few. But one of the main reasons why I love my job is that I never feel slighted when I arrive at “work.” There is no co-worker that felt like I slighted them yesterday or boss who has other things on their mind but is taking it out on me. With the exception of a cat holding a grudge because of pill I had to give, most times when I walk in the door it’s like a “do-over.” And who doesn’t long for that?! Being around so many amazing animals is just that…a never-ending “do-over” for me that allows me to view every day, every experience of every day as a new, fresh start. Animals don’t hold grudges. Animals don’t feel slighted because you were late. Animals take every moment they are given and run with it–usually quite literally!
How different would life be if we all thought like that? How many feuds would end and tragedies would be avoided? We could wake up every morning and think about how grateful we were to have a warm place to sleep and someone to rub our bellies.
Not that all problems would be instantly resolved. For example, there would still, unfortunately, be homelessness. The difference would be that others would do their best to care for one another. If a dog saw another dog on the street, he would not walk past quickly and avoid eye contact. He would say, “hello, friend.” and mean it. He would give his new friend a piece of his lunch if he had it. And if he knew of a place his friend could go, he would direct him there. He would leave his friend with a heartfelt goodbye, and a “can’t wait to see you again.” And he would mean it!
Cats are different. More aloof. But…not less loving. Even though a cat seems to have a better grip on long term memories (just take out the cat carrier to go to the vet if you doubt me!) that works in my favor as well. Because a cat will remember me from the last time I visited them. A cat will remember that I sat in the chair by the window and rubbed behind their ears while they gazed out the window. A cat will remember that I fed them last time I was there and will look forward to the meal they know is coming. And a cat will bring me gifts (granted, they are usually dead and disgusting, but still a gift!) to show me how important I am to them.
I wish I had just a little bit of the wisdom that a cat or a dog brings into my life every day. But since I am JUST a human, I am going to have to continue living my life trying to live up to the person my dog thinks I am! How about you?