Finding a Dog’s Purpose

Anyone who knows me is familiar with just how much I love my dogs.

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Smokey waiting patiently for his Emily to get off the school bus, 2008

Life is defined as the presence of energy in its many intricate and brilliantly complex forms. I am just a traveler and observer here, carving out and exploring the many beautiful ways in which to live my life to its fullest.

Anyone who knows me is familiar with just how much I love my dogs. My dogs serve an incredibly significant purpose for me: a connection and love with another living being that does not share my language and the shape of my body, but is still willing to offer unconditional love and affection. Is that why my dogs are here? Well, I was willing to explore the idea this past Sunday with Bruce Cameron’s newest book titled A Dog’s Purpose. It was a great read, especially since I didn’t cry through the entire book. Ok, so I cried through some of it and really let it loose at the end, but only because it had such a solid finish…but I’ll let you find that out for yourself.

What I do want to share is that I walked away with a different perspective on the dogs in my life, predominantly my three most recent dogs that have all come to us by way of Florida and New York State German Shorthair Pointer Rescue. With this newfound perspective, I’d really love to sit down with my current two dogs and have a chat over a bowl of kibble and rawhide. What would they say if I asked them what they thought their purpose is? I’d love to know. What I can offer is to share what I have learned most from the three of them through the years ~

Old Brown Dog…you have taught me to be tough, to stand up and fight for what I believe in, and to bark like I mean it. These three tasks must be accomplished without compromising love, compassion, and perseverance against all odds. I can’t believe you’re still kicking after all you’ve been through in your 15 years.

Kolby…well, you are just a beautiful masterpiece in progress, aren’t you? You are teaching me that patience and trust are two of the most powerful gifts you can offer another living being and that it sometimes must be painfully earned. Above all else, it is imperative to work with a gentle hand, an open mind, and a warm heart, particularly in the case of loving someone who was refused all of the above in their past.

And my dear Smoke Dog…you taught me two big lessons buddy. First ~ it’s ok to be a wimp and a complete softy sometimes, even though you look to be the big, buff tough guy on the block. Second ~ you helped to reinforce I must enjoy every day I am given because life sometimes comes to a swift end, especially when we least expect it.

Until next time, I offer these words of wisdom for better or for worse.  Please take them with a grain of salt, for we each live our own individual truths (even our dogs).  Our mission while we are here is to understand, accept, and celebrate that one very simple, but incredibly significant fact.  For all this (including wet nose prints on all of my windows) I am grateful.

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