I wanted to share with you a personal story about my beloved fur-baby. She is no longer with us and if you’ve ever had the pleasure of having a dog throughout their entire life you can appreciate each good day that you are blessed to have at the end. My dog was with me for 16 wonderful years and this pic is one I took just a few months before she passed. Just like most elderly dogs, Kelani slept most of the time, had trouble walking, and was probably in pain more than I will ever know as she never complained (unless I wasn’t giving her enough bites of my chicken, her favorite meal).
Well, the lesson I want to share here has to do with the picture above. If you’re wondering why she is wearing a paper bag I’ll be getting to that shortly.
It was a late afternoon sometime during the week and I had just come through the door after work. Due to her age, I was used to Kelani not meeting me like she use to as she slept most of the time now. But if she knew I was there she would make an effort to greet me even if it was to just lift her head and wag her tail a bit.
Well, I put my keys down on the kitchen counter and walked into the living room expecting to see her lying on the couch. She wasn’t there but that didn’t really worry me as we had a pretty big backyard and could often be found there walking, making her way back to the house after making on of her daily laps around the perimeter (Remember to get up often and go for a walk, for all you desk jockeys).
As soon as I turned to look out the window to see if Kelani was there, quite a site caught my eye. There was an assortment of random food strewn all across the floor. It was alarming because it certainly wasn’t normal. Had someone broke in? If so, why would they leave food on the floor? The rest of the house wasn’t trashed. The TV was still there.
There were peas, chips, several half eaten carrots, and trash of all kinds. It was strange because it wasn’t just a piece of torn paper that I would occasionally find had it been Kelani. This was everywhere and definitely didn’t fit her pattern of sometimes taking part of an unfinished sandwich or mostly empty chip bag that had been left on the coffee table. No, this was a lot of different kinds of food and papers and it was all over the place. I then noticed that it made a trail to my office, so I followed.
The same story played out in my office. Food and paper everywhere and as I was looking around at the mess still confused, Kelani comes walking around the corner with this paper bag around her neck. Now, I almost never yelled at her and even if I was mad and not relieved, the look that she had on her face would have melted any anger away. The look she had was one of complete and genuine amusement. I mean, she was almost proud of what she did and yet she recognized how ridiculous it all was and how she looked. She had gotten into a bag of garbage my wife had left on the floor (something she never did), and got her head stuck in the handle. As she walked around the house the garbage must have just kept falling out. She obviously wasn’t panicked and I can only guess by the sh@t eating grin on here face that she enjoyed some of the different treats that kept magically showing up as she wandered around the house.
If you look at the pic, you can see her smile, and she kept this look for the rest of the evening long after I took the back off from around her neck. It was hilarious. Despite struggling to walk and basically to move in general which could only of been harder with a full bag of garbage around her head, she had found joy in her predicament. She had found joy in the grind of life. She had messed up and she went with it. It was a beautiful reminder that we all probably need from time to time.
I often think of the lessons she’s taught me over the years and this was a great one. Hopefully you will find a nugget or two for yourself from this small story. Here’s what I got from it.
No matter what your business or life throws at you. No matter how hard it is to get thing going and get things done. No matter the daily grind and those times that endless garbage suddenly surrounds you…enjoy it. Revel in it. Find the joy and the hidden treats within that garbage. Pick out the good pieces and leave the rest. Don’t take yourself or your situation too seriously. When you mess up…and you are going to mess up, make the most of it. Let it make your day rather than ruin it. Don’t ever worry about the consequences and if you have no other choice but to show you messed up, share your humbleness, humility, humor, and happiness along with it. And ultimately, when you know you can’t fix it yourself, wait patiently with joy in your heart for certainly Your Master Will Come Home to help and share in your happiness.
I will miss you sweet ‘Heavenly’ girl. Til that day.