Saturday, January 05, 2013

Life Lessons From My Dog


Six Life Lessons Homer Taught Me

Live In The Moment
The present moment is all that matters, nothing in the world lives this way quite like dogs and Homer rocked that out hard.
He jumped off our bed each morning ready and eager for the day. He never held a grudge or was stuck in the past. When Lori or I came into the house, whether we’d been gone five minutes, five hours or five days, Homer was waiting at the door. Tail wagging, face radiating, absolutely thrilled to see us again. He greeted every moment like it was a long lost friend.

Treat Everything Like It's Your First Time
Each meal, each treat, each walk, each person was met by Homer with such vigor, excitement and fun. His energy and enthusiasm was infectious. Everything was a celebration. Homer had a lust for life unlike any other dog I’ve met.

Ask For What You Want
Homer was a master manifester. He would sit, whine, stare, drool, beg… whatever it took to get what he wanted. It never failed to work. His perseverance and tenacity was amazing. People always gave in and gave him a treat, pet, hug…whatever it was that Homer wanted.

Unconditional Love
Give and receive it. Be a conduit of love. Homer enjoyed other dogs but he loved people. He lived to sniff, snort, and smell people, and nothing made his eyes light up like being pat by a stranger when he was out for a walk. 
Homer loved and protected our kitten, Marge, to such an extent that when Marge became fully grown and would lunge at Homer and smack him in the face with her paws, he wouldn’t even bark at her. He just took it, because he loved Marge.

Don’t Judge
Don’t judge yourself or others. Most of the time Homer was a Zen Master - so sweet, easy going and relaxed. Once, a neighbor's dog bit Homer in the cheek. Homey just stood there shocked, like “What’s your problem, man?" But when thunder or fireworks struck; lookout! He would be a shaking mess and bolt for a spot in the basement without any windows to ride the storm out. It was his own personal panic room. He didn’t care what I thought, what you thought, and he didn’t cast judgment on himself for his anxieties, his many anxieties. He was also the rare dog that hated car rides. He would start drooling and trembling just seeing us pack luggage. The back seat of our car would be a lake even after a short drive with Homer in the car.

Leave An Impact
Homer was hit by a car and died Friday Jan 4, 2013 at the age of 9 1/2. The outpouring of love and support from friends, family and neighbors has astounded me. Homer gave nothing but love and has left a sad hole.

The sky seemed duller when I first opened my eyes this morning. The house too quiet. Life itself seems stiller, emptier.
It hurts to wake up and not have him laying at my feet.
It hurts to look out any window and not see him in the yard.
It hurts to see his tracks in the snow, knowing their won’t be anymore.
It hurts to not hear his many sighs and moans; he was like an old Jewish man.
It hurts to not to have my living alarm clock wake me up to get him breakfast.
It hurts to put on my socks and shoes without him coming to sit beside me.
It hurts to walk into each room and find it empty.
It hurts to not hear his early warning system when anyone comes down our driveway.
It hurts to not put my used dish on the floor for my heavy breathing dishwasher.
It hurts to see each toy, knowing it won’t be played with again.
It all hurts because there was so much love and joy.
Now it has moved on. We were spoiled.


Janie said...

Just wanted to say that when I met Homer all those years ago it was love at first sight. He was the sweetest and funniest dog. I will always picture him sitting on the couch with his front paws crossed like a human....

Rena Hedeman said...

Just reading this makes me cry - and I never even met Homer. He was your baby, even at 9 1/2 years of age. He was your best buddy, your always upbeat companion, your furry source of unconditional love - both given and received. I get it - I love my own dog so much. So sorry you lost him so suddenly. Huge hugs to you, Andy & Lori. Homer will love you forever.

Marcia Ming said...

I think your story could be very helpful to children who have lost a pet. However, it ends on a very sad note. It might be better to start with the sadness and end with the lessons learned so you help people move on by appreciating all of the blessings their pet brought into their lives. Just a thought. Also, this story would be more appropriate for slightly older children -- grade school and up -- including adults.