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Monday, February 1, 2016

One wise dog

Tonight was another walk at   If I’m being honest, I was in some ways  dreading going there tonight as I have felt a bit stressed and animal shelters aren’t a relaxing environment.   Compounding this, I have a very strong sense of empathy.   What this has given me in the ability to bargain and understanding of how others feel, it has very much taken payment from me by making me comprehend some of the fear and confusion that are often found in situations like this.   Other than knowing I needed to help, I made this comparison in my head to push myself out the door:   “That uncomfortable burn is what makes me a better athlete when I’m training.   Maybe putting myself in an uncomfortable situation mentally can help me be a better person.”

Every time that I get to the clinic at One of A Kind, I hope that Rudolph isn’t there and is up for adoption and finding the forever home that he deserves.  I peeked in the window and saw that he was in his area, half asleep. As soon as he saw me, the tail started wagging. I'm happy to see that each week, that tail is having to do more and more work. Let's go buddy!

It started out as less of a walk once we got the park and turned into more of an all out sprint.   I guess Rudy thought that my 400m time needed some work because as we ran, he kept looking at me and the leash like “dude, toss the anchor out the back and let’s go!”   After a lap, we ended up stopping by a shelter in the park as we haven’t really investigated that so far.   I thought that it’d be a good opportunity for some training, so I got him to hop up on the bench and take a seat so I could take the worst picture both of us have probably ever been in.   (I never earned that photography merit badge)

At the end of the evening, we headed back to the shelter and it was a bit odd for me.   I was wondering what I lesson I was supposed to take from this evening.   Helping others always seems to teach me something, and Rudy is one to make sure that those lessons are hammered home.   Sometimes, lessons don’t sink in until later, and I figured that was the case here…..until we got back to the shelter.   

When we got back, I opened up Rudy’s kennel.   He walked right in, sat down, and waited for me to dispense the treat that I was holding in my hand.   He took the treat to his bed, laid down, and started munching away.   When I closed the gate, he stopped chewing long enough to look up and he seemed to give me a slight nod, almost as if he was saying “Thanks man.”   As I started to leave, I noticed his neighbors.   Both looked a bit confused as to what was happening and one had some obvious health issues.   I looked at Rudolph again.   He was OK.   He was calm.   He knew he was safe, well taken care of, fed, and loved.      

He was OK with the things he cannot change.   He has what he needs…not what he deserves, but what he needs....and he is OK with that.   

This is one really intelligent dog…

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