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Monday, May 9, 2016

Faithfully Determind and Curious

Running, smiling, and changing directions with a bad photographer yields this result.
Meet Faith.   This little girl is what everyone wants in a puppy.  She’s spunky, curious, active, fun, and super affectionate…..and super cute! (my photography is not)   I’m pretty sure that we covered every square inch of that park this evening as we ran in pretty random patterns looking for the next thing to catch our interest.   Sometimes it was another dog.   Other times it was a bird or squirrel.   Sometimes is was even just the trail of a good smell.  I use my phone to log my mileage and when I looked at the GPS of where all we went, it looked like a 2 year old that does not know how to color inside of the lines got their hands on the map and a blue crayon.   It’s funny how in looking back at the map, I realized the first thing that I was being taught tonight.    
As a younger dog, Faith is super curious about everything.   She wants to go everywhere.   It’s the two words “curious” and “everywhere” that really struck me in all of that.   If you stay in one spot, or on one path, you’ll see one thing, or just one path.   In some cases, that’s just fine.   I realized that as beings, we have to stay curious.   It’s how we learn.   It is the difference between “alive” and “living”.   This dog is definitely living it up, even in a less than ideal circumstance which is absolutely awesome.   
If you want to see a prime example of determination, put something that Faith wants to sniff or check out just out of her reach and see what the dog does.   This dog has a drive like no other.   The 170 lb. boat anchor attached to the other end of her leash (me) wasn’t going to stop her from seeing what she wanted to see.   Even as I pulled her away from things, she dug in and pulled and pulled to see what it was that had her interest.   That’s solid determination.  That’s grit.   That’s absolutely awesome!   
Bench time
There were points where I had to play “bad guy” though and keep her away from something she wanted to see.   Rolling in mud may have been one of them…..    If I let her know it was time to move on, she did…which was amazing also.   She didn’t want to give up going to see what she wanted to until I let her know it was time for something else.   To me, that’s one of the things that makes dogs so special.   Driven, but also driven to serve.   I don’t believe that you should be so determined in something that you should never quit.   I do believe that the level of determination that Faith has is perfect.   She goes right up until the point where it’s blatantly obvious that it’s time to head in a different direction.   It’s determination with a dash of crazy, and a pinch of great judgement.   Super intelligent for someone that hasn’t been on the planet very long.  
We spent a few minutes watching the world from a bench.   We had treats (she ate, I served).   We snuggled, wrestled, and played.   All with the walking and running in the space of an hour.   The time flew by, but we still seemed to manage to squeeze so much into it which was great.   
A final thought: Leaving the shelter is always difficult.   Every dog I’ve walked I’ve wanted to bring home with me.   I leave knowing that I made someone’s day, and they have made mine.   I learn from every dog that I walk.   Irving still teaches me things all of the time even and still hasn’t run out of lessons after almost 4 years.  The dogs at the shelter practice their educational skills on me while they wait for someone that they can help on a daily basis to come along.   It’s never easy, but I’m glad I’ve had these opportunities as it’s changed me as a person and how I think about things.   Learning is a process, and there’s plenty of willing teachers out there.   The best ones never say a word.   

The guy that never stops teaching