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Loving Fearlessly

Loving Fearlessly

Loving Fearlessly

When I was on my way to rescue Finn, all I knew was that he was a puppy living in the barn because all the other dogs were attacking him. And I had this Hollywood vision of myself, a beacon of light shining behind me as I opened the barn door to save the poor guy.

Instead, 7-month-old Finn’s eyes grew in excitement as he sprinted towards me and then catapulted himself onto me so enthusiastically that he knocked me to the ground. I knew as my first dog-as-an-adult smothered me with kisses that the cat carrier I brought to get him home safely wouldn’t do me any good and that my life would never be the same. Finn had insatiable energy, an adventurous spirit, and the best sense of humor, and he brought immeasurable happiness to my life in the 13+ years he was on this earth.

Gavin is the opposite of Finn. Gavin plays fetch maybe once or twice, then tends to lean against me with a Chuck-It ball in his mouth. He doesn’t like ANY variance in his routine at all. And, man, the dude gives a serious side-eye when told to go in the other room after he’s humped someone. 

One of the few things my boys have had in common is they were both attacked by two dogs with me. Two dogs pulled their person across the street to attack Finn and me. And two dogs broke out of their backyard to attack Gavin and me. Both of my boys changed after that. However, neither dog let their horrific experience deter them from what they loved.

While Finn became reactive and was why I found my way to compassionate dog training, that boy’s zest for life, super long walks, hiking, swimming, and daily shenanigans never wavered. And Gavin, well, he’s still infatuated with his beloved balls. And, literally will stop on walks if a person is behind us (no matter how far away) to wait for them, hoping they may say hello or even smile at him.

And, like so many life lessons, it makes me think how much we can learn from our dogs. Perhaps if we allow ourselves to love with wild abandon, no matter how often we’ve experienced heartbreak, we may more frequently feel the joy we deserve. Or, if we atone and forgive ourselves faster for our mistakes, maybe it’ll make our days more peaceful. And, perhaps, if we commit every morning to let love be our compass, we may brighten someone else’s day who needs it. 

Dogs give us so much, and truly, when you think about all the gifts they bless us with, they ask for very little in return. May the lessons you learn today be easy ones. And may you allow your dog(s) to fill your heart and soul with their love.

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