Well, Miss Hermione has pancreatitis. I wish she had nothing, but this is a much better diagnosis than cancer! Of course this is the diagnosis should nothing else come up. If she starts getting sick, even on her new food, then we have to do more testing. I’m optimistic though because she’s acting like her normal self–she is eating well and is acting healthy overall.
This definitely got me thinking though. I know I mentioned it last week, but this entire process with my fur baby opened my eyes. I think we all have a tendency, whether it’s subconscious or not, to take those we love for granted…human and non-human animals alike. I started to wonder why this is. I think a big part of it is because we get very caught up in our busy lives and we think (again, I think it’s subconscious for most of us), Oh, they will love us and be there for us no matter what (which is probably true) so it’s fine to just go about my business. In going about that business we forget to be appreciative of those who love us. Even showing appreciation in small ways. With our fellow humans we love, a gentle “Thank you”, a hug, or even a small token like making the coffee one morning for them can be a huge gesture. For our fur babies, a pet, a kind word (they can feel the energy behind tone), or a few extra minutes on a walk can help them feel that love they so willingly give to us.
In getting caught up in the busy lifestyle most of us have–work, kids, kids’ activities, dinner, bills, etc.–we lose sight of that appreciation, yes, but also we can lack awareness. I’ve mentioned mindfulness before. When we practice mindfulness we are aware of our feelings, the feelings of those around us, and therefor are able to show appreciation and gratitude toward those we love more easily. When we are in the moment and truly present we can show those close to us that we acknowledge what they do for us and vice versa. Even when our emotions and feelings aren’t “great”–impatient, frustrated, angry–we can still hold space for ourselves and those we love. It’s a sign of awareness to let them know (even the furry friends) that we aren’t in a good spot and may need space. That allows you to come to a place of peace and better emotion to then show that love and appreciation for them. You can take a timeout by going to your room, reading a book, or stepping outside, then you can be 100% present for your loved ones and yourself.
Today I got frustrated with Miney (Hermione’s nickname) because she wanted to chase squirrels, was pulling on her leash, and was singing the song of her people (barking). I told her I was feeling impatient and I swear she understood. When we got home from a frustrating walk I went into the bedroom to take a few breaths, and when I came out she was laying in the corner (she often puts herself in timeout when she can feel my frustration). I got down on my knees and called her over. She came and gave me a “Miney hug” (she rests her head against me), panted softly, and wagged her tail. I told her I was sorry I was frustrated because I know she was just being a dog. She licked my hand and we made up. I love her and even in moments of weakness, we can still come together and make up…just like any relationship. They truly are family.