We brought Duder home as a puppy. We went through all the normal puppy training and pains. Then we brought Daisy home and we started the puppy pain all over again. However, with Daisy it seemed to be worse. I was watching Daisy today doing her normal puppy obnoxious behavior, I looked over at Duder and thought about how mature he was compared to Daisy. Made me proud. Then he jumped on the counter, grabbed a stack of napkins and ran downstairs. I was no longer proud.
Got me thinking…
What does it mean to be mature? We use the term immature to describe someone acting childish. So, as we grow, we are supposed to become more mature. What does that mean though? Do we all mature at the same rate? Are we all supposed to be at certain maturity levels by a particular age?
I think we can use one word to define the state our lives, “response”. Who we are and how mature we are is shaped by our response to life. Everything in our lives requires a response from us, a physical or an emotional response. Let’s take an example. You are walking through a parking lot at a store. Someone almost runs you over then calls you an idiot. How do you respond? How do you want to respond? How do you think you should respond? Anger? Anger that last for days? Do you tell Duder to go pee on them?
Or, do you smile and tell them to have a nice day. Duder would run over and lick their face and make them feel good. We should all respond to life like Duder. Everything in our lives requires a response from us, make it a good response and one that will bring you happiness.
Duder is getting obsessed. At night, he will stand on the couch and watch the shadows on the wall. Occasionally, he will attack them and leave slobber all over the place and yes, there are some scratches on the wall (which makes the Blonde a little unhappy). Most of the time it is his own shadow, and he will sit there and stare for long periods of time.
Got me thinking…
Do we chase shadows? Stay with me here… There are events and people in my seemingly long life that sometimes haunt me. I will see something or hear something and one of those events that I do not like will climb into my mind. I think about it. It affects my mood. I get obsessed thinking about it to the point of complete frustration. If someone was watching this happen to me, they would not have a clue why, but they would see that something was bothering me. This is true of people who have been on my bad side in the past. They can still climb into my mind and cause me distress.
Why is this? Why do we let these things control us? But that is exactly what they are doing, they are controlling us.
So, how do we stop this? I do not think there is a simple answer. I do believe that the first step it to at least recognize and acknowledge that this might be happening. When we feel it come on, that is when we try to stop it from the start. Deep breaths and simple meditation techniques can calm you. Then tell yourself that “this is my mind, and I will not let this control me”.
Simple enough right? I tried to teach this to Duder, but alas, he is still chasing those shadows. So, in this case, let’s learn from Duder by not acting like him. Stop chasing the shadows and the things we cannot control or change.
The Blonde and I took a week long vacation recently, which required us to take Duder and Daisy to a boarding place. (I could not get any of my family to take them. Why no one would want take these two adorable pups is beyond me) We returned home very late one night and I went to pick up the pups the next morning. During the flight home I was thinking about them. That night I was thinking about them. I was getting excited to have them back with us. I arrived at the boarding place when they opened the next morning. As expected, they were just as excited to see me as well. Fun moment.
Got me thinking….
I am nuts??? These are just dogs. Why I am getting excited like this?
Which then got me thinking…
What is it about our love of dogs? Dogs are a pain in the butt!!! Who loves to clean up poop??!! My backyard is a disaster. Pee spots. Most plants have been eaten and dug up. Planters of flowers have had all the dirt thrown out. The things they have eaten and destroyed. The time we spend on them. The money we spend on them. Trimming nails. Painful baths. Vets. Counter surfing. The whining and begging. Can’t use the bathroom alone anymore. etc..
So what is it that makes us love them and make them a part of our families? I honestly do not know if there a single answer to this question. What I do know is that they will always have unlimited and unconditional love for the blonde and I. They will always look out for us. They will always be happy to see us. These are good attributes for any of us to have. If we all acted this way, I think we would all find greater happiness and peace in our lives.
So, live your life like a dog, just don’t poop in the backyard.
We brought Daisy home a little while ago to join us in our family. Duder now has someone new to play with. This was a change for him, everything was different and he had to adjust. The blonde and I had some adjustments to make as well. Duder was no longer the king of the castle. Daisy has taken over as the princess ruler.
One day, Duder was sitting on the chair and Daisy was trying her best to pester him. He gave me this pleading look of “Dad, what is up with girls? They are such a pain!!”
Got me thinking…
Girls are a pain.
Guess I could end there huh?? But let’s explore this a bit. I love it when the Blonde asks me what I want for dinner. We all know is doesn’t matter what I want for dinner. Eating food off my plate. They take forever getting ready to go. Always needing to be center of attention. Shopping (nothing more needs to be said about that). Chick-Flicks (no, not another one?) Entire closet just for shoes.
At the same time, girls are our lifeblood. Let’s face it, we cannot live without them. They add a wonderful dimension to our lives that evens us out. Makes us better people with their genuine love of life and people and influence they have over us.
Guys, we need to cherish those girls in our lives, whether they are spouses, daughters, or moms. Show them the love they deserve. Take some time to reflect on the good they add to our lives and find true gratitude for them. Duder has.
We took Duder through the wonderful time of getting neutered. As the blonde likes to put it, he lost his balls. (in fact, at one point she told me to chop them off and hang them from my truck) After the procedure, one of my daughters asked me this question: “Dad, are you going to make a duder blog post about losing your balls? You guys have so much in common!”
Got me thinking…
First – Why is my daughter asking me about my balls?
Second – Yes, I have technically been neutered. Thank goodness, not the same method they used on Duder. Along these lines, some advice for those thinking about going through the Human version of neutering,,, do not, I repeat, do not let your spouse in the room with you when you get it done. The Blonde was laughing the entire time. Picture that, laying on table, Doctor and Nurse working on that particular area and your wife laughing her head off. Chills just thinking about it…
Third – The Blonde said that Duder lost his man card. However, I do not think it was the neutering that did that. As soon as we brought his new little sister home, they were gone. As soon as I met the Blonde, mine was gone as well. I try desperately to cling to it. Try to do manly things, but hey let’s face it. The Blonde is in charge, always will be.
And, I’m okay with that.
Yep, no man card here…
This week, we picked up a new member of our family. Say to hello to Daisy. She is a Vizsla, just like Duder. We are happy to give her a home and new big brother. We picked her out of a litter of Pups and brought her home.
Got me thinking,,,
Neither Daisy or Duder picked who their owners would be. They did not choose who their family is. This is true for us as well. We all have families and we did not pick any of them. (maybe a spouse, but not the family that comes along with that)
Oh the fun of families. I am pretty sure that I am the one in my family that everyone finds the most annoying. But, they did not pick me 🙂 They are forced to have me 🙂 There will always be aspects of our families that can drive us crazy, or is that just me? How we choose to react and interact with our family is up to each of us.
Duder and Daisy are happy with us. They choose to be so. (simple thought for sure, but true) We should also find the good in every member of our family and be grateful for having them in our lives. Learn how to interact with all of them in a manner that is best for them. This will make life easier for you.
Let’s learn from Duder, if someone from your family feeds you, be happy and lick their face.
He loves Star Trek. He has a captain’s chair bed, sleeps in a Star Trek bed on a Star Trek blanket, and has a Star Trek name tag. He tells me all the time how much he likes it. Ok, maybe he doesn’t, he is a dog after all. But I love it and so he must love it too, right?
Got me thinking…
Do our kids or those around us all love the same things as us? I forced, yes forced, my kids to all listen to my music. I even made them watch Star Trek every once in a while. I want them to like everything I like, because obviously it is the best. If I like it, then it must be good right? I also think that all my kids should have the same philosophical view of life. (Duder does)
I believe that a goal of any parent it to teach kids to live their own life, make their own choices, and decide for themselves what they like. I can influence, I can persuade, but ultimately, our kids grow up and they have to decide for themselves who they are. As one of kids put it to me one day, “I don’t like adulting”
I look back at the things my Mom and Dad like. Do I like everything they do? Nope. Did they influence my likes? Of course. I don’t think they like Star Trek though…
Let’s learn from Duder. He knows that Star Trek is one of the best media franchises created. We all should admit that. Do I dare say it is better than Star Wars?? Of course. We should all admit that too.
BTW, there are not a lot of dogs on Star Trek,,, why is that? I can only think of one regular. Anyone know who?
Duder and I go walking every morning, (I walk, he runs around in crazy mode). We have a couple of different places we like to go. We found this old abandoned road that is perfect for walks. I walk straight down the road, Duder is all over the place, out in the weeds, jumping through the bushes, one time he chased a rabbit down the road for a while.
Got me thinking,,,
We all have the Road of Life that we are always traveling on. We do not know where it goes. Sometimes the road is smooth and straight, but there is always going to be potholes, blind corners, and hazards. How we travel this road defines us.
A theme of mine is: “Life is what you make it”. This is very relevant to our road. As we travel the road, one thing we can control is our view of it. Do we see a cracked ugly road? Do we see a boring straight road? Do we see the cool mountains ahead of us? Do we see the clear blue sky?
Let’s learn from Duder. When he in on the road, he is always enjoying it. Finding other things to see, other aspects of the road that I may not notice. The road will continue, it does not end. Our ability to make it a good road depends on our ability to make it good in our minds. The ugly road can be a beautiful road, if we let it.
When Duder gets up in the middle of the night and has to go out, it it quite annoying. I put him the back yard and wait. This is him looking in the window with great disappointment. Why can’t I come in?!! This has got to be very frustrating for him. He wants back in, but he has to wait for a bit…
Got me thinking,,,
Are there things in our life that are frustrating but out of our control? Perfect example is butter. I was making toast the other day. Plop some bread in the toaster, get out the butter only to find the butter dish empty. I then have to get out a rock hard cube from the freezer. How are you supposed to butter toast with rock hard butter? (yeah, I know, nuke it for a bit, then it gets messy, etc.. etc..) Frustrating.
Every Saturday, there is a collective moan of frustration across the world for everyone mowing the lawn. I’m talking about the inevitable event of your edger running out of string. You are edging along, then boom, no more plastic string. I usually utter some choice words, whine and complain a bit, then go about the task of putting more in. Not an easy task. I think about everyone mowing their lawn and we are collectively whining about the edger string. I think it disrupts the universe with a massive surge of negative energy.
Duder eventually gets in, the lawn eventually gets finished, and the butter will melt on the toast. How do we control our emotions and not let these uncontrollable events control us? We have things like this all the time and in every aspect of our lives. If they are out of our control; stop, take a breath, evaluate, and respond to the situation. (not react)
Of course, if they are events that are we can control, then take action.
When Duder first started to lift his leg to pee, it kind of freaked the blonde out a bit. She thought it was sign that he was out looking for a mate. Not true (although if he found one, he certainly knows what to do). Dogs do this to mark their territory. To tell the other dogs that, “this is my turf and I am here!!”
Got me thinking…
Do we as humans do this? Do we mark our territory? (No, not with pee.)
I have a man cave in my basement. I like to think that it it my room and I can do with it what I like. The blonde thinks differently. She is always trying to sneak decorations in. She is marking her territory, IN MY MAN CAVE!!!
She put this cute little bowl and cute little balls of some kind in. Now I ask you, does this fit in a man cave??!!
Now, I will admit that there are certain things that I do that might be considered marking my territory. For example,
- When I am out in the wood shop and walk in the house, I pretty much leave a trail of sawdust everywhere. It is a manly trail though..
- Pretty sure I leave a bad scent everywhere inside after doing something outside.
- Every time I go in the kitchen, I leave my mark.
There are some times when the blonde leaves her mark and I like it. When she leaves a room, but I can still smell her sweet scent. I like that.
The blonde did tell me that I could put a Wonder Woman action figure in my cave. I would do this for her though, so that she could mark my territory. Yes, it would be for her, not for me at all. Wonder Woman would stand proudly next to Captain America and Thor. (I think the blonde has a crush on Thor)
Let’s learn from Duder. Mark our territories, but, leave good marks. Positive interactions. Smiling people everywhere we go.