This is a new dog update. Otis, previously named Elvis, is settling in great. The other dogs have welcomed him into the pack and he has endeared himself to everyone. I wanted to share with you a few life lessons garnered as a result of bringing Otis into the family.
1. Don’t believe everything someone says about another. The shelter told me the reason Otis (Elvis) was given up was that he was aggressive to strangers. That didn’t bother me because I knew I could deal with that. I just didn’t want a barker. The truth of the matter is that Otis is a sweet and loving dog to everyone; adults, kids and other animals. I wonder how many other people were put off by what the shelter said about him and didn’t give him a chance to show them what he was really like.
2. Otis approaches people and really looks at them and lets them know that he wants to be loved. We like people who show interest in rather than just being interesting themselves. People cannot help but be drawn in by that kind of open attention and respond to it with affection.
3. Otis hated to go into the dog sleeping area where their dog crates are housed. He was afraid and would run. But after a week or two, when we announced it was time to go to bed and get a cookie, all three dogs would go right to their space and sit and wait for their cookie. The lesson there is that when you are new at something and don’t know what to do and even scared out of your mind, watch how others are doing what you need to do and how it is working out for them and follow suit.
4. We have a ‘no dogs on the couch’ rule (you could make a whole new dog just from the amount of fur that I vacuum up each week). Otis flouts the rule, gets up on the couch and when I see him up there, makes me laugh so much that I can’t be mad at him. It is his thing. The lesson is that sometimes following every rule to a tee makes you a boring person. It is okay to push the limits occasionally, especially if you are charming.
5. After Clyde died, we were fine with just the two dogs (less fur for one thing). The final lesson is that although we had our friends, family and routines just so and didn’t really need to rock the boat, we opened up our hearts and home by rescuing this little dog. I was reminded how much capacity we have for adding love into our lives if we step out of our comfort zone and adopt an animal or reach out and make a new friend.
Here’s to adding love in your life.