Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Not Just a Dog

 It seems ironic now that my last post involved an inspiring dog, because now I know that this one will too. Our dog Rufus was getting old and his health wasn't the best, and when I left home after fall break I knew that there was a possibility I wouldn't see him again, just as I knew that every time I left home since I started college last year. That being said, just because I knew it would happen eventually doesn't mean it wasn't a shock when it actually did, and the news was very hard to hear.
I know that some people think that dogs are "just pets" and there are certainly worse things in life than losing a pet. I know that there are many things that I could write about that would be considered more important, but I don't want to today.  This blog is about my life from my perspective, and right now my perspective is one of loss, so that is what I am choosing to write about.
     To the rest of the world, Rufus may have been just a dog, but he was much more than that to me. He was loyal, demanding, funny and unique and he taught me many lessons just by being himself. By greeting me with excitement most every time I came in the door, he taught me about love. When I was going through a time in high school where I was feeling pretty lonely and having lots of bad days, I knew I could count on his greetings to help cheer me up when I got home. Having someone that is excited to see you know matter what, even if that someone happens to be a dog, really feels like unconditional love.
     On my many walks with him, I learned about patience and enjoying life. I came to accept the fact that sometimes he would find it necessary to sniff the same blade of grass for ten minutes, and I would simply have to wait. With that carefree attitude that it seems only dogs can fully achieve, he helped me realize that sometimes it's okay to take your time and sniff the grass, or do whatever it is that makes your life enjoyable. He was a little dog, but I don't think he knew it. He did his best to be the guard dog of our family, and he would notify us with loud barking if anything he considered to be a threat, like a FedEx truck, squirrel, or perhaps a suspicious falling leaf showed up in the yard. By acting like a big dog even though he wasn't, he taught me about bravery and confidence.
      He was a quirky dog, and he made our family laugh countless times. He never seemed to understand that Christmas and birthdays weren't all about him, and it was hard to open a present without him sticking his nose in it. When I got a suitcase for my birthday this year, he climbed right into it as if it was a new bed for him. His unwavering excitement about things like that made life more fun.
     I'm so glad that Rufus was a part of my childhood. He made life more exciting, and he was simply a good dog. I'm thankful for all of the good times I had with him, and all that he taught me just by being himself.
I couldn't choose just one picture, so that's the reason for the video at the top. He was so photogenic!

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