I started writing this particular post on 12/17/08. At the time I was still very emotionally wounded. I was struggling to find the strength to start recording podcast episodes for BoobCast. And I was failing miserably.
Since my little dog is ill, I wanted to finish this and post it because he inspired me to write this.
It never fails. I can go out the door to get the mail and the moment I step back in, my little dog starts jumping all over me. His little face lights up in a grin, tongue lolling out the side of his mouth in an expression that can only mean “Mom! You were gone for so long! I missed you so much in those two minutes you were away!”. Then he’ll run to get a toy so that we can play for a few minutes. In the evening he curls up by my foot…sometimes ON my foot…and we watch TV together. Or he’ll convince me that my lap is where he belongs. But heaven forbid I should stop rubbing his chest. He’ll promptly (and repeatedly, mind you) paw at my hand until I resume my duties.
He loves me unconditionally. To him, it doesn’t matter if I beat myself up or think badly of myself. It doesn’t matter to him how I look or even how I THINK I look. He loves me just the same. That sort of unconditional acceptance and love is the kind of thing we all should be practicing on ourselves.
Imagine how much more peaceful and satisfying our lives would be if we loved ourselves the way our dogs love us. No more self-esteem boosting seminars. One of those would just consist of an hour playing Frisbee in the park. No more feeling like you’re not good enough. Your dog knows that you are.
It was those feelings of not being good enough, spurred by fashion magaines and the media that pushed me to have surgery. If I had learned earlier to love myself the way I am, I could have saved everyone a world of heartache. As we all know, though, hindsight is 20/20. So regret, like guilt, doesn’t really serve a purpose either.
My dog knows that lesson too. He lives in the moment spending his time just being Brenner. He isn’t worried about grey hair or, in his case, a graying muzzle. His biggest preoccupation is figuring out the best place to nap in the sun. Oh for that simple life.