Life Lessons from Maggie

But not before I celebrate this:

The September equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from north to south and vice versa in March.

That moment is at precisely 14:21 UTC today, September 22nd. Welcome to Autumn, or Fall in American speak!

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I was contacted by Susan Leighton recently offering me a guest post. Susan is a regular follower of this place and frequently drops in with responses and comments. Susan is also the founder of the blog: Woman on the Ledge (I can recommend her blog, by the way!)

Here is Susan’s guest post.

ooOOoo

Life Lessons from Maggie

I have walked this earth for fifty years and I have been a proud dog parent several times over. My latest child is an incredibly exuberant eight-year-old Boston Terrier named Maggie. Maggie Mae’s Up, Up, and Away is her full name. My husband and I got her in New Mexico which is the site of a world famous hot air balloon festival so hence the nod to the 5th Dimensions song.
Maggie was actually a surprise. I was going through an exceptionally rough time (unfortunately it was the beginning of several trying years) and my husband thought that she would cheer me up. The moment she was placed in my arms, a love affair and deep bond began. I looked into her expressive brown eyes and knew that I had just met my canine BFF.
When she was a puppy, we had a bit of a health scare with her. She was diagnosed with a severe case of giardia. The medication we were given to combat the illness wasn’t working. Our vet decided to treat her with a round of shots. It was touch and go for a few days but she came through with flying colors.
From an early age, she was our little toughie. Small in stature, she refused to let her bigger sisters get the best of her. Their long legs might have surpassed hers but she never gave up and would constantly compete to be number one in back yard games.
Dogs are amazing creatures. They are incredibly intuitive and sometimes I think they just might be smarter than us. In the years that I have been privileged to know Maggie she has taught me many life lessons. I would like to share some of that knowledge with you.

Every day is an adventure – don’t be a slave to routine. Maggie definitely isn’t one. Yesterday, she had an impromptu game of keep away with her stuffed animal. Today she was feeling like playing tug of war with her rope. Try something new. Even if you work 8 hours a day, you can still incorporate little surprises into your schedule. Maybe you always eat the same lunch every day. Change it up. Instead of that boring sandwich, opt for a salad or even a taco! Have a break between meetings or conference calls? Go outside and take a brisk walk for 10 minutes. Every day is new, treat it that way!

Make time to play – you know what I dislike the most about being an adult next to paying bills? I miss not having recess. That was my favorite time of the day when I was a kid. School stopped for an hour and I could run around with my friends and have fun. Why is it that we lose our sense of play when we grow older? Maggie has helped me to realize that it is possible to metaphorically return to the school yard. Every day we go outside and play catch in the back yard. Not only is it good bonding time for us but it is also a chance for me to relax and let go of the stress of the day.

Love unconditionally – this seems simple right? It really isn’t. So many people make it their mission to change the ones they love. Their significant other has a personality quirk that is less than endearing, why not try to lessen it or eliminate it altogether? I understand that life is about compromise but at the expense of not being able to be comfortable in your own skin? Maggie has been with me through many changes and throughout those changes, she has done nothing but support me. She loves me if I am having a bad hair day or if I have gained a few pounds. She loves the real me blemishes and all!

Be curious – whenever we take Maggie on a jaunt to the local pet store, she is more than willing to approach other dogs and other people. She wants to know more about everything in life. I jokingly tell her that she suffers from FOMO (fear of missing out) because she wants to be involved in every activity. I guess this is why I challenge myself to learn about new technologies, new books, new music, etc. The more engaged I feel, the more alive I am. I have never stopped learning.

Give thanks – whenever Maggie is presented with food, a treat, her ball, a toy, she is thankful. She is just glad that she is able to enjoy these things but mostly she is thrilled that she gets to have time with her family. As the years pass by, I am acutely aware of how tenuous life is and how in the blink of an eye, the people that we cherish may not be around for us to tell them how much we value their presence in our life. I make it a point to let the people closest to me know that I am thankful for them each and every day.

Hug your dog and let him or her know how grateful you are for the life lessons that they have shared with you. That is what I will be doing with Maggie. I could not have asked for a better teacher.

ooOOoo

No more words from me – just this picture!

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24 thoughts on “Life Lessons from Maggie

  1. Out of all the dogs we have ever loved and cared for, there is one that stands out above all others (for us it was Penny, a Lhasa Apso), and it seems for you, it’s definitely Maggie….she sounds like quite a character and loves life to the full – and I guess you are still learning from her!
    Thanks for sharing Maggie here with us Susan.

  2. What a beautiful post from Susan.. And I so agree with her sentiments especially these words “I make it a point to let the people closest to me know that I am thankful for them each and every day.” yes how very true for in that blink of an eye all can change…
    Thank you Paul for sharing this.
    Hugs Sue

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