I know that you think of me all day when you are at work and I am at home thinking about you.
I know you would skip a weeknight out because I have been alone all day and weeknights are for me and you.
I know that if I wait on the floor beneath your chair that sooner or later you will drop some food and I will grab it and gobble it down before you can take it away from me.
I know all of your pain and have counted all of your teardrops and I don't like anyone who has hurt you or anyone who may hurt you.
I know you made sacrifices when you rescued me and that you gave me a second chance.
I know that when you came to the shelter I noticed you right away and I wanted you to take me home.
I know that when you saw me in the shelter, you thought I was cute and you heard my story and you felt badly and as much as you wanted to save me you were concerned as to whether you would be the right parent/home for me but you decided to throw caution to the wind and take me with you instead of leaving me behind.
I know that I will be forever grateful for that and your most loyal, loving friend for as long as I live.
I know that I shed all over the place and you have to vacuum every day and wearing black is not a good idea even if you like to wear black.
I know that you like to see me first thing in the morning when you awake as much as I like to see you and I know that I wait for you to come home when you are away and it feels like a million years have passed and when you return it is quite simply the greatest thing ever.
I know that when you fill my Kong you fill it not only with cookies and cheese but with love.
I know that the day will come when we will have to part and that where I am going you cannot join me.
I know that I will watch over you and when you pass to the other side I will come and greet you if only for a moment to give you a kiss and thank you for the wonderful life you gave me and then I will return to Rainbow Bridge.
I know that one day we will find ourselves in another place and time. You will be walking along a long and winding country road amidst the fog and I will be there at the next turn and will run into your arms and you will hold me forever in a world where forever exists.
I know that I am in your heart and your soul as you are in mine and that our love began the moment you walked me out of that shelter into the fresh air and rays of the sun that I thought I may never feel again.
I know that you saved me and I know that I saved you.
My dog is brilliant and so is yours. Yeah they chase their tails and steal your socks and smell people's butts but they are still far more advanced than you and me in terms of their perception of time and life itself.
So I was watching this series on Showtime called "The Big C" (actually quite good) and the main character decided to participate in a "make my life better" type weekend conference (led by the amazing Susan Sarandon).
The metaphor/mission/message was delivered at the start of the weekend with participants receiving knapsacks that they had to fill with large rocks.
They then had to wear the knapsacks on their backs over the course of the weekend until they were able to prove that they had let go of the past - stuff like regrets, broken relationships, money not well spent.
I thought it was kind of cliche until that very night I caught myself doing the usual staring at the ceiling obsessing about the past - break ups, losses, failures and what should I eat for lunch tomorrow and I realized I myself was carrying around a knapsack filled with rocks.
I needed to figure out a way to remove that knapsack from my aching back so I turned to the source of my joy - to the happiest - go lucky - soul I know - my dog Whisky.
"Whisky - how do you and all the dogs out there manage to live in the present?"
This is what he said:
"Listen you need to chill and enjoy every moment as it comes. Look out the window. Savour every morsel of your food. Play with your Kong and try to get the cookie and peanut butter out of the center. Stop looking in the mirror at your wrinkles and the bags under your eyes and instead chase your tail or get really excited when you come home from work and see me - act as if you have not seen me in a year. Love your family and show them that love. Be a loyal and compassionate friend. Be thankful for every morning that you wake up to - run circles around the bed - throw me a high five! And most importantly - forget the past because you are no longer in it, you are never going back and it has forgotten you."
And you know what? The next morning I woke up fueled with a new sense of energy, I chased Whisky around the bedroom, I joined him looking out the window (he kissed the glass - I didn't). I really savoured the taste of my toast and jam as if it was the best food I ever eaten. I called my Mom on the way to work and told her I loved her. I sent texts out to friends making plans for the weekend and I felt lighter, I felt refreshed as if I had been given a second chance.
The knapsack had been removed from my back. The weight of each and every rock gone. I was living somewhere between the present and the future where if you think about it; is where everything really happens.
Moral of the story - Listen to your Dog - he's brilliant.