My Dog Is the Reason I Keep Going

Life is a treadmill run. A hamster wheel sprint. Boxes to check. Items to cross out. Duties to finish. Obligations to fulfill. Appointments to schedule. Tasks to accomplish. Habits to maintain.

Commitments. Responsibilities. Itineraries. Pointless repetition without real purpose. Ceaseless pressure to be productive. A self-generated tinnitus-causing crack of a constantly snapping whip refusing to rest.

For someone with that rare combination of being both tetherless and rudderless, this modern world is an impossibly burdensome weight to manage.

Shoulders can only struggle and labor under a load of stacked resistance for so long before they start shaking.

Until you get a dog.

The realization that things were indeed darkest before the dawn feels too poetic to be fact and not fiction. But the arrival of a truly selfless soul with the primary imperative to simply love and be loved is authentic and grounded.

All the clich├ęs, memes, and T-shirts were right all along. Who knew?

Vastly superior to humans in myriad ways, these canine companions are here to teach us more than we thought we needed to know…and to allow personal growth to take shape, regardless of how much we resist against the grain.

They are the world’s best listeners and perfect partners, armed with a finely tuned radar for our pain…and bottomless patience for our delays. They’re watching us when we think they’re asleep and waiting for every opportunity to connect. They are honest, forgiving, tolerant, loyal, hopeful, eager, dependable, and genuine.

Always up for an adventure, they jump at the chance to hop in the car and drive all day without a destination…and find delight in even the most mundane things. A simple walk is a constant cause for celebration. A special biscuit is an impossibly precious reward.

Any time together is time well spent.

You are their leader, protector, and very best friend.

Sometimes there isn’t much of a reason to keep grinding along.

Until you get a dog.

Adolescence Interrupted