Lessons learned from my dogs are always powerful. and the learning never stops, no matter how many I’ve learned, there are always more.
And in case you thought that once a lesson is learned that one is done, allow me to reassure you that it will continue to show up over and over and over.
Today I was reminded of one while I was feeding the dogs breakfast. Mornings are usually a raw meaty bone meal and they tend to be the easier of the two meals the dogs are fed every day. Not this morning. The extra bone I’d gotten out for Larkin (he needs to have serious chew time periodically, it makes him happy and keeps him occupied) was rejected. It was a refrozen leftover from last time but those tend to be favorites as they are already started. Oh well, I got out another bone, a new one this time, and started thawing it in a sink full of cool water.
Then Ian is finished with breakfast and he now wants a bonus bone too. I offer him the one Larkin rejected and Ian did the same. Strange. So a third bone comes out, no time to thaw at all, I just rinse it under the faucet to get the ice off and so no tongue gets stuck. Lol. Both of the ‘replacement’ bones are happily accepted and off go Larkin and Ian. Great.
Well, now Nicklas is done and he thinks it’s a great day outside and additional chew time would be lovely 😋 but I don’t have any more Pork Feet/Hock bones. While I’m deciding what to do, Nicklas spies that twice rejected bone and he trots over, picks it up and happily carries it to his bed. 😮 Curiouser and curiouser. Nicklas is not the biggest chewer, he’s actually the lightweight of the pack; he likes the easy bones. He doesn’t use his paws to eat so without being able to hold bones there is no tearing and maneuvering to get a better angle on the bone is tough.
Nicklas clearly wanted to eat this bone but he told me (we talk all the time) he needed my help to hold the bone for him. I was surprised at how excited he was over this bone so I acquiesced, squatting down next to him I held out the bone.
This boy had a blast eating this bone! He worked on it for well over an hour and I moved from squatting to kneeling to sitting to sitting on my rear with knees up and bare feet flat on the floor to brace myself so I could hope to stay upright and HOLD ON while Nicklas was happily tearing at the bone like we were playing tug of war. LOL.
In that moment, it was Magic. Time was standing still. I wanted Nicklas to have this time and for absolutely nothing to interrupt him. I prayed that when Kerwin came home he wouldn’t let Elly out or even open the door at all. It would totally cause Nicklas to be distracted and, I feared, lose interest in his bone. I kept the corner of my eyes on the other 2 boys who were happily going to town on their own bones but, my note to self, never to break rule is when holding a bone that is being chewed I am not allowed to look away. I give full concentration when canine jaws are involved.
Here’s the thing. Early morning, no coffee yet, in my PJs and bathrobe, getting a mental and physical workout for an hour plus…my core was sore, my hands were tired from gripping, my back and legs got a workout too. Can you picture it? Not the morning I was planning to have.
Through it all, I kept thinking of the lesson I had learned: “I get to”.
I caught myself not too long ago saying “I HAVE TO feed the dogs again.” I was starting to feel resentful of the time and effort involved. I was getting tired. I wasn’t happy putting their bowls down in front of them. What the heck?!
It was my CHOICE to change their food to feed them a species specific diet. There is absolutely nothing about that decision I regret. The increased health of the dogs, the Aliveness in their eyes, the new zest for life – it’s beautiful and so gratifying. I’m only saddened I didn’t do this sooner. Like with my own health, I wish I had done made this diet change with the dogs years before. Cancer is the #1 killer of dogs, waaaay too young. It had started to feel inevitable, that it was only a matter of time till one of our dogs got cancer and I would have to say goodbye and watch them die. I am not okay with that! So what then was the problem?
I stopped to consider this and had the ah-ha to reframe it around LOVE. Yes, it is a chore to feed them but it’s one I do out of love. When I think of caring for our dogs out of love, the words change from an at times begrudging ‘I have to’ to a grateful heart ❤️ saying ‘I get to’ feed them. Made a world of a difference!
Because of that simple shift I now meal prep better and quicker, I plan each days mealtimes around my schedule, I feed them earlier in the day so I’m NEVER tired or coming home late from the movies and still having to feed the dogs. I am stepping up my game to do better by them, focusing on ways to increase their health and immune system. Why do this at all if you aren’t going to do it the best way you can? I feel there is still so much more I can learn and do!
I get to feed my dogs raw.
“I get to” go shopping for their food. “I get to” do meal prep when I leave town. “I get to” to spend money and time on their care. “I get to” take care of them. “I get to” teach them mealtime manners because their food is so tasty with such high pay value they get too excited. “I get to” teach Nicklas hot to eat a raw bone. “I get to” chop up raw meat of all kinds, even being a vegetarian and horrified by the feedlot farming industry. “I get to” show them love, kindness, patience and compassion.
Back to today, in that moment, I kept thinking 💭 “How awesome is this?! I get to hold a bone for my boy Nicklas. I could still be working a day job, rushing out of the house in the morning before the sunrise and not being able to have this fun recreational chew time with my gang.”
I am grateful for the time I get to spend with my dogs. I am thankful for all of it. Even when Nicklas has so much to say I think an office outside of the home I could escape to would be wonderful 😜, I am thankful I get to work from home, from anywhere really, and live this life I’m living. It’s a fabulous reminder of why I’m doing what I’m doing with my business. Talk about motivation! My pack is counting on me! Nobody else will look out for them like we will. No way can I or will I let them down.
I encourage you to use this ‘lesson I learned from my dogs’ to change your perspective so that the things around you change too.
How many times do you say “I have to….”?
I have to go to work, I have to cook dinner, I have to pay these bills, I have to do a performance review, I have to make this phone call, I have to drink more water, I have to be more patient, I have to eat more veggies…
When you GET TO do everything in life then life responds and it becomes full of magic, joy and special moments. 🤩🌈💖 And isn’t that what life is supposed to be all about?
I plan to create more of memories like this and to share this gift I have my hands on in Neora with as many others as I can so they can live life on their own terms, whatever it looks like.
Looking to create more ‘I get to’ moments in your life? If you’re looking to earn an extra $500-$1,000/month without changing a lot in your life, so you can create whatever it is YOU want to create – time, freedom, financial independence…holding raw bones for your dog not required 😉 then take 4 minutes and watch this: Why Neora, Why Now
I’m happy to chat with you, answer your questions and if you like what you see and hear, great, if not, no big deal.
I’m grateful I got to share this story and lesson with you! And now it’s time for me to go, as I get to take a dog to the park before sunset.
ps- My most amazing husband did come home, did get the moment Nicklas was having and quietly snapped these pics through the slats of the shutters on the window. 👍🏼💜😍