Another Lesson from Nancy:
Nancy does NOT care about all the right things. If she wants something, she’s really not afraid to ask for it. She’ll claw at me if she wants to get pet, and stare me down until she gets it. And if she wants her belly rubbed, she’ll just roll over and point it at you. It’s quite cute, but nonetheless it hits you as a bit forward.
She’s also an optimist. She bursts through doors when they open, assuming there’s something out there to chase. And she assumes she’s going to catch it. In her defense, she has kind of caught 3. 3 in the 12 years I’ve known her, mind you. That’s roughly 3 for 13,000 or so. (Very conservative considering how often she wants out.) That’s like 0.02%. But yeah, she’ll burst out assuming the best every single time.
The best part is that she is not afraid to put herself out there, to go out on a limb. She tries. She explores. She runs. She jumps. She slips. She falls. She will literally climb out on a limb. And it doesn’t always go well. Some bushes are thicker than they seemed. Some dirt doesn’t come off so well. Some fences were a little higher than calculated. Some branches don’t hold up. She’s fallen, and it doesn’t look pretty. She’s even had to have surgery on her knee that one time.
But she still goes for it.
I thought about this recently, thinking of a memory of a time I had to summon up some bravery and go out on a limb. And another time when I didn’t. Maybe she’s “just a dog”, sure, the emotional stakes aren’t as high. But maybe that’s only because she knows something we don’t, or have to learn the hard way. (Or doesn’t over-complicated things like a typical human.)
If you try, and you fail, it sucks. It sucks really bad. And maybe it even takes a while to get over the hurt and embarrassment. But in the end you realize soon enough that it sucks WAY less then living with the wonder of what could have been.
And you never know. One day, you’ll catch that chipmunk. Or … um… whatever it is you’re chasing.
And finally, her most obvious lesson on this general subject is to just live in this moment. This one right now. The embarrassing past is over, and you can worry about the scary future later. The sun is up now and it’s nice and warm, so lie down and soak it in.
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