Friday, November 1, 2013

Lessons from a puppy (and kindergarten)

Our daughter and her family have been ‘fostering’ a seeing eye trainee puppy since she was about 8 weeks old.  This is a generous act of service, yet fraught with challenges and heart-break, especially if you love dogs, as our family does.   The time is fast approaching when they will have to give her up, assuming she passes all the preliminary tests for service. 

Besides the parents, two young children have become very attached to Ester, shown below.  And we’ll even go so far as to say that the family cats enjoy the distraction from time to time.


Some of you may have seen Ester around town this summer when the family was visiting.  She was exceptionally well behaved on her training visits to a number of our favorite places, including the Big Top Deli.

At this point, our daughter is reflecting back on their experience with their ‘foster’ Black Lab.  And she’s come up with these thoughts, which as you can probably tell, provide a glimpse into how much the separation is going to hurt.  They went into this believing it would be a good lesson, if a very tough one to accept.

Lessons from a puppy


1) Always be excited when people come to your door- it makes them feel welcomed.

2) Never miss a meal; it keeps your blood sugar stable.

3) Sleep a lot, then sleep some more.  One can never sleep too much.

4) Play with kids.  They know how to enjoy life, and they don't take themselves too seriously.

5) Find one good toy; it will keep you occupied and prevent you from finding trouble.

6) Run through the sprinklers on a hot day.  Because who doesn't love the feel of cool water?

7) Take long walks to enjoy nature and your surroundings.  The birds, the wind through the trees, seeing your neighbors, it's all good!

8) Have a good relationship with your doctor.  In fact, be excited to see him/her EVERY time, as treats will follow.

9) Be on your best behavior when in a restaurant.  It will impress people.

10) Show unconditional love and expect nothing in return.

11) Linger by a roaring fire, and if led, nap there too.

12) Follow the trustworthy, but lead the blind.

13) Show those puppy dog eyes whenever it will prove beneficial.  A little can go a long way here, folks.

We get all verklempt just reading them.  And in a way, they remind us of this related wisdom:

"All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten"

                     by Robert Fulghum

Most of what I really need
To know about how to live
And what to do and how to be
I learned in kindergarten.

Wisdom was not at the top
Of the graduate school mountain,
But there in the sandpile at Sunday school.

These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life -
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.

It’s ironic, we suppose, that where we grew up, they didn’t have kindergarten.


Technorati Tags: ,,

No comments:

Post a Comment