Role Model

When I was growing up, people often asked me who my “role model” was.  Saying “I don’t have one” would lead to strange looks or awkward conversations, so I would typically say “Bill Gates” or “Wade Boggs” or some other easy answer.  Those weren’t lies, I did admire certain facets of these people, but I certainly never emulated them.  A few years ago, decades past the point where people ask me that question, I realized I finally have an answer.

I’ve been lucky enough to have several great dogs in my life, all of whom have been very unique, but Stella is, unexpectedly, the closest thing I’ve ever had to a role model. I admire, and try to emulate, how much she lives in the moment.  Her ability to grasp the excitement, or the mystery, or even just the simple peace of any given moment is amazing.  Even at 6 years old, she takes every minute as a new adventure.  I am not, nor will I ever be nearly as effusive as she is, but I do find myself noticing and appreciating the immediate moment even more.

As I observe this furry creature living her life, I’ve collected a some rules that she seems to live by, and that perhaps we all should too:

  • If something bothers you, bark at it.
  • If someone bothers you, leave them alone.
  • There is no such thing as too many hugs.
  • Do not eat when you you’re not hungry.
  • Do not sleep where you don’t want to.
  • Do not be alone when you can cuddle.
  • Do not care how ridiculous you look when you’re comfortable.
  • You don’t have to be happy about it, but share your toys.

Molly the Neurotic Wonder Dog

Me & MollyI’m writing this to honor the memory of Molly May. Molly wasn’t mine, but it doesn’t feel that way. I met Molly only in the last of her 10 years, and she was a pretty amazing dog. She was so smart and responsive you’d quickly find yourself talking to her like a person because she had an uncanny ability to really understand you in a way that was clearly not training.

Not exactly a guard dogHer intelligence also seemed to manifest as an endearing set of neurosis, from being deathly afraid of thunder and photo flashes, to literally pouting if things didn’t go her way like getting her spot on the bed. She’d even go into the bathroom and close the door behind her (locking herself in) when left alone at home.

Molly, I’m glad I got to know you, and you will be dearly missed.
Molly the Neurotic Wonder Dog