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.