You know this dog.
This is the dog that greets you from the edge of his yard–never leaving it–as you take your daily walk by his house. He wags his tail for a few pats on the head and a kind word before you travel on your way. After several days, months, and years of this ritual, you notice he watches for you. He greets you and your dogs with respect. He even puts up with the new puppy. You become acquainted with his owners. You express appreciation for this dog who isn’t yours, yet somehow is.
Then, one day, you learn he has traveled on his way.
Yet, you will carry on his legacy.
You will let his owner greet your puppy with a few pats on the head and a kind word. You will hug her as she grieves and shares about her dog’s final days. You will share your own grief about your dog who passed on a few short days before hers. You will celebrate his life with pictures. You will travel on your way with tears, hoping she will one day enjoy new life pulling at the leash.
The next day, you will keep walking. You will stop when a little girl shouts, “There’s Shadow!” You will let her pet your puppy because you know this dog.
You want her to know him, too.
Someone commented yesterday that I look tired. I could have given several reasons, but only one came to mind and blabbered out of my mouth like I was coming out of a dream-fog.
“I have a puppy.”
After all, he wakes me up around 4:00 every morning. Zoe and Yeti are waking up at that time, too.
So, these recent shadows under my eyes are thanks to Shadow. And I am grateful. Why?
- More Personal Time: I have gained four to five hours of personal time every day. I am completing my daily reading. My long-term and short-term writing projects are progressing. I have time to update my Facebook feeds and check my LinkedIn profile for job postings. All before 8:00 am!
- More Ironing Time: This may seem like an insignificant thing, but to my husband it is important. I actually hate ironing, but I have no excuses when my own goals are accomplished. Maybe I’ll finally get to organizing the basement. Wishful thinking.
- More Teaching Time: I am still home educating our teenage boys. Now I have more time to help them with their studies during the day because I am being more efficient in the morning.
- More Exercise Time: This one I hope to implement today because I am becoming so efficient, I am getting restless. Besides, Shadow could use the exercise to tire him out. Zoe and I could use it to drop a few pounds.
- More Sleep Time: I know it seems unlikely, but I am forced to go to bed earlier.
- More Eating Time: Now this one I have to watch, but I am getting my three-square meals every day.
- More Hobby Time: I have more time for my hobbies like knitting and playing my viola.
- More Puppy Time: Of course, there is more time for training Shadow and cuddling at the end of the day. How bad could that be?!
This morning, I automatically woke up before 4:00 am. Yeti immediately nuzzled and licked my face. Zoe crouched in Doc’s old spot by my side of the bed. This time it was our shifting that gave Shadow a wake-up call. Maybe it is time to begin a new routine.