My wife and I rescued our dog, Jaxson, when we were dating for all of about 11 months. Jaxson is a muscle bound, 85 pound brute that behaves like a dog 1/3 his size if not smaller. To him, he’s a lap dog. Pure and simple. To us, he’s more often a pain in the ass, always underfoot in our tiny apartment, shared with Jaxson and our two sons (both under 4).
Recently, Jax has turned up the heat, eating the family’s dinner twice, on back to back days. It was impressive…at least that’s how I saw it. It was after he ate our second dinner - a whole chicken - that I started to reflect on the almost eight years he has been a member of the family. We’ve been through a lot together, and throughout, he has always seen the world as an optimist.
The first day I showed to get to know Jaxson over a walk, his energy was incredible. Going outside is his single favorite activity - and he showed me how much by jumping so high we were staring eye-to-eye before gravity took over…and then he jumped again. And again. He was pure, unadulterated enthusiasm, embodied in a (then) 10-month-old puppy’s body that he didn’t quite understand. I fell for this little guy and he in turn me.
That love at first “walk” (he was more sled dog than obedient on leash) so turned into what he was - a massive challenge. From day one, he threw down the challenge to Deb and me. He took over our then tinier apartment. He barked at any noise; went crazy at the doorbell; pull like his life depended on it when on leash; and forget if there was another dog or cat in sight - he went plaid; he took his fair share of our bed (yes…the 85 pounder). And we fell in love with him even more with every great moment, with every improvement in behavior, because above all he loved us.
Dogs are perpetually optimistic. And Jaxson is like other dogs that way. But there is a look he give you when ay movement you do - every step you take, jacket you put, bag of chips you open - there is something good that is going to come his way.
Over the years, we have the ups and downs that every family has and we do our best. Jaxson is always there, even when he is living with my parents in the Berkshires where he can roam free to (unsuccessfully) hunt chipmunks. He has left a forever impression on me that I’m grateful for. So my thoughts on this train ride are geared more to how he views me. Am I showing my appreciation and love for him? I don’t think so - and he’s smart enough to tell me as much in the only way he can. His actions.
You are remembered for the rules you break
Five foot-weary salesmen have laid down their load. / All day they’ve raced round in the heat, at top speeds, / Unsuccessfully trying to sell Zizzer-Zoof Seeds / Which nobody wants because nobody needs.
You Rest, You Rust
…changing tasks more than 10 times in a day makes you dumber than being stoned.
Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.