DON’T BE AFRAID TO MAKE A FOOL OF YOURSELF!

Humans can be so silly sometimes.

We get so worried about making a fool of ourselves, or what others might think, that sometimes we miss out on having a truly great time.  This is something I LOVE about kids.  Before they grow up and are “taught” to stop being so foolish, kids can have so much fun doing the simplest and silliest things.  It is true happiness and a wonderful gift which we are all born with, but somehow lose as we age.  Animals have the gift that they NEVER lose this wonderful quality.

I had a very bad horse accident twenty years ago that put me in a coma.  I know it sounds horrible, but fortunately, I made a fantastic recovery.  (Although many would say I am crazy, as I have been riding again for many, many years, minus my recovery time. LOL).  It can be fairly common for people to become depressed, or aggravated from a head injury and from the following recovery, but for me, it was one of the happiest and most simple times of my life.  Part of that was because I had no sense of “embarrassment, so there was no, “Do I look funny? Should I have said that?  Does this outfit make me look weird?” I was just happy to be alive, happy to feel the sun on my back.  Just happy…  I look at my animals now and realize that they have that gift every day.   It was one of the greatest lessons I ever learned and one that my animals constantly remind me of when I forget.

One of my cats, Frack, is the best at reminding me to not worry about making a fool of myself. He is very clumsy, which is weird for a cat, but he doesn’t care.  I’ll see him, lying on the bed, or the steps, legs spread-wide open with his belly up like a hog, totally shameless and completely unbothered by the fact that he WILL fall.  He will land in a heap, making an utter fool of himself.  Still, he’s just so happy and comfortable that he can’t be bothered to realize that, although he is a cat, he has essentially NO ability to be “cat like” and agile! LOL

Every new event and situation is a potentially positive and a spectacular moment not to miss…

His total lack of awareness about his silliness allows him to be super comfy, relaxed and one of the most “chilled out and cool” creatures, people or humans, that I have ever known.  Because of this, every new event and situation is a potentially positive and a spectacular moment he will not miss.  True, we laugh at him lots because he does so much silly stuff.  However, he is also the happiest of us all, adapting to all situations. Truly, he will probably lead the most fulfilling life of us all!

So, here is to animals (and kids) and their loss of personal “worries”.

So, here is to animals and their loss of personal “worries” that keep the rest of us from truly enjoying things.  Each day we should all stop worrying or being embarrassed and just be more child-like.  Live life, adapt, have more fun and just ENJOY!

 

 

ANIMALS: They Break Barriers

 

Have you ever noticed that all animals can bring on friendships and make even the most introverted people more open?  All animals, pretty much regardless of species, can bring that out in a human.

This is one of my favorite qualities of animals.  All animals enable you to open up yourself to others and to open up yourself to animals in a way that many people just CAN’T with other people.  They simply make things better.  I mean, dogs are used as service animals to comfort as one of their tasks.  They use dogs because other people simply can’t bring that out in another human…but dogs can!

This is how they break barriers.  Even the shiest kid, or adult can open up and become more socialized when there are animals around.  I used the picture of me competing years ago on Cocoa, the Wonder Pony.  I was waiting for my turn to start and hanging out in the shade and the young girls just couldn’t resist.  Soon enough, Cocoa and I had ourselves some new friends!  When humans see something cute and furry, their world suddenly opens up, which allows for people to do the same.

What is it about animals that does this for us?  Is it because they are furry and comfy looking?  Perhaps it is that they DON’T speak, making us feel at ease about not having to start a conversation.  Maybe it is the way they look at us, really LOOK AT US in a comfortable, “I see you” kind of way, making us feel like everything is going to be ok.   I mean, just petting cats and dogs is supposed to lower blood pressure because they DO calm people and reassure.  How cool is that?

Modern medicine should be writing prescriptions for “animal petting as medications” to cure our problems instead of taking all these freaky, major side-effect medications that the world seems to be addicted to anymore!! Think about it, even though animals are addictive, it’s a “good” addiction that won’t cause you to sell everything you own and live on the streets, trying to score a “petting fix”! LOL I don’t know what it is about all animals that gives us even better feelings than any drug, but I certainly am such a better person with such an unbelievably enriched life because of what all animals give me that I can’t think them enough.

If you have an animal, any animal, or know someone who does, be sure to thank the animal today for how they have opened us up to so many more people, friends and great moments than we ever could have on our own. Something about that fur (or feathers, or scales…) that folks simply can’t resist.  I think animals should be considered to be, “People Ambassadors” because they have done so much good for society.

 

 

 

 

CATS and DOGS: TAKE NEW PATHS

“You never know if you don’t go.”  Isn’t that the truth?

All animals roam.  In herds, the tendency is to go the way of the crowd.  Certainly, this has some benefits.  Still, sometimes, you have to just “take the back streets” and explore.  This is a skill I learned most from dogs and cats.  I don’t know which species goes on little explorations more (since they are both always looking to find new and exciting trouble! LOL), but they each have taught me that wonderful skill.

Sometimes you just HAVE to get off the beaten path and find a new route.  Animals have helped teach me to always be open to the “other” forks in the road, the little dirt path, or even the road that isn’t even there yet…  Certainly, there have been some tough, rocky and unpleasant roads I have taken, but if I hadn’t taken those, thanks to my animals helping me to look that way, I would have missed out on the beautiful and amazing things that have come to me on the other side. The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost, said it best:

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference. ”

Thanks to my dogs and cats for teaching me this lesson. It sure has been fun so far…:-)

DOGS: Keep Going and Enjoy!

My old dog Butthead (yes, that was his name-I didn’t give him the name, but if you knew the dog, you couldn’t change the name! LOL) was a puppy mill puppy that a woman bought from a mall pet store because she loved Springer Spaniels and she had the means to do so. She frequently bought Spaniels in pet stores and then gave them away because she wanted them to have a great life.

First, she gave him to a blacksmith, who tried him as a bird dog (which didn’t go well 😊), so he gave the dog away to my former boss. When my boss was leaving his job and I was taking over for him, I loved Butthead SOOOO much that when my boss was leaving, he told me he was moving to somewhere he couldn’t keep the dog, so he asked if I wanted him? Enter my first dog as an adult. I can tell you, even though I was now his forth owner, that he was the BEST friend and BEST dog I ever had (and may ever have).

Butthead was so fun and so cool, you couldn’t help but love him to pieces. His happiness and love for life were so infectious. I even used to take him to senior homes as a volunteer to brighten older citizens days to cheer them up. He would march into each room and announce to every person he saw that life was amazing and weren’t we all just lucky for something so fun?  Certainly, he brightened the life of everyone he saw.

Now, Butthead had everything going against him. Being a puppy-mill puppy, he was terribly bred, meaning he had every problem imaginable. Again, I was his FORTH owner, plus he had grade four out of grade five hip dysplasia, horrible skin allergies and he also had to have three (yes three) cruciate ligament surgeries.  Still, that dog got up EVERY day and looked at me with the biggest toothy grin and said, “today is the best day ever! What are we going to do to make it even more awesome!!?”

It was his amazing attitude and love for life that got me through some of the darkest times of my life. And I do mean dark… I would look at him each day and wonder how he could possibly have such an amazing zest for life? At a time when everything seemed all wrong for me, when I had thoughts of not going on myself, I used to look at him and think, “How can you go on and be so damn happy when everything is against you?” 

FORTUNATELY, he made me realize that if HE could keep going and be that happy, that I could, too!  That dog truly taught me one of the best lessons I ever received.  He gave me a drive to keep going on and keep trying my best, like no one else could.  I still think of him often and know I owe him everything.  When I spread his ashes this year over his old running grounds (he used to trail ride with me for hours in NY, having the time of his life!)  I cry with joy now just remembering how lucky I was for him and how much he gave to me.

Dogs are simply the best that way.  They know that no matter how bad you think you have it, life can still be amazing and fun and wonderful, so WHY NOT smile and enjoy?  His gift, and the gift of all dogs, is to keep on going each day.  We are all really lucky for those furry best buddies, no matter how they come into our lives!