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Animals: My Teacher

Joined: 4/30/2015
Posts: 1
Mookie, a black lab and border collie mix, has been with my family for seven incredible years. She has grown along with me, and though she has become grayer and I a little taller, she is infinitely more at peace with herself and the world than I think I will ever be. Through the years, Mookie has inadvertently taught me everything I know about understanding others, accepting circumstances, and loving purely.
As extraordinary as Mookie is, she, like most dogs, cannot speak or understand the majority of the English language. Somehow, though, she is able to understand what people need and how to respond to them. When I’m upset or angry, she finds me and cuddles so close that it can’t be just a coincidence. When she knows something is wrong she alerts us the best she can, be it by barking, scratching, or snarling. She can also sense mood shifts in the room, and seems to experience emotions just like any human would. Her raw empathy and non-judgmental understanding brings me back to Earth and reminds me that I am no different from her, any person, or any thing.
When something happens that I cannot control, I tend to become anxious and nervous. Mookie is somehow able to just let the world happen and accept any outcomes, whether they be good or bad, with admirable ease. She has figured out to be happy and does it better than any human could possibly try. She doesn’t mind the mushy mud in the spring, loves to chase the pesky bees in the summer, and embraces the sub zero cold in the fall and winter. Her mouth seems to naturally fall into a smile no matter what is happening. I don’t think anything could ever bring her down.
The most important lesson Mookie has taught me has been how to love purely. Since the moment she came to live with us, Mookie has loved us wholeheartedly. She cuddles with us before bed, rests her paws on top of our hands, and forgives us instantly for the occasional and accidental step on her tail. When she meets new people, she instantly falls in love and trusts her gut feeling that person is a good person. It’s like her gift to the world is love in its’ simplest, complete form. Mookie has shown me that love can mean anything you want it to, and that anyone deserves it.
My dog has changed the way I see the world. She has taught me to relax and enjoy the little things. I know that to some a pet is just a pet, but my dog is my friend. I look forward to seeing her smiling, energetic face after a long day away from home. She reminds me that even though I’m growing older, I don’t have to stop playing around outside, or doing things that I might have four years ago. I can’t imagine growing up without her by my side, nor can I imagine a night where her dog tags don’t wake me up as she makes her rounds around the house, making sure that my sibling and I safe and sound.
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