My Dog is Brilliant Enough to Act Dumb

P1030934Labs are trained as guide dogs because they understand complex commands and can remember up to one hundred and fifty of them.

could complain  for this entire post about my still not trained chocolate lab who is brilliant enough to act stupid when it suits him. However I will limit myself to two antidotes and then I will astound you with his gardening skills.

We adopted Duke (Marmaduke) when he was nine months and he stubbornly clung to several bad habits  that were just too much fun for him but a pain in the neck for us. For example,  he constantly leaps up literally in my face, to engage in some sort of mock fighting. Since he is only 14 pounds lighter than I am but all muscle, he is the definite victor in these contests of strength.  After one frustrating encounter, I harshly commanded Duke to stay “down” and to “sit”  about ten times. I finally threw up my hands and said,

“Oh, why don’t you just go get a toy instead of attacking me?”

Duke suddenly stopped in his tracks, his ears perked up , he looked at me with wide opened eyes and then quickly put his nose to the ground and began to search for his hidden toys! Duke shocked all of us, especially since it now works every time.

Another secret weapon that halts mock fighting is an invitation .

“Come on up and cuddle instead of attacking me.”

These words instantly transform Duke into a passive lap dog. After a couple of hours, of sharing a crowded couch with a monstrosity of a dog,, one of my daughters pushed Duke off the Chesterfield when he refused to move. The intelligent dog’s reprisal? He purposefully stuck his tongue in her coffee while maintaining eye to eye contact,  slurped and then turned right around and stalked out of the room.

Way too smart for a beast!

No wonder People train labs to be finely tuned, obedient guide dogs.

For all his faults, Duke is an excellent gardener. I know that this seems to be an absurd statement but trust me. I speak the truth!

This last fall I was pulling out old grape vines around our property. Duke pushed me out-of-the-way as I struggled to dig up roots and he proceeded to dig furiously with his front paws. Very impressive.

 As I pruned  over head branches, often I only managed to cut half way through the branch. I’d tug and pull but it was Duke’s who deserves all the credit for finishing the pruning. He’d leap incredibly high, grasp the errant branch with his teeth and then hang his whole ninety pounds on the branch. that dog saved me hours of work.

Now if we could only become smarter than our dog, all would be well.


Stay True

“Action expresses priorities. – Gandhi”

I believe it is only human to express such passion or love towards something and then do nothing. I am no expert or guru or anything like that but at least I have eyes, I have a mind and a soul. I am no different from you or from the one next to you. It takes one to know one.

So I would be lying if I tell you that I have never ran away from something, trying to escape from a place that once made me happy. Keeping inside so many feelings and then regretting not saying anything the day after. The thing is, was it ever this difficult to stay true? What is keeping us from doing what really makes us happy? From loving truly?

So yesterday I was talking to a friend. I stated that I do believe in love at first sight but that I find it so impossible for it to happen to me. He would ask why and honestly I simply don’t know the answer, I just see it that way. Society, broken hearts, lies, life and expectations. You wake up one day, fresh, brand new, and then you start to discover all the limits the world has for you. As W. Young said in The Shack, if we’re going to talk about freedom, lets start from all that that chains us, even genetics. The important thing to learn is how to use all these experiences, heartbreaks, stumbles and even genetics to create a better us. To compromise with ourselves, to stay true no matter what. Instead of running away, keep running towards. Keep acting according to your priorities and you’ll find a stronger you and you’ll never be afraid again.