Friday, December 18, 2009

A Day in the Life of my Puppy

If I ever come back after death; let it be as a dog. Not just any dog, but a spoiled, pampered and catered to dog or in other words, My Dog. That 12 pound ball of fur rules my life from the time I get up until I go to bed. He has taken over and become my boss and I’m really unclear how it happened? It all started 3 years ago when he was presented to me with a red ribbon pasted on his little furry head and all 2.2 pounds of him became my life. I had no idea any animal could weave such a diabolical spell on any human being?

It was love at first sight; for me anyway. I think it was “look at the sucker” for him... So for the past three years my day begins by stumbling down the stairs and opening his kennel door just in case he needs to “go” right away. If you knew me pre-doggy days, you’d know that nothing, zip, zero got between me and my first cuppa Java in the morning! I have become so pathetic that my caffeine fix now comes second! Nevertheless the dog always gets first dibs even though he generally presses the snooze button a couple of times and doesn’t actually want out until I’m sitting nicely on the throne trying to empty my bladder of a night’s worth. I find myself saying, “Just a minute, wait, I’m not done”. As if he can understand my need to finish or even the English language? As if....

I talk to this little, fuzzy animal all day long. I act like he can understand which of course, I believe in my heart of hearts, he can. Even though more often than not he pays me little attention unless it involves a treat or going outside, then inside, then outside, then inside....we never use to have a revolving door?

As for his treats and meals they must be cut up into bite-sized Bichon Shitzu tidbits, warmed and preferably “people” food, although high-end doggy meals are tolerated occasionally. He also, enjoys sharing anything I eat and if lowered will beg, which sad to say rarely happens as I prepare meals with him in mind. You know, broil the extra chop or burger so poor my puppy doesn’t starve to death?

He also, has his favourite spots around the house which never includes his kennel. There is a much-loved blanket which must be laundered regularly or a perturbed puppy will drag it to the stairwell heading to the washing machine. I am NOT joking! Any chair, coach, pillow belongs to him at any given time, should he take a fancy to it. I have been known to squeeze my butt into the chair so as not to disturb His Highness. Good of him to allow this, ‘eh?

As for sleeping arrangements he does sleep in his dreaded kennel at night because the Hubby isn’t quite as taken with his charm and won’t let him in our matrimonial bed. This grieves me almost as much as it does my puppy, but I explained I did say “for better or worse”! Puppy and I make up for it by having afternoon naps in the boudoir. It is a compromise....

So the moral of this tale is to warn anyone considering adopting a family dog. Be WARNED, your life will never be the same! He or she will take over your house, your time and your heart! They will cause you to do things you never believed you were capable of doing. You will be a devoted slave and not even mind. Because at the end of a long, hard day there’s just nothing like those doggy kisses and whole-hearted excitement to greet you at the door. These make it all worthwhile....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Comparing and Competing

This is a perfect time of year to compare and compete. I remember as a child going back to school after Christmas and having to say if front of the entire class what I got from Santa. I wasn’t one of those who got the shiny new bike, the brand new watch or the Barbie dream house. I dreaded it every year and was one of my earliest experiences of comparing and competing. I never measured up.

It’s said that comparing will make you either vain or bitter. I became bitter. As I grew older the bitterness gave way to arrogance and judgement; not exactly virtues. For a long time I always made sure I compared myself to those that I considered less so I could feel superior. It was a convenient strategy. Try as I might to avoid anyone who might excel above me, it wasn’t hard to find others who surpassed me in some way. Then there I’d be, back in grade school, feeling horrible about myself and my life. I hated feeling that way!

Living this way was wretched and I spent a great deal of my 20’s and 30’s constantly comparing and competing feeling either insufferably arrogant or impossibly depressed. I knew this wasn’t how we were meant to be with one another or how to best live my life. I just didn’t know how to break the cycle.

Finally, after much introspection and prayer, I got a revelation about what comparing and competing really meant. I realized that we aren’t all created with the same talents and abilities. Everyone has their own special attributes that we need to discover within ourselves. We must learn to be content with what we’ve be given and then do all we can to design our best lives given these attributes. We can waste our time and talent trying to outdo others or invest it improving on what we’ve been given. Certainly it’s impossible not to notice if someone is more talented or possesses something you’d like, but we can choose to appreciate and admire them, rather than be green with envy. We may be able to learn something from them if we’re not filled with malice. I finally realized that comparing and competing outside me will destroy my happiness and create an atmosphere of intense pressure to be something I’m not. I made a decision to choose differently.

Is there a place for comparing and competing in our life? I believe it should be confined to our own goals and dreams and contained within our accomplishments. Even if we’re involved in a competitive sport or profession; we’d do well to focus on own performance and work only on our aptitudes rather than focusing on everyone else’s. There’d be far more sportsmanship if our attentiveness remained on our own performance.

There’d be no need to cheat or undermine others. In everyday life we wouldn’t resent our family or friends for their successes. There’d be no need to keep up with the “Jones”. If we were our only competition, we’d live with far more contentment with what we have and who we are. It’d eliminate jealousy, pettiness and set up an atmosphere of cooperation and support. Ultimately, we’d accomplish much more if we were humble enough to ask for advice or help.

If we, as adults would strive to set an healthy example of competition and comparison instead of acting like raving, judgemental, cheating lunatics who can’t stand even our “best” friends to outshine us; then perhaps our children may grow up feeling much more self-assured that the talents and gifts God gave them are enough. Then they could simply be content being the best of who they are and who they can become. Really, isn’t that what we all want?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I am a Christian and I celebrate Christmas. It is one of the most important days of the year for me. It is not only a time of fellowship with friends and family, but a time that I feel in my spirit that our world may have a hope in hell of one day becoming again the beautiful place Eden must have been.

Despite the commercialism many people seem just a little more joyful, a wee bit more light-hearted and generous and a tad more patient. My imagination? Perhaps, but allow me to live in my fantasy for this one month of the year.

Above all it is the birth of my Dear Saviour that brings joy to my heart, and hope to my spirit. I feel as if I can love my fellowman with just a little more big-heartedness during the Christmas season and maybe even awhile beyond.

So, as for those who get offended when I speak of Jesus, wish them a Merry Christmas, sing Christmas hymns or share my joy can go to hell! (In my belief system that is exactly where they will be going, anyway). I DON’T CARE!!

Christmas is a time-honoured and highly-esteemed celebration that many, many Canadians have enjoyed for a long time. Our country is steeped in this Christian belief that our Saviour was born and came to save us from ourselves. You don’t have to believe it, that’s your prerogative. Don’t celebrate, don’t sing, and don’t share gifts and meals with kindred spirits. Ignore us and think we’re idiots. I DON’T CARE!!

But leave us alone. Take your beliefs from your country of origin and celebrate in whatever way you see fit. Or don’t. I DON’T CARE!!

If my being a little more patient with you in a traffic jam upsets you well....blame it on my Christian beliefs. If I spend a ridiculously amount of money in your place of business so I can give to everyone in my neighbourhood well...blame it on my Christian beliefs. If I smile and greet you with a cheery “Merry Christmas” in a crowded busy subway well....blame it on my Christian beliefs. I DON’T CARE!!

This is my holiday, my celebration, my Jesus. I should be able to enjoy it without worrying about you. My silly beliefs aren’t harming you. Ignore me. Pity me. Go about your business; it’ll soon be over. I DON’T CARE AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU!!