What Is Dusty? Who Is He? What Life Lessons Can We Learn From Him?
My most supportive, trustworthy and greatest confidant in life has always been and will always be Dusty. Dusty was my kind-hearted, doe-eyed, grey poodle. He was truly a four-legged messenger sent from God to help me cope with life’s difficulties. But that wasn’t all he did for me. Dusty taught me how to fully revel in and celebrate my life’s wins. Additionally, he offered many valuable life lessons to learn that apply to all parts of life. In essence, it would be wise for each of us to strive to be more like Dusty.
The Life Of Dusty
Before having the pleasure of adopting him, I was told Dusty’s life was not rosy. He was subject to strict discipline and harsh punishment. The scars left behind from this background were reflected in his early rejection of my affections. Despite hesitancy and reluctance, Dusty and I eventually came to bond. This friendship made way for precious memories and life teachings. In his final years, Dusty contended with limitations and illness, suffering from an inoperative tumor that caused discomfort and even disrupted sleep. Nevertheless, he still showered each day with promise, the littlest treats bringing pleasure. He still stuck to his routine and showed love for me and his surroundings by pausing on walks to sniff around.
Life Lessons To Learn From Dusty
Lesson One – Approach new surroundings with caution
Initially, play your cards close to the vest. Once your surroundings are thoroughly studied, take time to reassess. Reserve is wise, but only until the new cues you get are favorable. Once adjusted and feeling trustful, begin to respond and let your hair down.
Lesson Two – Always be gracious and accepting
Be sure to appreciate gracious offerings, because stiffness can often send the wrong message. You will receive meaningful gestures and help during all phases of life, whether you have earned them or not. Always receive them with grace, humility, and acceptance regardless of who is offering it.
Lesson Three – Be optimistic in the face of diversity
There will be many days where it appears it’s ‘not your day.’ However, it takes courage to smile and fixate on the silver lining of life. What a blessing it is to see life’s better moments can still be appreciated even when things are gloomy.
Lesson Four – Be content with the little things
Take frequent walks, sit on the patio and enjoy basking in the sun as often as you can. In doing so, you’re taking the time to appreciate the beauty of your surroundings. This may require a pause in your activities, but it is worth every tick on the clock of life.
Lesson Five – Make friends everywhere you go
There will be times that you will be involved with individuals that you may not get along with (i.e. cats!) However, that does not mean that you cannot gain something from them. Getting along with different people can be most rewarding, and also a great source of learning.
Lesson Six – Extend yourself as often as you can
Do something kind, with no reason or expectation in mind. There is no greater reward than the smile, kind word, or similar gesture from a friend. When in service to others, you will find that you will in turn be in service of yourself!
Reflecting On These Life Lessons To Learn
Regardless of which of Dusty’s lessons came to speak to you, there are usually one or two that apply. For these lessons (and more importantly, the love, trust and friendship he had to offer me) I am very grateful. They say, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks…” But, I say, “An old dog can teach new tricks to an old man.”