Chuck and I celebrated our accident-free day with some time away from the puppies to see the movie A Dog's Purpose at the theater. It was nice to hold hands, and go on a date, without interruptions.
As we watched Bailey the dog in his many reincarnations, and he tries to figure out a dog's purpose in each of the lives he lives, one thought struck me. If we welcome a dog into our heart and home, we stand to receive so much unconditional love during his lifetime.
There is a sobering, flip side to that. When we adopt a dog, we make ourselves vulnerable to experiencing a very great heartache at the end of our dog's lifetime. Dogs' lives are never long enough, it seems.
Sitting in that dark theater, I couldn't wait to get home to our puppies, to hold them, and kiss them, and show them how loved they are. I just want them to live forever, if I'm honest, and tears filled my eyes throughout the movie, knowing that is not even a possibility.
As the story progressed, Bailey learned important life lessons with each of his owners. One of those lessons was living in the now is critical for having a full life.
Living in the now is a wonderful experience when things are going smoothly, and we're feeling well and happy. Being fully present is a lot more challenging during stressful or less than ideal situations.
For me, there are moments of chaos when our puppies are fighting, or when there is yet another accident to be cleaned up (we have had only ONE good accident-free day so far). It is so hard to want to stay in THOSE moments. When the puppyness of Bristol and Sami is utterly overwhelming, it's hard not to wish they were already house-trained adults who are calm and relaxed. And then I have to remind myself that if I try to rush through these days, I will regret not savoring them. Most of the time, it's the sheer puppyness that overwhelms me in a good way, with gratitude and happiness; the kisses, the cuddles, and the tail waggles.
Bristol and Sam will help me stay in the now, through the bad and the good. I need to be more patient through the tough stuff, and I need to relax and just wallow in the yummy goodness of the puppies. The dogs' purpose is simply to exist; it's up to us to find our lessons to be learned, and the joy to be gained by sharing our lives with them.