Time is pretty short these days. There are a limited number of hours that I have available each day to dedicate to work, family (spouse, baby, dogs, cat), and health, and so finding time to reflect and write on those finite and fleeting moments is tough.
One of the things about our digital footprint, though, is you can’t help but be reminded of how far you’ve traveled. One of my new hobbies is catching up daily on my Facebook On this Day feed. Today’s memory was one that sort of got me in the feels, as I read –
“Doggy school starts tonight. Paws crossed for positive progress and outcomes.”
-April 18, 2013
Longtime friends and followers know that this post was written for Balton. At the time, still my foster dog. In a lot of ways, I can barely remember back that far to where my head was at that time, but I do remember feeling a tremendous weight and amount of pressure, anxiety, and fear (which I suspect Balton also was feeling) as we started our training journey together and walked into class that night.
It would be exactly one month later that I would adopt him, because, in short, he needed me to.
Little did I know though, how much I really needed to adopt him. I don’t know where I’d be or what I’d be doing if Balton never came along to help me chart the course we ended up on together. But man, he sure has made a dent. On my heart, on my way of thinking, on my livelihood, on my interactions with others, on the type of mom I’ve become. It’s been in tiny increments, but it’s been huge and profound.
The other day, I was walking Balton, and a person across the street waved and said hello. I returned the wave and hello, quickly looking to Balton on my right and telling him enthusiastically what a good boy he was as he looked at the lady across the street, looked to me, and carried on with a loose leash, and without s second thought. I was caught without treats for once, but in that moment, it didn’t matter. He’d gotten enough clicks and treats in the last 3 years for looking and not growling, lunging, or barking, that he was okay with a stranger acknowledging us. It seems so small, this brief, ordinary moment, but the neighbor across the street observed a polite dog enjoying a walk with his person. And it made my heart smile.
3 years of finite and fleeting moments…it has gone quickly and sometimes is exhausting, but man, it sure has turned out pretty beautiful in more ways that I could have imagined.