Disclaimer: Although it is Tuesday, I am going to count this as a Motivational Mondays post. See the thing is, I wrote it yesterday, on Monday, and just never got around to editing it and posting it. Therefore, I was still motivating myself yesterday and why not have Monday two times in one week.
The title of this post may make you think I am going to write about Thanksgiving and all the food I eat. However, that is pretty far off. I am going to talk about my dog Carmella. Belly is the name we would often call her. This name evolved from Carmella by going to Carmelly and then to Belly. She also earned this name because whenever you walked in the room she would roll over to her back so that you would pet her belly. Having a dog teaches a boy a lot of lessons, especially when it is a great dog like my Belly.
Lesson 1: Responsibility
Like almost any dog can teach a young boy, Carmella taught me a lot of responsibility. I was responsible for taking her out, giving her baths, cleaning up after her, feeding her, and giving her attention. Sometimes I did not want to do some of these tasks but I had to. I know I really didn’t want to get up when she would me wake up at 3 in the morning to take her out, but it was my responsibility to do so. This is how it works with responsibilities; whether we want to do it or not, we have to do it.
Lesson 2: Friendship
I think the saying, “dog is man’s best friend” is absolutely right. I know for me it is at least. Dogs are really great friends. They don’t want much from you but your time and attention along with some scraps from the dinner table every now and then. It didn’t matter where we were or what we were doing, she just liked my company as I did hers. This is how we should be friends with each other. We shouldn’t be friends with someone because we need something from them or because we want what they have. We should be friends with people because we enjoy their company. Every once in a while it is okay to look for those table scrapes or a favor from a friend but give as much as you receive.
Lesson 3: Tolerance
A few years ago we got a new dog: Louie. Carmella did not like him at all. Every time he would try to play with her, eat food, or just be in her general area, she would snap at him. She was the definition of the B word to him. You can say she didn’t really tolerate him. However, I think she realized that he wasn’t going anywhere. She slowly became nicer to him and eventually they were best friends. This is a great lesson because a lot of times in life we run into people we can’t tolerate. They could be at work, in our class, or anywhere really. However most of the time, they are not going anywhere and we need to realize that. It just makes sense to me to spend the energy trying to be friends with someone instead of spending it hating someone. Just think about all the time you spend talking to your friends about how much you hate someone and why. I bet it is more often than you think.
Lesson 4 Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed
I know I talk about taking action and not waiting for things all the time, but it came to a whole new realization when I learned this through Carmella. I don’t really understand why it takes such a big event for some lessons to actually be learned but one day I hope I can figure that out. Most of the time we live each day as if it were just any ordinary day. We just go through the motions of the day living by the same mundane schedule. We get presented with countless opportunities that we don’t take because we think we have time; or maybe it’s not the right time; or maybe we are scared. Whatever the reason is we really need to take advantage of our opportunities and even make our own opportunities. We have to go after what we want now before it is too late. We can’t treat every day like just another day because one day it won’t be. One day you will be making a sandwich, as if it’s just any old day, and the next thing you know you will be digging a grave for your dog.
Lesson 5 Keep Fighting
Sometime times life gets hard and sometimes we have struggles. It happens to all of us, but we have to keep fighting. You have to hold on. You never know what could happen if you hold on for just one more week, one more day, or even one more minute. You never know when something or someone is going to come around and help you out of the tough times. Carmella was struggling in her last few weeks but she kept fighting. She fought for one more day, the day I got back from school. I believe that she kept fighting to see me one last time before she closed her eyes for the last time. She kept fighting and got to spend Thanksgiving with the family; a part of me thinks she knew what great table scraps where coming. In reality though, she didn’t know what was coming. She didn’t know that I was coming home that day or that she would get to spend the night with the family. She could have given up but she kept fighting. This is what we need to do. We never know when times are going to get better and if we give up they will never get better. Take a lesson my Belly and keep fighting!
B.I.P Carmella 2/14/99-11/23/12