So today is our puppy Osa’s first birthday. Her contribution to the continuous joy in our family cannot be underestimated. After a long stent of hairless animals parading through our home, we were more than excited to welcome her in. You see my daughter has asthma; her main allergen being dogs. Which meant we all had to wait patiently as her lungs grew stronger, and of course, until the right little bernedoodle was born into our world. What’s interesting is that over the past year I’ve learned some very powerful life lessons from this sweet curious pup.
7 Points of Happiness >brought to you by a dog
- Wagging tails are infectious. Her happiness spreads like wildfire to everyone she comes in contact with. The playful soul that infuses Osa is quickly transferred around bringing deep creased smiles and various sprinkles of laughter. When she sees you her tail flaps insistently showing right then and there how happy she is with your presence.
Life Lessons: Smiles are contagious bringing joy to yourself and others.
- Fuzzy cuddles calm the spirit. Her soft fur invites you in to relax and be present, which in turn lowers your heart rate to a leisurely thump thump. As a result, your stress seeps away from the body and moods lift skyward. Her tranquility wraps around you in warmth and love.
Life Lessons: We should never underestimate the benefits of hugs.
- A steadfast companion is not about milk bones. No matter what is going on Osa is there by your side. She is ready to go for a walk, relax warming my feet under my desk, or entertain the whole family with the tossing about of a stuffed toy. Yet she isn’t looking at any of it as “what’s in it for me.” She is simply grateful to be there.
Life Lessons: Be in the moment soaking up its simplicity.
- Dogs do their business. Osa lets us know what her needs are,
but also takes care of her own. She rings a bell when she wants to go outback. Then, she laps up water as she gets thirsty. Osa plays around the house when she has energy to unleash. Later she lays down for a nap as sleepiness sets in.
Life Lessons: Take care of yourself and don’t be afraid to ask others for a little help.
- Part of the pack. This little doggy knows she is part of a larger group–our family. She naturally tunes into each of us acutely aware of who needs love, who is ready to play, and who might happen to drop a tasty morsel that she needs to help clean up. You can tell she feels fulfilled too be part of something bigger than herself that is inclusive.
Life Lessons: Show value your tribe. Make a conscious effort to play an active role.
- Good dog, bad dog. One of my favorite quotes is by Abraham Lincoln, “If I do good, I feel good. If I do bad, I feel bad. And that is my religion.” It is truly incredible how Osa instantly knows whether her most recent behavior is praiseworthy or instigates a sulking, low hanging head. Best of all she takes complete accountability, then gets over any negatives quickly.
Life Lessons: Own your energy. You are responsible for the energy you bring into each space you enter. If something doesn’t go as planned be resilient and move on.
- Sometimes you gotta howl at the moon. The funny thing about this one is actually Osa doesn’t howl, or at least hasn’t learned to yet. But what this makes me think of is that as much as she thinks she is a human, she is still a dog; albeit the best ever in my book. She is rooted in who she is at her core embracing it with all her might.
Life Lessons: Who you are matters. You are unique. Most of all you have gifts to share. So let them fly!
In Conclusion, an Ode to Osa
This dog, Osa, changed our world. Most of all, our family is closer, stronger and happier inside and out. What we have learned from her will be with us forever. Our wellbeing has been heightened in ways that are important to explore. On this very first birthday, we want to share our gratitude for Osa.