Are You Missing The Answer Right In Front Of You?

photo-16My dog is getting old.

He used to be able to jump right up into my bed each night, snuggling up to sleep next to me.

For the past few months though he hasn’t been able to make the leap.

Bless his little heart, he tries and tries. He stretches his legs and sticks his head up just barely over the mattress. But his legs aren’t strong enough anymore. It’s about the most pitiful thing ever.

So for Christmas Roc got a brand new set of dog stairs. I thought this would be the perfect gift for him. No longer would Roc have to wait on me to lift him up to where he wanted to be. He could help himself into the bed whenever he wanted.

Except Roc won’t use the stairs.

It’s not that my dog has never used stairs before. He knows what they are. He’s been up and down stairs at all sorts of houses and buildings. He just can’t quite figure these stairs out.

My dog is scared of the steps. He will stand right next to them as he struggles to pull himself into the bed, not realizing the solution he’s been searching for is right next to him.

I shake my head night after night, wondering how he could be so ignorant. But then I wonder – how often does this happen to us?

Continue reading

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Why I Give My Dog Christmas Presents

photo-8Every year I buy my dog a Christmas present. 

You might think I’m foolish.

You are more than welcome to your opinion and you may in fact be right.

I mean, I recently quit my full time job. I’m only working a part time seasonal job right now. I’ve got a house to pay for, Christmas presents to buy for family and friends, and all my other bills to worry about.

It’s probably not wise for me to ration out any of my money for a Christmas present for a dog.

After all, he has no idea there’s a new toy and a bag of treats wrapped up with his name on it waiting underneath the Christmas tree.

Christmas will be just another day for him. I’ll open the gift for him, he’ll enjoy it momentarily, then go back to thinking about whatever it is dogs think about.

So why bother? Continue reading

How To Beat Writer’s Block With Organic Tea

I could not write yesterday.

I woke up early with the intent of using the extra hour of from Daylight Savings to pump out a world-changing, life-affirming blog post for today.

When I sat down to type nothing came out.

Gibberish. Half-sentences. Cliches. Garbage.

I stood up. Ate some yogurt. Read the Bible. Walked the dog. Took a shower. All in the hope that words would come to me.

Still nothing.

I left for church disappointed and defeated by my sole morning task.

Then, as I sat in the service, I saw it. Continue reading

Life On The Leash

photo-2You’d think a dog would hate a leash.

Not my dog.

By definition a leash keeps a dog from moving freely, tying them to where their owner is walking. Seems like something which would annoy a dog in theory.

When I pull out the leash The Roc recognizes what’s about to happen. I don’t even have to say a word.

He knows where I keep the leash. He knows when I’m going for it.

Wherever he is he starts running. His heart starts racing. His legs can’t contain themselves.

We’re going to his favorite place. We’re going outside. Continue reading

What To Do When You’re The Worst At Fantasy Football

Mondays are pretty good for me.

On Mondays I wake up to a cup of coffee from Buona Caffe, take a long walk with my dog Roc, and plan out a week full of possibilities.

On Mondays I usually get a chance to go running and spend some time working on future blog posts.

On Mondays I gather with my closest friends and watch wrestling, something that a bunch of guys in their mid-twenties are probably too old to still do.

On Mondays the hopes of a new week are abloom. The problems of the week before have passed.

It’s Tuesdays that I hate.

nydailynews.com

Every Tuesday during the fall I wake up to dire news. Each Tuesday morning I open up my computer and start my day depressed. That’s because on Tuesdays I find out my Fantasy Football fate. Continue reading

A Human’s Lesson From DOGTV

My dog has his own tv channel to watch.

DOGTV is a 24 hour network designed with canines in mind. The programs are set up like a preschool show with humans speaking directly to dogs at home, bright colors beaming out, and stimulating images and noises intended to keep a dog at a play while the owner is away.

Programs on the network include “Relaxation”, “Stimulation”, and “Exposure”

In fact, it’s kind of peaceful just to leave on in the background. “Relaxation” features an hour of waterfalls, lush fields, classical music, and video of sleeping dogs. (Also – that logo. Just perfect.)

If only there were some sort of dog evangelism on Sunday mornings! I just need to be sure my dog is going to Heaven one day…

The DOGTV website has all sorts of scientific and psychological evidence as to why their programming is good for your dog. Sure. I buy all that. I’ll keep turning DOGTV on when I leave the house

But here’s the thing: my dog doesn’t need DOGTV to be happy. A dog needs food and water and rest and adventure.

Audio and visual stimulation while the owner is away helps. I’m sure doggie pedicures and Thundershirts are nice too. They’re just not necessary.

I took my dog to a local dog park last week. He enjoyed it almost as much as I did. He ran all around the perimeter of the park peeing on every inch of the fence and sniffing every tree and leaf. I sat on a bench and journaled in the fresh air and ignored my phone for an hour. Life was perfect.

I think sometimes we lose ourselves in things we don’t need. I used to think I needed every channel on my tv just in case I missed the next great tv show.

Now I kind of think human tv should be more like DOGTV. A little stimulation every day, but more time focusing on relaxation and exposure to the real world.

There’s a billboard in my town for the local cable company. They’re advertising a DVR that lets you record four shows at once while still watching a fifth different show.

If you think you need to record four shows at once while watching another one, you’re watching too much tv. Even a dog could recognize that.

What do you really need to live? What’s something material you think you could not live without? Try giving it up for the afternoon. See what really happens.