Nikki didn’t care what anybody thought about him. He was a goofy puppy almost to the end. He pranced around with this little dance that always made us laugh...but Nikki didn’t care. In some ways I wish I could be that unselfconscious. It would make life so much easier if I just worried about what I thought instead of always wondering, “Does this outfit make me look fat? Should I wear this tank top when my arms are still a little flabby? Can I get away with wearing the pants and shirts that actually fit me even though I have a little muffin top around the middle?” Wouldn’t it be nice to just wag your tail or prance around without a care as to what others thought of you? Sigh…I have a ways to go with this one.
Nikki enjoyed his food so much that hours before his mealtimes he would prance around trying to get us to feed him. We could hardly get the food in the bowl before his nose was nudging our hands away so he could get to his beloved morsels. And once he got going, he never looked up until every bite was gone. Then he would go to each dogs’ bowl and lick it clean just in case they left a little bite by accident. While this is definitely an eating behavior that I want to avoid, it is his after dinner behavior that I want to emulate. When Nikki was done with his meal, he would then run around the yard, go for a nice swim in the pool, or run up and down the fence barking at anything on the other side that dared to move. He always got in his daily exercise, got plenty of rest, and even managed to cross train in his own doggy way.
While I adored Nikki and will miss him terribly, he was not always the easiest dog. As a puppy he chewed up our sprinkler heads quicker than Sean could replace them. He barked for hours on end without stopping when the gardener or the pool guy were at our house, and at the end of his life, his stomach was so weak that he often couldn’t keep food down. And while 75% of our house is tiled, he would always choose a nice, clean area of carpet on which to lose his dinner. While these habits are not ones I hope to repeat, I do wish I could I could forgive myself as easily as Nikki could. After being put outside by his very frustrated family, he would initially seem sad, but he moved on quickly. He forgot the bad things almost immediately...something I can learn from. This week was not an easy one for me—too much work, not enough running, sleepless nights, every dinner eaten out at a restaurant, and there may have even been some chocolate involved. I want to be more like Nikki in my ability to quickly get over my mistakes. I feel I have come a long way, but I still need to remind myself that when I take a detour, it is okay. I just need to get right back on the road to flabulous and move on.
Now I know I am stretching it a bit with some of the comparisons, but wouldn’t life be so much easier if our view on life were a little more like a dog’s. Enjoy your food, just remember to get in some exercise, don’t let stress take over your life, and care a little less about what others think about you. It is not too late to teach an old human new tricks, so let’s get out there and wag our tails with abandon even if all the flabby parts don’t move the way we want them to. After all, if we don’t love ourselves exactly the way we are, who will?
Goodbye Nikki...we will miss you!