Unconditional Love, Forgiveness, & Puppy Breath!

July 14, 2014


Meet Ocean, our brand new Labradane puppy, whose been in our lives for only two weeks. I wrote about her in my blog last week, and I want to write about her again today, because having her join our family has brought up so many great memories, as well as both joyous and challenging moments. Keeping up with my well-being habits has not been easy these last few weeks, and as a good student of my own teachings, I decided I had to broaden the way I not only looked at our new situation, but also how I could transcend it, bit-by-bit.

In thinking of transcending the challenges, I immediately am taken back to a time in my life when my grandmother, Amelia “Mami”, moved in to our childhood home, together with my sister and her family, as well as with my grandfather, Mario “Papi”. My sister had a Yorkshire Terrier named “Rambo”. Rambo was a very loving dog, despite his hyper tendencies. He loved to cuddle and be spoiled. My grandmother hated the idea of living with a dog in the house and complained to no end about it. But, she had no choice in the matter. Rambo wasn’t going anywhere.

Because my grandmother didn’t work, she stayed home all day. Her role was a very traditional, maternal one. Cook, clean, babysit, sew, etc. But, it was a lonely life during the day, because she was not interacting with others and had no young children to care for. Little by little, she let Rambo get close to her. He really seemed to fill a void for her, one that no one else could. Sometimes I wish I could have been a fly on the wall, listening to her conversations with Rambo! Before you knew it, she and Rambo were inseparable! She even made home-cooked meals for him!! I mean, really??

My grandmother’s demeanor changed. She was more bubbly, and giggly. When she wanted to be funny she didn’t have to try hard, she was hilarious, mostly because she laughed at herself so hard that we laughed at her! Rambo became her daily companion; her everything. Loving him and caring for him was a high priority for her. So, you can imagine how difficult it was when Rambo died. Mami was so depressed; unconsolable for months. Watching her suffer was very hard for all of us. We saw my grandmother’s overall well-being soar because of her very close relationship Rambo. It was a true wellness lever for her.

I share this story, because I’ve had a few moments over these last two weeks when I have noticed that how I have been thinking about our new life with Ocean has not been supporting or allowing my well-being to be optimal. I have found myself reacting too much, complaining, and feeling sorry for myself (when I can’t sleep, or have to clean my rugs- again!, or take the puppy out on wet grass, or in the rain every 1/2 hour). Thinking of how much joy Rambo brought to my grandmother’s life, and also how much love and joy our former dog, Cousteau, brought to our lives, has helped me to become more intentional (I’m learning how to puppy train!), set realistic expectations (yes, she’s a puppy and will poop and pee a lot and cry at night!), and really forgive both Ocean, for doing what she can’t yet understand and control, and forgive myself, for being an emotional human!

I’m also really enjoying her and focusing on who she is naturally– a pup who offers so much unconditional love, which is not always easy to find, and I’m imagining how amazing our lives will be with her as she grows up. Day-by-day it is getting easier. And, well, I just can’t get enough of her puppy breath! I’m learning so much about training puppies now (instead of just complaining and feeling like a victim), that I can probably offer you a few tips if you ever need them! LOL.

Shifting a bit to well-being at work, companies that are putting the well-being of their employees first are understanding the important link between pets and their owners’ happiness and productivity. More and more we are seeing employers adding pets at work as a benefit. I just came across this video interview with Dr. “Woody” Woodward, who serves on the board of our Center for Leadership, sharing this trend.

What part do pets play in your well-being? Are they enhancing your well-being? If so, how?

I, for one, am looking forward to going on longer, faster walks with Ocean, which I know will enhance my wellness plan. And, there is simply no way to measure the amount of love that a pet can bring in your life. It can be priceless.

I’d love to hear your stories!

If you’ve missed any of our Summer of Well-Being blogs, you will find them here.

AND…you won’t want to miss our guest blogger on Thursday…the amazing Mina Shah! Catch you then!!

It’s your life. Lead it well.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: