This year I dedicated time to preparing for the first day of 2014. I spent one day going over my journals of the past few years and one day planning ahead for the new year. While evaluating the months gone by, what grabbed my attention was the precious time I had wasted each week on things such as useless procrastination or worry about things I could not change. My new year’s resolutions, as usual, revolve around better time management and attention to the things that truly matter. In the end, it is always about time. My favorite business philosopher, Jim Rohn, once said, “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”
Today, January 1st, I made time to catch up with my two Rottweiler boys after a chaotic Christmas where they had to take a back-seat to visiting relatives. As my husband and I were bathing them and trimming nails, we were lovingly promising them a return to normalcy and great times ahead. Up popped that familiar concept of time again! It made me reflect on the fact that with all the stressors we live with each year, our dogs are the least demanding yet most faithful blessings we have. They love us unconditionally whether they are sleeping at the foot of our bed as usual or have to move aside to make room for company. They truly do very little complaining or protesting.
And speaking of time, I’ve never felt that dogs have an accurate measure like we do. They don’t wear watches, keep checking their schedules, or make “to do” lists. They are just there, patiently waiting for us to share a few moments with them. They are oblivious to our observance of New Year’s Day and to be honest, some of our dogs may not see another holiday season. The rest of us have dogs in all other stages of life. To be sure, however, all of them have lives that are limited in comparison to ours.
My New Year’s resolution for 2014 is to grow as a dog owner and grant our dogs a more enjoyable and fulfilling life. The magic piece of its execution is that it takes so little time! It only takes a few more seconds to load up the dog to join you in making a quick run to the store or to school to pick up the kids. Go out in the yard and throw the ball a few times when you need a break from sitting at your desk. Incorporate some brief little training moments like “get on your bed” while you are fixing dinner or getting ready for work. Envision teaching your dog one simple little trick or exercise each month. This time next year he/she will have a complete repertoire of skills and be much more connected and happy.
Our best wishes and blessing to all of you for a healthy and prosperous new year! Let us resolve to consistently spend little snippets of our most valuable resource (time) with our dogs. We will reap the benefits of their unquestioning fidelity which will in turn provide us with the internal peace that will help us cope with the less dependable elements of life this year!