If you follow this website, you know I’m a lover of dogs, especially golden retrievers. My two boys, Buddy and Rigs, passed away earlier this year, and life hasn’t been the same since then, in a bad way. I had intended to wait until 2016 to get a new dog, but the pressure inside me has been building up over the past couple of months, so I decided to get a new dog even though, logically speaking, considering my future plans, now is not a good time. But it felt right to get one, so I went with it, having faith that it would all work out, because it always does.
She and her brother were the last two of the litter, and I had intended to get the boy because I enjoy the male bond, but I could tell the boy would be tougher to train, more of a troublemaker, so I went with his sister instead. And to be honest, I kind of enjoyed getting her a bright pink collar, a bright pink ID tag, and bright pink shit bags for her.
So far, she has been an absolute joy. Listens well already, stays with me off leash, and is relatively calm, super happy, and just all around amazing. She definitely looks and acts more like a golden than a toller, but I estimate her heaviest will top out around 45 lbs instead of 65-75, which is typical of female goldens. In other words, she’s perfect.
I just started reading Intuition: Knowing Beyond Logic, by Osho, and some of what he says early in the book has elucidated for me one of the main reasons we humans love dogs so much. Or at least why I do.
Humans have instinct (the center of the unconscious), intellect (the center of the conscious), and intuition (the center of the superconscious). We are, however, at our core, animals, which means we operate largely on instinct. We have instinctual urges, many or most of which we repress (e.g. sex, aggression, basically acting free of social norms). Repressing those urges uses up a lot of the energy we have at our disposal. When we fulfill our instinctual urges, we free up more energy which we can then use via our intellect and intuition, and when we use our energy thusly, we are more effective human beings, and happier.
For me, at least, a large part of the joy of owning a dog is observing its behavior and appreciating the fact that it, like all other animals, operates completely on instinct. Dogs don’t have intellect or intuition. They don’t need it. They do exactly what they’re supposed to do according to nature, without having to think about it at all. They are flawless. By observing my dog on a daily basis, I think a significant portion of my own instinctual urges are fulfilled vicariously through my dog, which gives me more energy to be spent in more intellectually or intuitionally rewarding endeavors. In other words, I’m smarter when I have a dog.
More obviously, having a dog makes me happier than I could be without one. Each day is filled with more smiles, more laughter, more love, and more joy than it could be without one. I’ve smiled and laughed more in the past 24 hours than I have in a long time. Granted I have more responsibilities, but as long as it’s a good dog (which is obviously the case with Chickadee), those responsibilities are negligible and most of them are a joy in themselves, like making sure my dog gets exercise.
When I have a dog, I get out in the woods more because: 1. I have to for the dog’s sake; 2. I want to because it’s so damn fun just watching a dog be a dog in the woods. This means I’m closer to nature, and all humans are happier when they are close to nature. I have no idea how people can survive happily in big cities. It makes no sense to me, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t any truly happy humans in cities.
Oh, and in case you didn’t know, a chickadee is a small and common songbird:
I have a bunch who come to my feeders each day, and they’re my favorite species not only because they’re so cute it almost hurts (like my little girl), but because they’re so cheeky, bold, and curious. For example, when I refill my feeders, all the other birds fly away and don’t return until several minutes after I’ve left the area. But the cheeky little chickadees will often perch on a feeder immediately after I’ve rehung it, when it’s only two feet from my face. They’ll look at me up close, sing “CHICKA-DEE-DEE-DEE-DEE-DEE”, grab a seed, and fly away to peck it open on a branch. Or other times they’ll just sit there right in front of me and look at me. I love them. And now I love my own little furry Chickadee, just over a day after I met her.
So you can expect plenty of cute pics and vids interspersed with the usual spiritual or miscellaneous topics on the site. And if you’re on the fence between getting a dog and not getting one, just do it. There’s almost no chance you’ll regret it.