There is no secret to happiness, or a happy life with an older dog. Happiness is a choice. Deciding to create and build a happy life with an older dog is also a choice. After her diabetes diagnosis, I chose to find positive life lessons. As Cleo lost her eyesight, I learned that focusing on the joy of our day-to-day life today is better than giving in to anticipatory grief. I chose the red pill and our life together is the better for it.
Red Pill or Blue Pill.
If you don't know, the red pill reference is from the movie, The Matrix, with Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne. In an early pivotal scene, Keanu's character must choose pills. He can know the real world he is in, with all its warts, or stay in fantasy-land, oblivious. Like Keanu, I chose to grab life with Cleo for what it is rather than live in a daydream, and I haven't looked back.
[Not so] Secret Recipe
Though Cleo has boosted my confidence as a cook, the reality is that my husband is the chef in the family. He can create dishes while I can bake a simple potato. I was watching a cooking show the other day that focused on simple ingredients. The emphasis was on basic steps and few items. Another aha moment -- given my dog Cleo is my favorite partner in food crime, I thought about how life with her could also be that simple. If I could successfully focus on the happy moments, then I certainly could slow down and simplify our days together. Right?
So how many ingredients do you really need to make a happy life with an old dog? I'd say three. I'm sure there are books that might argue this suggestion but I'd push back. Have you heard of the Slow Food movement? How about the Think Global, Act Local slogan? I saw that phrase - using the word "shop" instead of "act" the other day -- across the walls of a local sporting goods store. These are reminders that your life doesn't have to be so complicated and there are people out there who also appreciate a simple, happy life. You are not alone in your quest to be happy, with or without an older dog.
What is my recipe for a happy life with an older dog, or any pet for that matter?
Start with ADOPTION adding a healthy dose of COMMITMENT and marinate in LOVE LOVE LOVE.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite recipe? Am I missing any ingredients? Let me know in the comments!
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