I‘ve been thinking about my dogs again. I know, I know, enough with the dogs. But hold on there with me for a moment.
Because you see, spring is peeking out at us. Thank goodness February is here. The sun comes out. The temperatures have risen. The snow is melting. Which means mud. And muddy dogs. Which means a yard emerging from the dogs. And dogs finding things in it to chew. So you see, dogs are up front and center in my mind. Consuming my thoughts with chewed sprinkler heads, chewed power cords, chewed trampoline pads. With mud on paws and snouts. Mud that’s likely mixed with the mounds of poop that have hidden themselves away in those layers of snow. Dogs are kind of hard not to think about just now.
So, we’ve had the discussion. The discussion all reluctant dog owners have. The discussion about selling the dogs. They’re good dogs. They’re potty-trained now. They never snap at kids, even when their snouts are pulled. They sit on command. They play catch almost half the time you try it, instead of running away with their toys and hiding them under a chair. They don’t chew the kids’ toys either, as long as you keep reminding them to stay away from the basket. Their ears only droop a little when they realize they don’t get to chew up Mr. Pink. And they only lick the baby’s face when I leave the room, a process she giggles at in a completely unhelpful way. We could find them another home where they’d be happy. They wouldn’t be abandoned or downtrodden. And we wouldn’t have to clean the yard, or find them a babysitter, or buy bags of dog food every time we visit Costco.
But as I thought about this during the week, I kept thinking about life. About how we all choose to live life. I could choose to get rid of the dogs. Because it’s hard. Because it’s not always fun. Because I am not a natural dog owner, and I like boundaries and gates and rules. But if I always back out of adventures because they’re inconvenient, where will that put me? If I always delete the parts of my life that are difficult, messy, and not completely in the black, will I be living at all? I‘m not saying I need to keep my dogs. Or that you need to keep your dogs. I‘m saying we’ve got to choose to live some things, or we may find out we’re not actually living at all.