My dog is almost 11 years old. She’s a sweet natured mutt that has had a huge impact on our lives from the day we met her on the Croatian Island of Vis. She has deep soulful eyes that tug at my heartstrings with every meaningful gaze. Don't get me wrong sometimes I wish she could vacuum up her own dog hair, take herself for a walk and don't get me started on her love of rolling in decaying flesh.
But that meaningful gaze is never judgemental. If one day I decide not to brush my hair or keep my yoga gear on the whole day, my dog doesn’t roll her eyes. She’s never ashamed of my decision to eat cereal for lunch or leftover curry for breakfast. When I am panicking about the approaching season and the effect the current pandemic has on the business, Zora, my dog, just looks at me with the same amount of love and concern about the important things in life, food, love and regular walks!
My dog never feels under pressure to change her behaviour. She remains true to herself, her personality has never changed. My dog has always been curious but passive when she meets new dogs. Her behaviour has never been altered because she is trying to fit into a new situation. She remains consistently timid and she has accepted that. She doesn't care what the other dogs think of her. We could all benefit from accepting our personalities and our social quirks.
If we don't go walking at the exact moment she wants, there’s no angry stomping around the house. The disappointment doesn't manifest as a lingering resentful thought, hanging over her emotions for the rest of the day. Zora will not hold a grudge against me. Considering how long I can hold a negative thought that can affect me, it would be much better to be like my dog. Forgive and move on!
There are so many different dog loyalty and unconditional love quotes, it seems too obvious to mention. There is however, something overwhelmingly heartwarming about having a dog to keep you company. Our dog makes us feel like we are the centre of her universe. When you are feeling a little downtrodden, having a furry friend with a warm loving nonjudgmental heart to hang out with, always makes me feel better. We run a business that involves having guests visit us weekly. While our dog will be gracious to our guests, it is always mentioned how much she just wants to be wherever we are. This has over time managed to create a few awkward moments. Once while kayaking with guests I turned to realise, unbeknown to me, that our loyal dog had followed us, swimming behind the kayaks for almost a kilometre before we realised and had to pull her into the kayak. On another occasion, I tied Zora up outside a hotel while trying to sneak in to use the bathroom. When I came out of the toilet cubicle Zora was sitting inside the bathroom waiting for me. She had managed to slip her lead, navigate the hotel electric doors, climb two flights of stairs, find and then enter the ladies toilet! I’m going to attribute this stalking to unconditional love and not obsessive behaviour. A dog makes you understand the importance of being loved and how companionship and friendship are essential to everyone. Are we willing to commit to someone else that amount of unconditional love with such warmth and kindness? Can we all be that loyal?
Our dog has very set rules on the way she wants to play. With another dog, play will come after her firmly establishing the rules, but once she does she is excited, happy and playing frantically without inhibition. A gym membership is not required, a stick is an occasional bonus but what is important is that playing happens everyday. Running, sniffing, swimming and chasing is essential to a dogs daily routine. Sometimes as adults we are too structured in our exercise choices. We need our smart watch to calculate our performance and an app to share our mileage. Movement is important each day and I wish I could think less about how I should be moving and just play! We don't always need to be training for a mid-life crisis sports event. My dog has taught me to run in circles, chase my tail and plunge into a muddy puddle without caring what anyone may think of me. Zora reminds me to play each day, and for that I am truly grateful.
My dog does not know there's a pandemic going on. She has no concept of how difficult it is to run a tourism business, maintain sanity and still brush my hair in the morning. We have to get up in the morning, have some structure because we have daily responsibilities to create a safe space for our dog. Zora has no concerns about checking the news, reading negative social media postings, she lives for the moment. I really wish this is something I can do. I’m getting better but even with my caring dog as my teacher, I still have a long way to go.
We would love to hear about the things your dog has taught you. If you would like to hang out with our dog Zora, you can find her on Vis Island in the summer and at MoaAlm Mountain Retreat, Austria in the winter.
Xania Wear (Owner of WearActive)