My favorite slack channel at work is often #dogs@<insert company you work for>.
The joy employees share from moments with their pets is gold. It goes to show the value pets add to our otherwise mundane lives. The viral views on social media are garnered by cat videos and dogs waiting to welcome owners home. There is profound wisdom pets in general and dogs in particular ( i am a dog 🐶 lover!) share with us about life and work.
As i think about my 13 year old buddy Oscar who left us for doggie heaven exactly a year ago, i only think about the many cuddles and hugs i wish i had given him and the many walks i wish i had taken him on as he waited patiently for hours to catch my eye as i worked away on my laptop. If i regret anything, it’s not choosing to spend more time with him between work. This one is for you Oscar.
Oscar always gave us sloppy kisses, warm hugs and so much love! Even on the shittiest day, he knew how to make us smile. On your deathbed, what will you regret. Not getting promoted enough. Not attending enough Quarterly business review meetings. Not getting another bump in your pay check. I doubt it. Unconditional love from your pets. More hugs, kisses and sleep ins with your kids. Respect, love, and time for your aging parents. These are what make our life and work. We must be careful not to trade one for the other.
When I looked at Oscar dig away to glory despite the dirty looks i gave him or the many pulls on his leash, i knew he was doing what he was the happiest doing. It was play for him. With no care for the world. If one were to find something similar in their life, you won’t need work another day. Everyday would be a state of play.
Oscar would always be intrigued by new people, places, and objects. The curiosity to try our and learn new things kept him young and agile well into the later years of his life. We can adopt an ‘always learning’ mindset that will forever keep us young. At work, pick up new skills, learn a new hobby, meet new people – this is what life and work are about. Exploring the depths of you with the vastness of the outside world.
In the quest for more and the impatience to reach a destination, it is easy to lose sight of the journey. Oscar always found time during the day to just ‘be’. For hours, he would look at ants 🐜 cross by, leaves 🍃 rustle in the wind, and birds 🐦 chirp on tree branches. He would lay there and soak it all in, leaving out a big sigh. He knew the value of immersing in the moment.
Oscar always found time for play and exercise. He would roam, and sniff about his surroundings like he owned it. He would mark his territory to let other doggies know. But most of all, he thoroughly enjoyed being out in nature. Be it sun, rain, or cold. He needed to get out on a walk. Much we can learn from Oscar about getting out to clear our minds.
When Oscar was sleeping, he was sleeping. There wasn’t much you could do to wake him. He knew the importance of cuddling into his favorite spot, with his favorite toy, for the perfect nap. I could watch him sleep for hours. Getting all this rest kept him youthful, alert and bright eyed through the day with a spring in his step.
Most importantly, Oscar was silly. He would roll about carelessly in the wet green grass. He would scratch his balls in front of anybody and everybody. He would jump into muddy puddles right after a nice bath. He never took himself too seriously. He knew there was no point to it.