Three weeks ago I added a little furry yellow ball of sunshine to my life. Her name is Daisy Mae and she has quickly become my adventure buddy and best friend. She is the sweetest puppy and she loves snuggling after showers, jumping into the tub unannounced, eating human food, napping while watching football on TV, going on afternoon runs with mom, and falling asleep while holding her best friend Mr. Giraffe clutched in her little puppy teeth. It hasn't been easy. Raising a puppy the right way is like having a newborn child all on your own. You want to strike a balance between harsh punishment and loving support which is often difficult to reach. You become cranky and sleep deprived as you wake up night after night to take them out at every whimper to discourage accidents in the house. But, in the end, all of the hard work pays off because you have been given the gift of one of God's greatest creatures -- man's best friend.
I think Daisy has been a blessing in more ways than her puppy face and paws would imply on first glance. Sure, watching her pounce after toys like a leopard (still wondering whether she thinks she is a cat or a dog) and completely slide out running around corners on my hardwood floors brings a smile to my face, but she has given me a much greater joy. Daisy has given me the satisfaction of loving the little things. I, like many people, often sweat the small stuff. I dwell on little imperfections in myself, my daily life, and the world around me. In my pursuit of perfection, I become so hung up on little perceived failings, that I lose sight of the more perfect big picture. Daisy could care less about the small stuff.
One morning, I was sitting on my back porch, drinking a cup of steaming coffee while the sun rose across the field and daisy frolicked through the dewy grass. I knew that her paws were going to be caked with mud and her tummy wouldn't have the sweet smell of the organic rose soap that I had JUST bathed her with before taking her outside. The morning was crisp, and I began to think of all of the things I had to study as soon as I went back in the house -- my mind endlessly twirling into a chasm of to-do lists and despair. Then, Daisy paused. She had found the tallest piece of grass in the yard. She stood there, enamored. She picked up one oversized paw and pushed that blade of grass down to the ground, but much to her surprise, it popped right back up and brushed against her coal-colored, wet, little puppy nose. She tried mercilessly to thwart the piece of grasses pursuit of the sky once more, but it again, sprung back up to tickle her once again. She stared at it, moving her head from one side to the other. She took a step back, surveying the rebel from a greater distance. And then, she pounced. The grass no longer was the tallest blade, it was hers. She ran about with such glee, and it filled my heart with joy, as I realized that this little blade of grass was all it took to make her morning complete. Watching her interactions -- both her inquisitive approach at understanding the piece of grass, her complete disregard of the other 10,000 pieces of grass, and her fullness of joy at discovering the tallest piece in the yard made my heart full as well.
It was a simple anecdote, but it is less her adorable and sweet face that bring me joy each day, but the act of watching her grow and develop and the choice to see the world through her trusting and loyal eyes. We live life looking through lenses. Lenses that are shaped by the bodies that our minds in habit, our upbringing, our biases, our experiences, etc. Maybe, however, we need to make a choice to look at the world through the eyes and lens of a puppy. Only then will we fully grasp the idea of living in the moment and being present.