Indulging in gratitude

Written by Kev

Being a dog, one would assume that I would be grateful for everything, but my humans would beg to differ.

It seems that at age 5 I have become an entitled and bossy brat. I have taken to demanding walks and dinner from my human well before the time they are usually provided to the point that I will start asking for dinner around 5pm even though it is rarely ever provided before 6pm.

As soon as it turns 6pm I will stop asking quietly and will use my outside voice to demand food NOW.

As soon as I’ve finished my dinner I will go to the pantry and sniff around the food bin sending strong eye messages that I am a poor starved dog and whatever they fed me was never enough.

I have an equally entitled attitude to walks these days. Although some could confuse my behaviour for excitement, those that really listen to the tone of my high pitched short barks would be right in translating a few very impatient swear words and combined with my uncooperative behaviour when it comes to putting on my harness, they would be accurate in interpreting my obnoxious behaviour as being a spoilt and entitled brat.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do acknowledge that I am a very lucky dog and live in more luxury than most dogs, but maybe I have become this way due to having such an easy life as I’ve had everything I ever needed anticipated and offered without me lifting a paw.

I have never had to hunt for my own dinner, I don’t have to protect myself form predators or competitors and like some domestic dogs I don’t even fear my humans as they have never caused me harm, except that one time when they clipped my nail a tiny bit too close.

I have even been provided with luxuries well beyond my basic needs – I have been educated in the field that suited my interests when I became a therapy dog and that has given me a sense of purpose in connecting with people offering them my love and connection.

All this gives me a healthy a sense of value and worth, and maybe I’ve spent too much time in human therapy sessions because I’ve learned that knowing your intrinsic value and worth is really important when it comes to knowing what you deserve and being able to ask for it.

Ok so from all of these observations, I’m coming to the conclusion that I have an overdeveloped sense of worth.

Okay, okay, I see where this is going now – I obviously need to practice more gratitude!

Gratitude will help me focus less on myself, and my needs and wants, and more on how amazingly abundant my life is and how lucky I am to have all of these people and things and opportunities.

I can see that all of this stuff and all of these experiences are due to others – those that support me and train me and give me love and safety so that I can go out into the world and do what I do.

Those that grow, make and transport my food and all of my toys and accessories; my numerous water-bowls and water bottles and the clean water that goes into them; even the house I live in was built and maintained by numerous people and if I could even comprehend what went into each of the pieces of the house and all of its contents my big border collie brain would explode with gratitude for all of those beings that contributed to my life and wellbeing . Wow, this practice is endless! The interdependence of my life on other beings is so ingrained I wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for so many events coming together.

OMG this is too much – excuse me will I take myself off to contemplate this in my nice and simple dirt patch under the house – ahhh, peace and contentment, all I need right now in this moment is this hollow of cool dirt and this deep feeling of appreciation for all things. Everything else is a bonus.