I had to say a last “goodbye” to my dog, Maddy, earlier this year. At least 16, she lived a full life, but it’s never easy to lose a best friend. Maddy was a stray when she found me. She locked eyes with me and I knew she would be coming home with me. We had 16 years together during which her energetic (to the point of spastic) personality occasionally pushed me to my limits but always entertained. She was smart, she was spunky, she was a bit of a bully sometimes, and she was happy! Just a joyous, entertaining, and ebullient presence in the home.
She will always be missed, but she taught me so much over the years. Each of the following Maddy-isms gives a glimpse into her personality and most of them have a great story behind the lesson. I am grateful to have known her. These are the lessons I learned from my girl Maddy.
First impressions matter, so leave your mark as high as possible.
Make eye contact, it could make all the difference in the world!
Wake up every morning expecting exciting things to happen.
Then get excited about the things that happen.
Greet the ones you love with as much enthusiasm as possible, no matter how short your absence.
Keep a regular schedule. Always eat your dinner at the EXACT same time every day.
Little can be mighty!
If you’re going to be bossy and rule the roost, at the very least, be cute about it.
Never let someone go into the kitchen alone.
Ask for what you want. If you don’t get it, keep asking until you do.
Communicate clearly. If you can’t find the words to express yourself, act it out. If that doesn’t work, rely on your herding instincts.
Always follow from in front. You may trip a few of the people behind you, but at least you’re sure to get there first… even if you don’t know where “there” is.
Only pick a fight if you’re sure you can win.
Never hold your favorite toy out the window of a moving vehicle.
Never settle for one cookie if you can get two.
If mom says “no”, go ask grandpa.
It’s much easier to be brave when the big dog is on the other side of a closed door.
If you’ve got short legs, learn to jump.
Life may be rough, but it just takes one day for everything to turn around.
Life is short, go at it with unabashed enthusiasm!