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Today is a gift… that is why it is called the present.

As many of you know, the European Open is happening this weekend.  Some wonderful teams are in Germany, and I am genuinely happy for them and cheering them on.  Having that said, I have felt more than a little dispirited as I watched other people’s exciting journey to attend this event play out on facebook.  Bilbo and I are observing the action from home this year.  I find myself thinking – If only we hadn’t made that one mistake that resulted in an off course, we’d be there.  One mistake.  I’ve anguished over that one blip in our tryout.  Played and replayed it in my head as the defining moment we lost our chance to compete in Germany.  

Today, however, something snapped me out of my self imposed pity party.

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Pan – 1day old

Today, my very first agility dog, Pan, turns six.  Just two years younger than the age my last dog, a labrador named Dusty, died due to cancer.  My dog before that was lost at 5 years old to lymphoma.  While thinking about how we’ll celebrate Pan’s birthday, I felt a sense of dread.  After losing my last two dogs so young, I fear that Pan’s passing could be just as young and unexpected.  Dogs lives are just too short.  It’s their one tragic flaw.  Their Achilles heel.  The major failing in their grand design.

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Dusty

 As I think back on Pan’s life so far, the beautiful, vivid memories, that my heart holds most dear, aren’t of our agility accomplishments.  They aren’t from getting our MACHs or being a highly ranked non-border collie at our last Nationals.  They’re of our little Pan-Britney moments.  They’re from agility runs when it felt like we were so connected, we were dancing.  They’re from our quiet moments at the river when we lived in South Carolina.  Just he and I would go to an out of the way place on the river to swim and enjoy life.  They’re from after my cancer scare & surgery when he never left my side.  They’re of my daily morning snuggles with him before we start our day.

Today we will celebrate six wonderful years with my amazing Pan.  We will go hiking, swimming, and eat lots of puppy ice cream.  We will create more happy memories that will last for a lifetime.  

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So, no more wallowing, or obsessing over miss opportunities.  Stop focusing on what you can’t control; enjoy the here and now.  We’ll work harder and pursue our dreams… as the wise Pumba once said, “You gotta put your behind in your past”.

Enjoy your time with your furry children while they’re here.  Hug them.  Kiss them.  Cherish the little moments along with the big.  Nothing is written in stone.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

                             Yesterday is history.  Tomorrow is a mystery.                                   But today is a gift… that is why it is called the present.

 Think of the happiest things.  It’s the same as having wings!

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