Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Everything I Need To Know I Learned From Annie...Part Two

When we adopted Annie, her original name was Charlotte. She was one of nine puppies and the rescue group named them all from the characters in Charlotte's Web! I like the name Charlotte but it just didn't roll off my tounge easily when it came to calling her. When I first saw her, the name Annie came to mind, so a few days later that's what we were calling her.

There were many times those first few months that I thought we had made a mistake getting her. She showed signs of aggression which the vet said was mild compared to some of her siblings. At times she looked like she had pit bull in her and even the trainer at obedience class said she had that look about her. I know people with pit bulls and they are the sweetest dogs, but I didn't want to have to deal with other people's prejudices. I didn't think she would EVER get the potty training thing!

Well, the aggression has subsided and even though she can still get the pit bull look, she mostly looks like a lab. In fact when people meet her for the first time they ask if she's part lab. Potty training took a year, but she finally did it and now we're all happy! So here's the rest of what I've learned from her.

5. Enjoy taking a walk. Annie absolutely loves her walks. She checks out EVERYTHING and greets everyone. When I take a walk, I usually look at the ground and just want to get it over with! There's a lot to see in my neighborhood if I would look up! Wildlife is abundant, gorgeous flowers are everywhere, and people are quite friendly. Going for a walk can be enjoyable and not a chore!

6. Do something you love. Annie literally spends hours chewing on a bone. She loves her big beef bones I get her from the grocery store. When is the last time you spent hours doing something you love? Our lives become so busy and hectic that we rarely stop to take the time to do something that brings us pleasure. That should change! Even if you can't spend hours at a time, you should do something everyday that you truly enjoy.

7. Go after what you want. Whether it's bolting out the door for freedom or jumping on the bed, Annie goes for it! She knows she's going to get in trouble but she does it anyway. Sometimes, we need to stop thinking so much and just go for it. There will always be pros and cons to what we want. There will always be someone telling us not to take the chance. There will always be something to hold us back. Sometimes you just have to go for it and deal with what comes.

8. Never give up. I'm amazed at Annie's perseverence. She can drive us crazy when she wants to play fetch. She will not leave us alone until we throw the ball. She might lay down after trying for several minutes, but she comes right back...over and over and over again! Sometimes, our dreams seem impossible to reach. The thing is, we'll never reach them if we give up. We might have to try several times, or take a break once in a while, or come up with a different approach, but giving up should never be an option.

Life with Annie has had it's ups and downs and I've accepted that it will always be this way. But as long as she continues to make me and smile I continue to learn from her, we'll be okay!

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