During my 50 years living with Yorkies, four little girls, and now our first boy, I have been blessed to learn a lot from my furry companions. Each one has shown unique personality traits, and I loved all of them deeply. Romeo, our present little boy, is an extraordinary creature, and he demonstrates it every day. I often ask myself who supposedly is the “evolved” being, and I humbly admit that Romeo teaches me lessons of love, tolerance, joy, and patience. He has been a guiding light in my life, and every day with him is a gift I truly appreciate and cherish.
Does he wear a mask? No, he doesn’t, but I am sure he wouldn’t mind if I would put one on his nose. Quarantine is not a big deal for him, as long as his mommy and daddy share it with him. If he could talk, he would most likely ask what is the big deal, since we are living with people we love, in a place we enjoy, savoring fabulous food and pursuing our hobbies?
Reading and writing are two of my favorite pastimes, and I enjoy learning about the different ways people accommodate the pandemic and its restrictions. One thing is evident: the more we complain, the worse we feel, but the more we focus on the positive, the better we fare. Somehow our little Romeo does this naturally and lives from moment to moment, enjoying his life to the fullest. He doesn’t allow moments of distress, like a scary noise from a smoke detector, or a loud clasp of thunder, to affect the rest of his day. He looks for comfort, cuddles in his mommy’s or daddy’s arms, and when the noise is gone, he is ready to enjoy the day again. That defines “living in the moment.”
Life is simple for Romeo, and I try to adapt his outlook into my life. When I am in pain, Romeo is distressed, wondering what he could do for me; and then he goes into his toy box and brings me his favorite toy. Could life be so uncomplicated and love more unconditional?
I believe that we can live lives focused on pleasant experiences when surrounded by kind and empathetic people. Of course, there will be moments of tension, but we do not have to stay there longer than required to resolve them. Romeo doesn’t think he has to like every person and to spend time with them. He is always pleasant and says hello, but if someone is not what he considers loveable, he takes his distance. Most people don’t realize it, but he maintains harmony in his immediate surroundings and successfully eliminates any negative impact. Life doesn’t have to include a series of unpleasant or stressful events. We can choose, like Romeo, and we can do it in a pleasant and stress-free way.
Having had more time to watch our little Romeo during this pandemic, I concluded that he is a guru, a gentle soul teaching love, kindness, and empathy, with an attentive and grateful student in me.
There are many ways to learn, and sometimes life’s lessons come from surprising sources.
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com