I remember a phase in my life when I fell in love and shared my room with a certain short-haired Chihuahua, named Tequila. This sweet little girl was more than a companion to me, she was my friend. I love how she livened up the pace of my home and how she wagged her tail as she stood by the door in anticipation of my arrival after work. I love how she’d sit with me, as if to comfort me, as I cried on my bathroom floor after a long hard day. She constantly amazed me with the things she did and with her sensitivity towards me that I convinced myself she was a human reincarnate. I enjoyed watching her grow into a mother to a few adorable little beings and she in turn watched me stroll through the seasons of my life. She welcomed my husband into our family and accepted my children just as they are. But before I knew it, her seasons had passed for her and she left me in a deep heartbreak as she entered Dog Heaven after battling ovarian cancer.
Today I took a moment to remember her and the things she’s done during the times we spent together. And I imagine if I were to ask her for some life lessons, this is probably what she’ll tell me:
Begin your day with a stretch – on the bed, on the floor, on a mat, anywhere. Stretch before you rise.
Always run to greet your loved ones when they come home. When they pet you, be happy. When they don’t, well, maybe they’re tired, but tell them you’re happy they’re home anyway.
Never pass up a chance to go for a ride, even for a short trip around the block, because every second spent with the one you love is precious.
When your loved one is having a bad day, just be there for him/her. You don’t have to say anything, just sit close by and let them know you’re there.
Never be too lazy for a walk and enjoy the experience of having the wind in your face.
Take lots of naps. Run and stomp and jump often. Always find the time to play.
Let people come close enough to you to touch you. A touch does wonders for both sides.
Be grateful for family and for everyone in it, no matter how or what they are. Be loyal to them.
Love extravagantly, care deeply, speak gently, forgive quickly, and live simply.
It’s no wonder that a dog is said to be a man’s best friend. Loving everybody all the time and being nice comes naturally to them, and they take no pride or ego for themselves. Personally for me, my little Tequila was in my life to remind me that amidst all the struggles and stretches life will bring, there is always time to lie on the grass and cool off on a warm day.
*Kiba & Keigo appear as courtesy of Christina G. Shen