Retrieving Golden Lessons

Photograph of my Golden Retriever Richard lying on a deck outside.
Richard, a loving canine. Photo by M. Fleming

The year was 2008. For me, 2008 was a year of first dates. Funny, there weren’t too many second dates. Anyway, I remember on one first date, I went to see the movie Marley & Me about a family and their dog. By the final scene, the entire audience was in tears. Everyone, that is, except for my date. I knew at that moment that my date had no heart. There would be no second date.

Almost everyone longs for a relationship like the one between John Grogan (played by Owen Wilson) and Marley (played by many yellow Labradors). Sometimes, however, fate has other plans. Fate had other plans for the human-canine bond between Richard (my Golden Retriever) and me. Nonetheless, Richard taught me some things during our time together.

First, don’t hold grudges. When I was upset with King Richard or if Richard was upset with me, he never carried feelings of bitterness or resentment. In fact, seconds after a disagreement, Richard would lick my face.

Second, live in the moment. From what I could tell, Little Richard spent little time living in the past or future. He was always savouring the present. I am grateful that when I was with Richard, he reminded me to live in the moment.

Third, enjoy the simple things in life. Richard Bob Lloyd Harry also reminded me to love the simple things: running, walking, cuddling, eating, drinking, playing, butt sniffing…Okay, maybe not that last one.

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