Over thanksgiving with lots of young’ns and furry’ns running about – the former creating messes in the kitchen, the latter lapping them up – I found myself pondering the two most thankful creatures I know: kids and dogs.
Sure, neither tends to say “Thank you!” without prompting; but both kids and dogs have a unique ability to truly appreciate and enjoy the littlest of gifts in the fullest of ways.
It occurred to me that just as people are said to have an “inner child”, each of us has an “inner dog” as well. It’s that part of you that sees the world around you as infinitely enjoyable. The part of you that sees every item around you as a new sort of toy or game. The part of you that is equally entertained by exploring under the couch, as exploring a mountain. The part of you that wants everyone in the room just to stay put and cuddle, because you know that’s really all that matters. The part of you that wants to leap up and smother your loved ones with kisses whenever they come through the door, even if they were only gone for sixty seconds taking out the garbage – because you know there’s nobody else in the world more perfect than them; never has been, never will be.
Our inner dogs can’t come out and play all the time; that probably wouldn’t do anyone much good. I doubt if many Wall Street traders or prosecuting attorneys could get much work done thinking and feeling in the ways I just painted above. But at least sometimes, probably every day, we need to let our inner dogs out, take them for a walk and follow their noses. See where they go, what they do; follow their lead for a change.
Sometimes it helps to have an outer dog, to remind us what our inner dog is seeing, thinking, and feeling. No doubt that is one reason we have and love dogs: to wake up our own inner dog, so he can have someone to play with.
So let’s give thanks to all of our dogs – outer and inner!