At some point in our lives we were all pound puppies.
In conversations over the last year or so, I have heard an elitist word thrown around quite a bit—“rescue.”
As in, “She is a half border collie, half boxer and a rescue.” Or, “He’s a mix of dachshund and Great Dane (hopefully the mother is Danish) and a rescue.”
I know I am running the wrath of animal lovers everywhere, of which, by the way, I am one (two dogs, two birds, two rats, one cat and a newly acquired little blue fish that swims circles in its bowl on the kitchen counter and stares at me). Now before you fly off the keyboard at me, know that I fully support adopting animals from shelters.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, “Four million cats and dogs—about one every eight seconds—are put down in U.S. shelters each year.”Photo: Callie Epps
That is a sad statistic, one that should be reflected on. Anyone who is willing to open their home to our furry fellow travelers gets high marks in my book. For example, my ex-wife (no, this is not the place for an ex-wife joke!) recently adopted a German shepherd, cow-dog mix and a rescue.
With the ex being out of town for work the last couple weeks (which is cool because I get bonus days with the kids), I was asked by my two young life travelers to let the pointy eared pup stay with us. The fact that the pup has become my 12-year old daughter’s new bed warmer was not lost on me either.
Having a third dog in the mix was bound to be interesting; it was. One broken flower pot, seven or eight new holes in the backyard, additional mines to clear out of the field and an evening surprise dog-bed “pillow” fight later, I did not regret the decision to allow her to stay. She is a sweet dog with a gentle disposition and friendly attitude.
On the phone last night after the ex-wife apologized for the unruly behavior of her charge, she said the pup was not bad for a “pound puppy.” I let the ex know she was welcome back any time (talking about the pup here!).
I think at some point in our lives we were all pound puppies.
The lucky ones of us have found some release that has been our rescue. Whether that release is on the mat in our practice, our faith, our community, a long run on a mountain path or the myriad of other avenues out there—we were rescued.
But that is our past, an aspect of us that does not define who we are now. We need to live who we are today, letting go of definitions that describe the past, being present in the moment.
Next time you are describing your non-humanoid friend, bring them into the present, release their past and enjoy them now as they are today.
J.R. Epps is a father, student of yoga, runner, cyclist and life traveler. He barely is able to text and does not blog, tweet or twitter (he does occasionally twitch).
Editor: Sara McKeown