This month one of my best friends left this world. Our dog Taz, the little miracle mutt who survived a crazy emergency surgery last year, finally succumbed to old age at thirteen + years old. Up until very recently he was still chasing squirrels and had hauled ass after a fox that had shown up in the flower bed. For most of his life he was a happy, healthy mutt from the pound who we loved dearly. I sure do miss him.
For those of you who have by chance read my book, you know that my relationship with Taz was not always one of full love and mutual admiration. We survived, sometimes barely, incidences of peeing on the Christmas tree and eating the smoked salmon off the kitchen counter. It took me quite a while to fully recover from the “ate my wedding bouquet” incident.
However, I came to love and appreciate life with Taz, even the puppy mishaps and the stubborn “I’m not going out in the snow” tugs-of-war. The universe does not always offer advice and motivation through a dramatic burning bush or a spectacular show of nature’s power. Sometimes, if you really pay attention, quiet little lessons sneak into your thoughts in the most interesting ways.
Here are just a few of my favorite Taz-induced insights; let’s call them Tazisms:
1. A sad puppy face can get you out of a lot of trouble.
2. A little nap in a sunny spot is always a good solution.
3. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. We rescued Bonz the cat when Taz was eleven – he rolled with it like they had always cohabitated.
4. Almost everything tastes better with just a smidge of peanut butter.
5. No matter how old you get, you still wanna run with the pack every once in a while.
6. A cheerful little wag of your tail often gets you what you want.
7. Love unconditionally; it is contagious.
8. It’s rarely fun to be stuck in the doghouse.
9. Just because you mark your territory doesn’t mean it’s actually yours.
10. Be someone’s very best and most loyal friend.
Have you realized an “aha” moment or a fun insight from a canine (or feline; yes, I know you cat lovers are out there) best friend? I would love to hear about some of the “Tazisms” you’ve experienced.
**PS: For every comment to this post, we will donate $1 to the Fairfax County Animal Shelter Trust Fund**
**UPDATE: Thanks everyone for all the comments and well wishes. Greg and I have made a donation to the Humane Society of Fairfax County as part of their summer fund drive.