I used to hold grudges, dwell on negative moments and not appreciate those times when things are just right. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t that weird guy in the corner that would listen to that type of music that would just be screaming and I wouldn’t talk to people in a bad way or anything. I just kept it to myself. I went about everyday smiling and blending in as that normal funny guy, but had an attitude inside that made me question doing day to day tasks. This wasn’t depression for all you self appointed doctors out there, I was just a teenager. But all of that changed when my dog died. Now stay with me, I know that may seem like a big old depressing note to start off with, but let me finish before you interpret this.
Let’s start at the beginning.
When I was about five years old, my family and I went on a trip to Wagga Wagga, I know I’m so Australian it hurts. This wasn’t out of the ordinary we did have relatives living there, but what I didn’t know was that the purpose of the trip was for my parents to pick up a brand new puppy for me and my brother. I can’t remember the specific details, as it was 16 years ago and there have been many beers since then, but I do remember bringing him home and my parents telling us his name was Socket. I asked the question you’re thinking as well, the breeder was a part time mechanic and named the dogs after his toolbox.
It took a couple of years until I noticed, this wasn’t an ordinary dog, like he was really stupid, no like REALLY stupid, he thought that his reflection was another dog in another house and always tried to walk through the mirror/glass. But what I noticed is the absolute undying loyalty this dog had, he would never bite or even growl. He was just a happy dog. No matter if you accidentally stepped over his tail, or you were just in a bad mood, that dog still pounced over with a huge smile on his face and tail constantly wagging.
All people have hard times in their life, that’s not really what this is about, it’s more about how we look at those times. Don’t let them control you, but don’t forget them. Just as that dog taught me, never see a day living as a bad day. My dog helped me through tough times by just being there, but again that’s not what this is about. After growing up with this dog as he become a brother, as he had his place at the dinner table…literally, it was really hard to find out that he had cancer when he was 16 years old.
I felt guilty when he passed, like we did the wrong thing, but after a few weeks I started to remember the good times. It was after that I stopped being negative, what’s the point when a smile can make anyone’s day. Sure the last few weeks were pretty horrible, both for him and my family, but I don’t remember him in that way. I remember him through the way that he was always there, being dumb and funny. From the time he caught a bird in his mouth mid flight and mid jump to the time he made friends with a bush turkey. He was always happy. Dumb, but happy. No matter if we accidentally fed him later than usual or kept him outside an hour too long, he would just forgive and forget. The world was so simple for him, but if we have the same attitude as he did, we would all be a lot happier.
This story was not meant to make you sad or happy, but rather show you that life is too short to be unhappy, so if a dog can do it, why can’t you. So get out there and smile and wag that tail, hypothetically, or if you do have a tail seek medical attention.