Unconditional Dog Love
My dog, Cocoa, is quite far from perfect. She begs when we eat, barks at the neighbors, growls when we disturb her sleep and puts on her skids when someone tries to take her for a walk. I believe she is so smart she has US trained. I know that Russell and his Los Angeles dog training team at Fun Paw Care could wonderfully train her, but she is nearing thirteen and lives thousands of miles away in my childhood home. In fact, every time I meet a Fun Paw Care training client or foster dog, I am all the more impressed by their obedient and well-trained demeanor, especially after growing up with my little terror. And yet, I love her just the way she is.
Cocoa wasn’t the first to teach me what unconditional love is all about. Every animal I met since birth has exhibited unrestricted, non-discriminatory compassion, each with an individual approach: some shy, timid, boisterous. These animals never judged my appearance, always listened attentively, and never asked for anything in return, yet they appreciated affection. As a child, after my brother and I demonstrated sufficient responsibility, my family was blessed in getting the love of my life, Cocoa. We grew up together, and are best friends, sisters, and loyal companions. She was there when I needed to grieve the loss of family and friends when I did algebra homework on the couch after I got back from rehearsals, and she was my rock through tough times. Even though Cocoa tends to follow my father around and sometimes jumps off the couch when I sit, none of this matters. I unrestrictedly and unconditionally will always love her.
Even today, in the hustle and bustle of real-life, just seeing a dog can quiet the chaos in my mind and bring me back to reality. It is struggle NOT to be present and happy when seeing a dog run with such joy, full of energy, curiosity, tail wagging, and smiling eyes. We have so much to learn from our best friends. Humans get so caught up in their minds, the opinions of others, the past and the future; our pets are much wiser than this, and though their life span may be shorter, I would be willing to bet every moment is appreciated, peaceful, and filled with love.
Thank you, Cocoa, for teaching me how to love. My relationship with you is what I hope to mimic elsewhere: unconditional, loyal, giving, and forever my best friend. Absolutely nothing in the world could shake our connection, even when you struggle to remember me when I come home after months away. Even when I meet the cutest puppies, nothing replaces you from being first in my heart. Animals have such a gift of living in the now, maximizing each moment, listening fully and non-judgmentally. Let us learn from one another.
So today, let your pet know just how much they mean to you. Or if you don’t have one, there is no better time to rescue: simultaneously save a wonderful life, and gain a best friend. Go play with a pup, and let others experience this wonderful energy. Appreciate every moment, and love the dog you’re with!