You know that friend of yours, the one whose enthusiasm seems to know no bounds? The one who always seems to be happy? The one who never fails to answer with a big, fat “YES!” when you suggest going somewhere or doing something, doing anything? That’s our dog, Ike.
Each time we head out the door he greets the outside as if it’s the first time he’s sniffed fresh air and seen blue sky. He lifts his head to breathe in the scents and races ahead of us, eager to meet what’s coming, to follow trails, to dig, to race through the dead leaves purely for the rattling sound they make as he passes through.
Sometimes Ike runs with such enthusiasm that his hindquarters fishtail to his left. Unsafe at any speed.
The mere sight of his shiny dog bowl makes him drool uncontrollably. And this even though he eats the same thing day after day after day.
When we reach down to take a toy or bone from him, he doesn’t growl or bite. He yields (unless it’s play time) and implores us with his eyes to give back what is his. If we need to check his paws or belly or ears to pull off a painful burr or a hungry tick, he doesn’t get angry, he gently licks our fingers to let us know that it hurts.
The Frisbee is his drug. He can never get enough. He would follow it to the ends of the earth. He is trying with all of his heart to learn to catch it in mid-air, but he is short and not fast enough and the Frisbee soars so high and glides so easily past him. The failures never dim his determination to catch it. He tries again and again.
Sleep comes to him with ease; there is no tossing and turning, no early morning hours spent staring up at the ceiling, going over past mistakes and future fears. He turns over so that his belly is up, exposed, completely vulnerable. Totally trusting.
Ike lives as if the moments that have slipped into the past have no effect on the moments still to come.
I want to live like Ike.