Lessons from a Dog

July 10, 2021

If there is a dog in your family, this may sound familiar, and if there’s not, please visit your local animal shelter and adopt one, but only if you’re ready to take on this big responsibility and have your life change in the best of ways; and if you’re not ready, no worries, please enjoy my stories of The Bustey, who is my boxer-mix rescue born with a white and caramel coat, white eyelashes, and the shape of a heart on his back!

For me, The Bustey came into my life when I needed him to and that special day was on Wednesday June 12, 2019, when he was 5months old and weighed 23lbs. Today, he weighs about 41 pounds at 2 1/2 years. As of this writing, he is curled up on the floor in my ‘safe place’ (more to come on this), and sound asleep, that is until I get up from behind my desk, then his sleepy eyes open as he tries to figure out the reason for my movement.

So one of the many things I enjoy about The Bustey (called ‘The’ Bustey by his godmother Katerina), is his many facial expressions, as he would slant his head to the sides as if trying to figure out his environment. Also, he has the silkiest coat and it feels like a luxurious experience just touching him or nuzzling behind his ear, which I find to be one of the most precious sensation, the combination of life, warmth, and a clean scent!!

Earlier while I was in the shower, my eyes glanced through the clear glass and I got a glimpse of his body sprawled out just outside the bathroom; talk about my soul smiling, the feeling of camaraderie I experienced that this little animal chose to be so near to me when he could have chosen so many other spots in the house.

And a few days ago during our morning walk, when he’s usually pulling me to go on our ‘long’ walk, he suddenly came to a standstill and turned around heading back in the direction to home. But the big surprise was when he turned into a driveway to greet the lady exiting her house as she walked out to her car. Wagging his tale, The Bustey, slowly walked over to her and reaching upwards began to give her doggie kisses! Caught off guard, she acknowledged that she really needed that expression of affection that morning. Afterwards, he continued his walk back to our house as if that was his mission that morning and he had fulfilled it. (lol)

One of the first experiences we created for The Bustey, the day after he came home to us, was a visit to our nearby beach. The moment his paws touched the sand, he immediately started running in circles and doing flips with such a sense of discovery, excitement, and happiness, as if to say “thank you for giving me this amazing gift!” He then ran down the beach towards the water’s edge and proceeded to have the time of his young life playing, just like a little kid would.

During our regular morning walks around the neighborhood, on a leash, I can tell that The Bustey enjoys exploring flower beds, crouching under shrubs, running after birds and squirrels, getting down on all fours as another dog approaches, as if sizing up the dog’s willingness to play, and then pouncing on him as he passes by, hoping he gets an opportunity to play. But, The Bustey, is limited by me as I pull his leash often, and give him commands that further limits his freedom.

However, it’s different when The Bustey gets to the beach, and I can safely free him from his leash, that item that holds him back, the one that keeps him from doing what he thinks he was created to do, and that is to express his full potential by running at his own whim and preference, exploring his world. Without being attached to his leash, he runs at high speed, occasionally stopping to sniff the scents of the ocean, nibble on a crab or the discarded feather of a bird, then gallops away to explore the huge expanse of the beach.

The Bustey at his favorite place, the beach!

Likewise, I, perhaps more profoundly, feel that my full potential yearns to be released, as I sometimes feel that I was born to do so much more, but my hands feel as if they’re figuratively ‘tied’, and I long to be set free of the things that hold me back. Do you ever feel this way?

I often feel that I have so much to say to the universe (lol), to contribute to society, but again, I continue with life as is. And, sometimes I wonder that if I had a mentor in my life, that perhaps, he/she would help me to discover and optimize those things so that I too would experience some of what my good little dog, The Bustey, enjoys. I feel so much pride and I glow within when he is released from his leash, and scales mounds of sand as he flies across the beach, doing what his body was meant to do. For me, it would be expanding my professional and civic accomplishments and bringing me to a place of contentment and completion of my destiny.

I will add here that I have watched my mom become physically weaker through the years as she encounters difficulty keeping up with us during our frequent walks. However, her physique remembers activity, because living in Brooklyn, New York, and working in Manhattan, New York for many decades, twice a day she would walk to the subway, push her way through to get from one train to another, walk the rest of the way across city blocks to her job, then repeat later in the day, during the hot New York summers and freezing New York winters.

Well, as Mom’s mobility became more difficult, we could tell that it made her unhappy not to be able to walk with us, that is until the day she went home with her new rollator, a few months before her 80th birthday (more to share on her celebration)! Now, Mom seems to be experiencing her full potential once more as she navigates the crowds at the oceanfront boardwalk, or as she walks with The Bustey and I around our neighborhood, or the many other places she uses her rollator. The rollator has become the thing that has brought her freedom, independence, satisfaction, exercise, and joy and I don’t think she feels limited anymore.

Being with The Bustey, I have learnt so many broader human lessons. But I would say that one of the most memorable, described above, reminds me to continue to aspire for that freedom to pursue my greater contribution to society. (kinda deep huh! lol!!)

More to come…

Published by yasmin@lifewithoutmentors

I have been a health care professional for decades and worked in hospitals all over the United States. Originally from the Caribbean. I have noticed over the years that I really enjoy creating beautiful experiences for others through oral and written feedback as well as creating events to celebrate milestones in life, as an Event Planner.

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