My dog Keely is a reminder to me every day that chasing goodness is well worth the chase. I rescued him from the Humane Society in New York eight years ago. Shortly after getting Keely, I learned that he was terribly sick and too young to be away from his mother. At one point, I remember the vet clearly admonishing me: “This dog cannot miss a meal! It’s a matter of life and death. He is too small for his breed. I don’t see how this dog is going to make it!”(At that point Keely, weighed 2lbs4oz, and we thought he was six weeks old, we later discovered he was only two weeks old). I was stunned by the vet’s words. Nevertheless, time was of the essence so Keely and I set out together to fight for his health.
We had to create a routine and stick to it…no matter what. And today, we still have a routine. Thankfully, we have been able to modify it through the years. However, there is one element to our routine that has remained constant all of these years. And Keely never forgets it. I recently learned that even when he boards at puppy camp, he will seek out staffers to make sure his routine stays consistent. So what is it, you might wonder? It’s the morning hug.
You see, as a puppy, every morning after he had his first meal and had been out, I would sit and hold him before I jumped into my own routine. Not knowing whether each day was his last, I wanted to make sure he felt loved. And as he has grown over the years (now well over 80lbs, double the weight they originally predicted he would reach) he wants that hug every morning. He will follow me around, bark, and paw at me until he gets his morning hug. Earlier this week, I was rushing to make a meeting and he gently reminded me that he was still patiently waiting. My first thought was ‘c’mon Keely just let me finish and I’ll get you before I leave, I have to make this meeting.’ As I had that thought, he gave me this half bark, as if to say, ‘no, you c’mon this is our routine!’ Candidly, it made me laugh and I immediately acquiesced to his request. I was on time for my meeting with time to spare and a grin.
Chasing goodness is all about you making time for what is important. Sometimes it is our routine and other times it could mean deviating briefly. As I write this post, Keely is sitting next to me, strong, healthy and happy. I never allowed myself to believe he would not make it. Sometimes just setting our eye on the prize, believing and having faith is enough. People and even animals appreciate the small things. Are you building goodness into your routine?