The Dog in Dogma
I consider myself to be a spiritual person and am quite intrigued with the moral guidelines that we all live by. In my recent self-reflection, I feel I have come upon an incredible truth that has been somewhat life changing: Live like Fido. Wait, what? Yes, for all you dog lovers out there, you will absolutely relate to my new-found dogma. For those of you who are less inclined to the loyal, four-legged friends bear with me. You too might find insight into a more fulfilled life.
Let me give you a little background on my spiritual epiphany.
First, I have an adorable little terrier named “Puppy” who might be the most loyal, hairy friend I have. (My husband isn’t that hairy so it’s a different category all together!) To better understand my affinity to this pooch, you need to understand the journey we have had together. Puppy’s tale began somewhere in the mountains of Switzerland where he was given the esteemed name of “Balzac”. Now, if you have some background in French literature you will recognize the name and appreciate the strength and character of such a name. Unfortunately, not everyone in Steamboat was as well versed in French authors and easily misunderstood the name to be a part of the male anatomy. Who wants to be the creepy lady at the park screaming for her dog named Balzac? Not me. So, the well-cultured Balzac was soon reduced to “Puppy”. Eleven years later, the name has stuck much to everyone’s comments about it being “a real original name.”
Identity and name crisis aside, Puppy has been through his fair share of surgeries, love affairs, strange, ingrained behavioral issues and ultimately adventures that have taken him across the globe. Through all his quirks and oddities, he has taught me some incredible truths which I’m eager to share with you.
In this simple truth, all else pales. The ability to love without restraint, conditions or regard for what is given in return is a dog’s life. If we all could emulate a small fraction of this reckless love, life would be better.
Recently I was involved in a panel discussion and the comment was made that we all need to slow down. Our lives have become so busy and hectic running from one obligation to the next that we barely have time to stop. Dogs have no problem taking the morning to lay in the sun or simply curl up on the couch knowing life will continue after they catch a quick snooze. Yes, we have responsibilities but we also must slow down, rest and enjoy the sublime moments of life.
Stress? What Stress?
As elementary as it sounds, we create undue stress in our lives. I believe this to be because our priorities are out of whack. If we can assess what our utmost priorities are and allocate our energies toward those needs, we would alleviate so much undue stress. I realize we can’t just be concerned with exercise, affection and some food but you get my point.
Smell Some Butts
No, I haven’t completely lost it. Although, I may have most of you wondering what I may be alluding to! Quite simply, we all take ourselves way too seriously. Maintaining our pretenses and images is exhausting. Rarely are we willing to bare our honest self with others, showing our weaknesses and imperfections. If we all would be willing to bare our true selves, we would find our relationships more enriched.
Anyone who has seen their dog smile, knows the immense joy it brings them. Well, this is no less true with our fellow mankind. There is so much power in a smile. The effects are therapeutic for everyone involved.
I trust you can take some of these truths and bring them to life in your own person! Our four-legged friends will be proud.
Caroline Lalive Carmichael
Caroline Lalive Carmichael moved to Steamboat with her family in 1995 and joined the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. After one season, Caroline was named to the U.S. Ski Team and competed for 13 years, attending two Olympics. After retiring in 2009, she returned to Steamboat as a coach. She and fellow Olympian Nelson Carmichael were married in 2012 and welcomed their daughter, Freya, in 2015.