Life Lessons from a Dog: Luna and the Cone

January 22, 2020

Luna and her Cone

Luna is our newest family member.  We adopted her in August, a couple of months after our oldest doxie, Angel, passed away.  Molly, our remaining doxie, was quite lonely without her lifelong pal and our 9-year-old son had desperately wanted a dog to be both a cuddle buddy and a playmate. Our lifestyle doesn’t accommodate large dogs, despite my dreaming, and my allergies are often a source of contention. So, when we found Luna, a 3-month-old shih-poo (shih tzu mixed with poodle), she was a perfect fit for that tall order. Her energy has been a source of stress for Molly and Reba, my dad’s dog that joined the household a couple months later, and she has kept us laughing as she has learned to be a dog from them and find her place in the family. We continuously work on her basic commands—she’s a total work in progress.

The week we brought her home – she wasn’t much bigger than our Guinea pig

Last week, she reached the 6-month milestone, and it was time for her to be spayed, plus she had a toe that needed tended to, so this was the perfect time. She came home, groggy, and unhappy, and in a cone with orders to wear it for the next 2 weeks until she returned to have stitches removed.  We, like many houses, call it her “Cone of Shame”, much like Dug from Up.  If you haven’t seen it, here’s a quick clip of Dug and his Cone of Shame.

The ride home from the vet after surgery. I was not her favorite hooman

In typical puppy fashion, when they don’t like something, the struggle to escape it—and she struggled hard.  After a day or two, though, she stopped and accepted it, learning to do all the things she loved with it, and even adapting it to her advantage for scooping up toys, treats and food. It even proved a great assistant for digging, her favorite hobby.

As I sat with her this morning, it occurred to me how much I can learn from this little fluffy ball of cuteness and energy, which brings me to this posting.  Life rarely goes as we envision it. The older we get, the more our conversations shift from our dreams and aspirations to the things we always wanted to do but had to sacrifice. Sometimes it leaves us frustrated, sad, or even bitter because of the void of what we feel is missing from our lives. I know I get that way from time to time, especially after all the obstacles 2020 brought us.

It’s always a good time to play – bringing me her toy this morning, in the hopes of a good tug and toss session

And then I realized that, if we embrace our challenges like Luna, accepting it and learning to use it to our advantage, we can be happy just the way we are, possibly happier.  I dreamed of traveling this beautiful country and around the world, but life keeps changing the course of that plan, no matter how hard I try to get back to it.  But life is pretty good most days. I have my faith, family, friends, a career I love that makes a difference, however small, and amazing memories of travels I have experienced, as well as books, movies and shows to watch to continue to learn about all the places I dream about. And I have a puppy, that is growing into one amazing dog, to sit beside me while I enjoy them, walk with me while I explore locally, and beg for a bite of every tasty experience I enjoy.  Thanks, Luna, for teaching me something today and inspiring me to share it with you.

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