Saturday, April 10, 2010

What will my legacy be?

I’m now 3 ½. Like everyone I have no precise date to tell me how long I’ll be here for – it could be until the end of today or if I’m really lucky it could be until I’m seventeen or more in human years. I have no way of knowing exactly how long and neither do my people. There are averages for my breed but I’m not your average dog!

I’ve often thought it would be useful if people and animals had a “best before” or “use by” date stamped on their forehead (like they put on milk and dog food) so those around them could see it and didn’t waste time with silly things and arguments but just enjoyed every moment while they could. I sometimes look at humans with the weird things they argue, worry and fret about and wonder if its really worth the time they waste like when families and friends don’t speak for ages, and people stay in jobs for all the wrong reasons, or doing things that don’t matter and put off doing the good things until they retire only to find they miss out because they weren’t left with enough time.

But I digress - I am a dog and I live in the moment. Moments are all us dogs have so I don’t dwell about things in my past (like when my foot was sore) and I don’t think about the future (like if it’ll bring me pleasure or pain) because I live in the moment like the moment when I see the neighbouring cat, the moment when my food bowl appears or I’m going on a walk or I playing with my people or other dogs, the moment I see something interesting like an animal program on TV, or I’m going for a car ride, or I find an interesting smell in our back yard, or there is a ball to chase or I’m running along the beach towards the waves - but sometimes in the moment (like when I’m lying on my back four paws up to the warm sun with my mum beside me on the lawn (also on her back staring up at the fluffy white clouds and blue sky) while she rubs my tummy) I close my eyes and wonder what my legacy will be…

Humans like to leave legacies. Something to make them feel that their time, however long or short, actually meant something and that they will not be forgotten too soon.

Often what they choose to leave behind is money and possessions, and some people spend so much time getting things to add to thier pile that they miss out on other experiences with the ones they are wanting to leave their possesions to. There is a saying “he who has the most toys wins” but I know I came into this world without toys and you can’t take toys with you (since I got many of my toys from the last dog that lived here), and although they are fun at the time toys I don’t want my toy collection to be my legacy.

So what about another generation of me… well unfortunately, due to one of those visits to the vet (and yes the vet is still my friend and I still want t to go back to visit him!), being a father isn’t to be, but I live in the knowledge that I’m an uncle and also my daddy was a very busy boy so there are lots of his puppies around the world and lots of half-siblings in New Zealand (I’ve met some of them) with my good looks.

Then there is fame. There are those who seek it and those who just become famous for the things that they do. I’m not a show dog with titles, but I do dabble in obedience classes and agility classes for fun. Yes you read right “obedience for fun” as I get to socialise with other dogs, and my mum looks so happy as I do better with each challenge like dumbbells and scent cloths, but my mum is not so serious that she wants to win proper competitions with me as she’d get too stressed “she” wasn’t doing the right thing or “she” wasn’t walking the right way! So she takes me to classes to be social with others, and instead I have certificates for something called “Canine Good Citizen” from the NZ Kennel Club (they do a similar thing overseas in places like America and the UK) and every so often we do a ribbon parade thing, but I doubt I’ll be remebered for my efforts in those!

There is also being of service to others (like the animals that visit old people) and that is something to explore in the future (mum thinks I might be good at it), but for now I try to make people around me smile by eagerly going up to humans for pats, by being friendly to all the other dogs I meet (even the growly ones!), by wanting to play with everyone and every dog, by getting my humans attention and making them smile when they’re having a bad day, and by enjoying each and every moment I have.

Yes I think for now the thing that I will work on, and what my legacy might be, is to make others smile at the things that I do.



Heather and Ellie said...

Great post, Riley! Maybe this blog can become your do sound as though you would be good in an obedience competition though.
But, I guess your mum is the one to decide :)

Sheila and Bob said...

Great Post Riley;
You gave us a lot to think about.

Hamish & Rescue Sophie

sprinkles said...

Great post! As Sheila and Bob have stated above, you've given us a lot to think about.

I have no clue what my legacy will be.

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Well, if it helps, I khan tell woo my mom smiled when she saw the last pikh!

PeeEssWoo: My mom ends up asking herself the same khwestions - what should I tell her?

the booker man said...

you are totally good at making us doggies and hoomans smile, so don't worry about that. :) i think you are very much right about your legacy, and i would like to do the same. i can't think of anything more better than to bring joy to all the hoomans and doggies that i meet.
the booker man

Jacqueline said...

Such a wonderful photo of your sweet, silly face, Riley; you always make us smile, you adorable boy!...Happy weekend...xo...Calle, Halle, Sukki

MAX said...

Hey Riley!
You have "STAR" stamped on your forehead already! Why am I saying this? Because your legacy is to be the best you can be...for your Mom! It seems that you are already sharing those moments where Mom gives you another "Star" on your forehead.
We love are already a GReat dog! Each of us is unique...something to celebrate!
GReat post!

The Thundering Herd said...

We think making others smile (and your blog header makes us smile everytime) is a great legacy!

1000 Goldens said...

You are awesome Riley, that you for sharing this nice post (and your beautiful puppy face - such a fun picture)!

Anya said...

Hi Riley
You are such a sweety :-)
Lovely interesting story today
on your blog ...

Have a happy weekend
Hugs Kareltje =^.^=

Honey the Great Dane said...

That's a great legacy, Riley - sometimes the "simplest" things are the most valuable! :-)

Honey the Great Dane

Scout 'n Freyja said...

A wonderful and thought-provoking post. You are a very smart dog for one so young!

meowmeowmans said...

You always manage to put a smile on our face, Riley. :) Have a great weekend!

Ms. ~K said...

We enjoyed our visit to your great doggie bloggie...this is a wonderful post!
Licks and sniffs,
Zack, Sassy and Buddy