Debi Nelson

Lessons from Riley

Riley jumping off dockThe past two summers, I have been fortunate to be able to watch Riley truly enjoy coming to the cabin and playing in the lake.  He doesn’t just come to the lake–he experiences cabin life and the lake and is not shy about showing us all just what he thinks!  I was a bit envious as I saw him leap into the water, just for the fun of it, AND not care who he got wet while jumping in or climbing back out.  He was free to fully enjoy the experience!  While he wasn’t very polite, it was pretty cool to see.   Maybe we should toss aside our own self consciousness and politeness and make some waves, splash, play, then shake off the water and run full bore to do something else!

I loved watching how Riley wasn’t embarrassed or ashamed to show the full extent of his emotions.  He wasn’t just a little happy when he ran down to the dock or when he ran around the yard with the kids, he was exhilaratingly (yes -a real word!) overjoyed!  His whole body shook with excitement and anticipation.  He was a happy dog to have his family around him with the freedom to run and play!

However, he also wasn’t shy about showing his loneliness and sadness at bedtime when the kids went into the tent with Grandpa and I went into the cabin and he was in his kennel (right next to the tent but not IN the tent!).  During the fireworks later that night, he wasn’t shy about whimpering with the loud noises and flashes of light.   Riley showing his true feelings felt so honest and refreshing!

He also was not shy about following his nose and instincts!  At the campfire, he smelled a tasty hotdog and wiggled his body anyway he could to get in close enough to try and steal one.  While he truly tried so hard to sit quietly and watch us eat, he just couldn’t help himself and once in awhile and snatched a morsel that had fallen on the ground (or he caused a few morsels to be dropped on he ground!).

Riley also pushed some physical boundaries.  He knew he wasn’t suppose to go down the path to the lake when the boys were fishing — and he tried soRiley heading in bushes nose first hard to stop at the top of the path, but the prize (or goal) was just too great and he would risk being yelled at to fly into the water one more time.    When he thought he heard something in the woods (sometimes a chipmunk and many times just a rock being tossed), he would dash into the bushes to investigate, tossing caution to the wind that it could be dangerous to him!

Read my words— I am not encouraging dangerous or illegal ‘rule breaking’ behavior!!! but seriously, many of us just play ‘life’ way too polite and serious– afraid we may look silly or someone may see us actually having fun!  Those that we ‘splash’ on may be thankful we share our joy with them:)  Maybe there ARE some goals that are worth wiggling our way into or may be worth some criticism and we should still ‘run to the lake’ if we feel passionate enough about them!

Riley getting a hug on the stepsOne more lesson from Riley — For all of his tough and tumble and running crazy, he also had a soft side and would be careful not to knock down the toddling one year old and was gentle around the 3 year old.  He was also very content to be petted and hugged and loved on and seemed to know the human, as well as he, was enjoying the close and quiet moments!  Sometimes we maybe need to be still and let others hug and love on us, for they likely are also being blessed with both hearts warmed!

School has started – here are a few lessons I’ve learned lately.  What about you?

[A special thanks to Lisa and Gyovanna for the use of their pictures for this blog!]




One Response

  1. Rhonda Wilhelmi
    Rhonda Wilhelmi September 11, 2015 at 2:24 pm |

    Love it! I am a pet lover so I was caught up in it right away. How Cool. You have a great talent. See ya soon Rhonda

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