Dog days attitude

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Kym Seabolt's dog, Jackson

So recently I was stuck in an honest to goodness traffic jam. Seriously.

Where I live this is cause for alarm and almost celebration. Forty minutes stuck in one spot and it didn’t involve a tractor? What?

I had our littlest dog, Jackson, with me so that was helpful. He was actually a pretty chill little dude about the whole thing.

Technically, we were running late (at that point) for his veterinary grooming appointment, so he may have had a biased agenda.

I wasn’t angry about the traffic tie-up. It’s a huge construction project, years in the making, intended to turn our one-stoplight town into at least a two-stoplight town.

So we are all pretty excited as you can well imagine. We knew there would be inconveniences.

I just didn’t expect them to be so inconvenient at that moment in time. I fully admit that while I understand that this is the price of progress, I got a little … sighey … as time moved on and we did not.

Delay

I’m always flummoxed by construction choices. I know they have their reasons. Probably very good ones.

Yet, from a layperson’s perspective, I am confused. If they are going to shut down traffic in one direction for nearly an hour, why is it “construction ahead.”

Wouldn’t “Road Closed” better serve us? I had plenty of time to ponder this as I put my truck in park and sat.

As noted earlier, I did have company. Jack. Nine pounds of pure snuggle with a high dose of excitement if we go anywhere.

I am not one of those “take my pets everywhere” people. I tend to believe they are happiest lounging at home with their enormous basket of toys, treats, and central air or heated blanket (weather permitting).

There is simply nothing at the post office, retail stores, or etc. that Jack finds as exciting as the life of leisure.

He does enjoy rides to the park to play and Dairy Queen for small vanilla twists (he shares with our other dog, Nova. He’s watching his figure you know).

Thus, even with the veterinary office as the end goal, time on the road with me was pretty exciting stuff for Jack.

It was a perfect weather morning. Dry and breezy. Not too hot, not too cold.

I cracked the window and a breeze that smelled like fresh air and fall wafted in.

I worried that it might mess up my hair. I sniffed in annoyance.

Jack lifted his tiny button nose in sniffed out bliss.

Relax

So as we sat there even longer, I sighed. I put the truck in park. I sighed again.

Below us on the underpass, a train whistle sounded. Jack’s ears perked up. This was exciting stuff.

We don’t get many train sounds back at home on the hill. He turned to look at me like “this is AMAZING.”

So we/he listened to the train for a bit. He barked at it for good measure. I barked at the clock on my dash.

“What is TAKING SO LONG?” As the train disappeared in the distance, Jack settled back down in the passenger seat.

The sun was bright and beautiful and a perfect beam made a warm patch just perfect for naps. I wondered if it was going to get too hot in the truck before too long from all this sunshine?

“Great. More things to complain about!”

Jack found a sunbeam and yawned at me as if to say “isn’t this the life mama?”

He stretched out for a rest. Sitting there, watching the sunshine, feeling the breeze, scratching Jack’s belly and not moving an inch in traffic for nearly an hour, I realized I could learn a lot from my dog.

Perspective

We were safe. We were comfortable. We had good company.

When people say “dog days” as a synonym for “lethargy, discomfort and inconvenience,” I have to think we are getting it all wrong.

Dogs find pleasure in the smallest things. Life’s inconveniences are just an opening to find something new to investigate or enjoy.

I’m trying more often to be more like Jack.

Explore everything, find joy in the moment, adventure in the inconvenience, and have a happy attitude as often as possible.

If you still get annoyed and upset over minuscule things that really can’t be helped, the proverbial “first-world problems” rather than stopping to relax and enjoy the downtime and the sunbeams, then you don’t know Jack.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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