It’s been a beautiful summer day; idyllic in its warm completeness. The humans are working in the yard and I have been contentedly chewing a branch, thinking of how my life has changed in the past six weeks.
I can definitely pick out the turning point as The Day I Let It All Go. As I have mentioned before, when I was one year old, I was picked up as a Stray and spent the next six months in a kennel at the Chicago Ridge Animal Shelter. Now, I am not ungrateful in any way whatsoever to those kind people at the Shelter – far from it! They saved me from the streets and, being a no-kill Shelter, saved me from certain death as well. They are some of the kindest, hardest-working, and most loving people in the world. I am forever thankful for them.
But, life in the Shelter is tough, and it’s not the same as having a family of your own and the freedom to roam around your own house and backyard. So, everyone’s main goal is to get adopted. At first, I was confident I wouldn’t be there long. I saw dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles come and go. I knew I would be next. Then I wasn’t. And I still wasn’t. Time dragged on. I got more and more anxious and hyper. My behavior got a little hysterical. I began to bang my head on the top of the kennel to get attention. That didn’t work, and I only succeeded in giving myself a scar on the top of my head.
I know you humans stress yourselves out about stuff, too, and give yourselves scars that you can, and can’t, see, banging yourselves against the kennel walls you’ve built up for yourselves. “No, no, no, Maggie,” you say. But I know it is so. Even me, as a dog, I know it is so.
One day I decided it wasn’t worth it. I was either going to get adopted or I wasn’t. That was the day I decided to Let It All Go. And I did. Shortly thereafter, my new family came into the Shelter. When they saw me, I was lying calmly in my kennel, paws folded neatly. When they looked at me, I cocked my head to the side, politely. The other dogs started barking, screeching, and yapping, hurling themselves against the kennels, but not me. My soon-to-be family looked at all the other dogs, but they always came back to me, and they marveled at how I “acted like a lady”. You know the rest of the story. Here I am.
Although I am not perfect, and am still suffering with Separation Anxiety from my owners due to the long months in the Shelter, I am happy to report that I am getting better every day. And, I have learned to let a lot of things go, and just let the good things happen. Remarkably, they do.