Life Lessons My Dog Taught Me
Dogs are the best. There is always an abundance of affection (and dog hair), enthusiasm, loyalty, and unassuming, never-ending and ever-enduring love when we invite these beasts into our homes and our beds. There’s a trade-off, though: We know when we bring their fuzzy little faces into our lives that inevitably we will outlive them. It is such an unfairness in life that they simply do not live as long as we do. At least we can take comfort in the fact that they never take a single moment for granted, which is important when you think they have to cram the equivalent of seven years’ worth of living into a single calendar year.
This is a story about how much one can cram into every single moment of a dog’s life. This dog was my dog Trout, an adventure mongrel whose story I feel I need to share as a reminder to live every single moment, as you just never know when it might be your last.
My husband Travis and I adopted Trout and her brother Twigs in March 2011 after they were dumped at a pound near Sydney, Australia. They were about four months old, riddled with fleas and worms, and left to their own fate with the animal control system.
Our adventures started immediately. We dragged the pups that weekend to the infamous Man From Snowy River Bush Festival, a celebration of Australian horsemanship where the pups learned about horse smells, slept on old boots and navigated crowds of people. For the next three years, we toured Australia by car, kayak, canoe and train, always with our pups in tow. Trout swam off white sand beaches, touched noses with a red-bellied black snake, competed in dogsled and skijor competitions, floated on a steamboat, kayaked hidden coves, climbed the highest mountain peak in the state, chased kangaroos and much more.
I wish I could share all of her adventures with you—I could probably fill a book. What you need to know is that she was with me whenever there was fun to be had, full of enthusiasm, never questioning why or where we were going next. Trout simply lived in that moment and had fun as long as we were together.