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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Adaptation

Adapt - make (something) suitable for a new use or purpose; modify. 

I want start by saying that this isn't a typical post, but one that has been tugging at my heart for the last few days. 

It all started with our dog, Gus, coming home after a 7 week long bird dog training camp. I am not quite sure how an animal could instill such thought provoking idiosyncrasies, but he did.


This little spotted guy of ours has been through the mill. He's bounced around from place to place over the last four months of his life. He started with a friend, then a friend's son, next onto our family, two weeks later to a training camp with 20+ other dogs and finally back home, his final destination. 

If I were him I would be a basket case.

I just don't handle change or adaptation well. If a wrench is thrown into everyday life I get in a tizzy, and want to most of the time, throw my hands in the air and call it quits.

For instance, I don't like sleeping in any other bed but my own, have shopped at the same places for years, dined at the same establishments over and over, have the same group of close friends that I made in high school and college, my bedroom furniture is 14 years old, feel weird when I buy something new to eat at the grocery store, devastated when my favorite radio DJs that I listened to for over 10 years were canned (even though I REALLY didn't listen anymore) and every single school year I freak out about my kids' new teachers and cry when we have to say goodbye to the ones they had that current year. 

I DO NOT adapt well. Period. Why? I don't know. I guess I am a classic case of a creature of habit. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

I plan to take lessons from my dog. It's kind of crazy when I sit and think about it, but at the same time it makes perfect sense.


We, as humans, get in this horrible trend of going with the flow, the motions and the every day hustle and bustle of life. If one thing changes up our routine we go into convulsions. Okay, maybe I am just speaking for myself, but I am sure most of you can relate.

This isn't the case for animals, at least my dog. He is a machine when it comes to taking life in strides and learning to adapt to his surroundings. 

Let me digress.

When he came home to us the first time it was as if we had him since he was born. No issues with restroom breaks outside, eating or sleeping habits. Two weeks later we dropped him off at camp. I thought my heart was being ripped from my body. I couldn't help but think that he thought we had abandoned him. Wrong. He did fine. He made friends and according to his trainer was at the top of is class. We brought him home and voila, he is EXACTLY the same as he was before he left, expect better. He sleeps on the same pillow that he did before, gets up at the same time in the morning to go out for a potty break, eats at the identical times, is as cuddly and protective (if not more) than before, calmer, more disciplined and as happy as ever. It's like he never left. 

How is this possible?

Maybe it's because of animals' short life years and their memories are actually well beyond humans. I am not sure. At the end of the day, our lives are numbered as well. We don't know when our last day here on earth will be, so why not embrace the changes, welcome, adapt and celebrate them. Easier said than done. I know, but I am learning thanks to a four-legged friend/family member that has taught me so much already. 


 
Shanna

35 comments:

Alice Warren said...

This is such a beautiful post! Gus is lucky to have such a loving family!

Alice
www.happinessatmidlife.com

Chelsea Oliver said...

Great post, Shanna. I used to have a shirt that said "Everything I needed to learn, I learned from my dog." Pets are important and I think we all get more from them then we could ever give. Glad Gus is home and doing well!

-Chelsea
chelsandthecity.blogspot.com

Jane {In the Pink and Green} said...

Yay for Gus! We could all learn a thing or two from him...plus, he's pretty darn cute! :)

prettyanddelectable said...

Yes, I think we are all creatures of habit to one extent or another. But often our greatest growth comes from pushing our limits and embracing change. Glad to hear that Gus is settled back in at home!

Rachelle (http://pinksole.com/) said...

Gus is such a cutie and is lucky to have you guys.

xo
​PinkSole​

Nina Piccini said...

Isn't it incredible what we can learn from our pets? They're so loyal and true.

xo, Nina
afterthe40barfinish

Susan Jeffries said...

It makes me so happy to see someone else love her dog so much. I am obsessed with mine. I was never a dog lover, but then came our two labs. My daughter calls one of them my "fur boyfriend";) Dogs are better than humans - I am convinced. My daughter freaks out about change too - she has meltdowns if I rearrange her furniture or put new sheets on the bed - always has. She is getting better as she gets older but still hates change. It is nice to see that someone else is the same as her and can live a perfectly normal life. You dont have to like change, you just have to learn to adapt. I think you, and my daughter, are perfect as is(: Susan

Kimberly said...

I can definitely relate to this post - adapting to a new situation is hard for me too! But I find that when I relax and surrender, God can use any circumstances for blessings!

www.pennypincherfashion.com

Heidi said...

We could all learn a few lessons from our pets. Although, I'm going to not tear up cardboard boxes or shred any cords that happen to lay on the floor! But I do get what you're saying and I wish I could give the unconditional love that my dogs give me.

http://jax-and-jewels.blogspot.com

Ashleigh said...

This is very, very sweet and thoughtful. Animals do go through a lot, and Gus is just so well-loved by you and your family that he is very comfortable. I think it's lovely that you felt for him and reflected upon it and resolved to change. You two are excellent for each other.
I'm glad he's found such a loving home!
-Ash
www.stylizedwannabe.blogspot.com

Sybil@PeaceitallTogether said...

I can't imagine being able to adapt that well! Even though I say I like change, I have realized that I really only like it when it's on my terms, when I decide. That, I guess, is not really adaptation :) Thanks for the insights!!

Iris Hanlin - Writer/Photographer said...

What a beautiful pup!
~ Country Girl's Daybook, recently posted: Catholic beauty & our student chapel: http://bit.ly/1c4jBmC

Caroline said...

I'm so happy that your boy is back home!

I used to despise and fear change so much, but then I realized that each time I went through a big change, I only met more and more amazing people and experience amazing opportunities. So now, while I don't necessarily anticipate change, if I know it's coming - I don't fear it as much anymore.

TheTinyHeart said...

I am happy to hear Gus is back at home and he has been such a trooper about all his experiences!

-Sharon
The Tiny Heart

Tori said...

Exactly what I needed to hear this morning :) Thanks for sharing!

Tori
FashionBlingGirlyThings

Lewis Lane said...

What a great post. They really do become part of the family. You are right though they adapt better than humans. I adopted my cat from a shelter when he was 1-1/2, and I was living alone. He has been with me though a move to a new place by ourselves, then when I moved in with my future hubby, and now our house. Never takes him long to think he owns the place. I was nervous when I moved in with my hubby because he is not a big animal person and wasn't sure how him and the cat would get along. Now he is the one telling me I am mean cause I wanted to get the cat to not sleep in the bed since I have no room with the 2 of them.

Kristen said...

What a great post! I love my dog so much and I am always learning things from her. I feel like dogs really "live in the moment" and find happiness in the smallest of things. Gus is lucky to have you :)

www.thislifeislovely.com

Helene in Between said...

we really all could take a lesson from our dogs. so true. so glad gus is back.

Laura said...

such a heart warming post!!! welcome home gus!!!!

Niki {Glossy Blonde} said...

It really is amazing how dogs can adapt so easily. I'm like you - I don't like change. I just don't do well with it at all. And it is the WORST feeling to have to leave your dog. Even when I had to leave my dog overnight at the ER I felt like he thought I was abandoning him. But they really do adapt so easily and bounce back so quickly. Dogs are such amazing animals, they really could teach humanity a thing or two.

Sarah said...

1. I am so glad Gus is home!!
2. I always marvel at Floyd's ability to adapt to new people, places and situations. It's not always perfect but for the most part he does just fine and I am always so worried about him for no reason.
Love this post!

Carly said...

So glad he's home!!!

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

We can learn so much from our dogs...although my Gus is a little like me in that he'll roll with it but give you an attitude about it.

Welcome home Gus!

Kathrin@shopschoolsleep said...

aw how sweet!! I hate change too and had an argument with matt over grocery shopping before meal planning...long story but i did not do well with the tiniest change in my routine... ironically in the classroom I can adapt to anything at the drop of a hat

Katie Did What said...

YES. I love this post. I was just nodding my head the whole time in agreement. We've only got this one life here on earth, might as well make it as good as we can and adapting well definitely helps in making living a lot easier and more pleasant! :)

xo

Brianne Bracco said...

This post is amazing...I always say that my animals have taught me more than they will ever know. I know exactly how you feel girly...I do not do change well at all, but I am slowly and surely convincing myself that a change will end up being the norm with time. ;)

Tiara Wasner said...

We have a GSP too and the looks always make me laugh.

Kayla MKOY said...

Life lessons from your pup...so cute!!! Seriously, such a great example though. Sometimes, I just need to learn to roll with the punches of life instead of freaking out that over what goes wrong!! Thanks for the reminder, girl!!

Misty C. said...

He has the sweetest face.

That is all.

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Mol C. Nichols said...

Our 4 legged friends make us so happy, sometime I wish we could communicate better with them.

Janna Renee said...

Weiser adapts better to our moves than I do!! This Army life is definitely a life of adaptation that I don't think I will ever be fully used to. Weiser is doing pretty dang good, though. He gets upset when Will is gone for long periods, but that is to be expected.

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