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.