July 8, 2011
On Tuesday of this week I had to put down our dog, Marley, who had served our family well for 10 years.
He was a very special dog because he came to us as a gift. My wife was on her daily walk and he started following her home as she left the park near our home. He had a red collar but no tags and we were unable to find his owner.
His coat was a beautiful burnt orange with white “Santa Claus fur” on his chest, and black mixed in on his muzzle. From our research, he appeared to be part Border Collie and part German Shepherd.
It wasn’t long after we had him that we figured out why someone may have abandoned him. He was an escape artist… he could leap a 6 ft. fence. We couldn’t believe it either until we saw it happen. One time on the 4th of July, I made the mistake of putting him out in the back yard while fireworks were going off in the neighborhood. He not only leapt the fence to get out, he was out all night and climbed the fence to get back in as evidenced by his bloody paws!
Sometimes he would bait us into chasing him around the backyard. We had a trampoline on one side of the yard and a swing set on the other and he would run around these in a Figure 8. He’d usually run around twice and if we weren’t paying attention, on the third round he’d jump the fence with a full head of steam and race down the street to Cat Lady’s house to see what he could snag.
As much as we hated having to chase him, we came to realize that this was his “work”. Border Collies are herding dogs and with no cattle or sheep to herd, he had to do something. He also got work from his commitment to a one mile daily walk.
His physical nature served him mentally and emotionally. It’s no different with us. As the body goes so goes the mind. We’ll miss his role as courageous protector of our family, his need to do something physical, and his sense of duty to serve.
Do you have the courage to protect your health? How are you serving yourself by doing something physical?
You have the ability to give yourself the “gift” of health by the actions you take. You can also relinquish your health by taking no action. What choice will you make?