#Quarantine Dog Lessons

It’s hard to believe Cozmo is over 16 years old. Little things like his different barks, how much he sleeps, and knowing when he’s ready to walk are behaviours I’ve only started to notice because of quarantine.

His mannerisms weren’t as obvious while everyone was still working, day in day out. As a result of such observations, I thought I’d share what God has been teaching me during quarantine, through quality time spent with good ol’ Cozmo. Our 16-year old Pekingese-pug aka Peke-a-pug is one of the most loyal, annoying, sweet and frustrating companions in my family’s, and for that, we’re blessed.

LESSON #1 - Slowing down is a good thing. 

Before going for a walk, you’ll find Cozmo either sitting on his blanket or laying flat like a rug on the floor. Upon seeing his harness, he would “flop”, show off his puppy eyes and make himself heavy while sinking back into the floor. This made me consider… maybe slowing down and resting a little longer to appreciate “now” is okay. We may be living in the generation of “go, go, go”, but since it’s quarantine, maybe we should consider taking it down just a notch and appreciate the present.

LESSON #2 - Take walks without distractions.

The other night as Cozmo and I turned the last corner to head home and 5-7 minutes away, he never stopped to mark his territory. He trotted along the middle of the street as one would when walking with purpose! I looked down at him and noticed his evenly-paced cadence while he licked his nose.

Oftentimes, I catch myself devising possibilities of everything that could go wrong. When purpose is communicated to me through God’s Word, prayer, or whatever He decides to use to, I become afraid and stop “walking”. Here, I recognize that fear gets in the way and I get tired of walking. That night while Cozmo trotted along, I learned despite the unusual speed Cozmo walked the last home stretch that I should continue walking and do so with purpose me, through his trotting, that I should continue walking with purpose.

“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ.”

Philippians 1:6
LESSON #3 - Simple things make me smile.

At home, you’ll find Cozmo following someone around the house. If he’s not a “personal tail”, then he’s likely snuggled within 1 foot away from someone.

My brother and I came across a music video of “The Standard Pug” and Cozmo’s mannerisms fit the standard. “The standard pug, there’s no such thing as privacy. He’ll follow anywhere, you’ll see him there. The pug – an eating and sleeping poop machine”. Check out the song for yourself! The Standard Pug. What’s funny is that the grip under his paws isn’t has grippy as it used to be. While he follows us around the house, he’ll be slipping and sliding right behind you. It’s quite the sight to see – cute and embarrassing, but hard not to love. He reminds me that simple things like opening my eyes to a new day and opening the blinds to let the light in, are mundane blessings worth smiling about.

LESSON #4 - I like to eat, eat, eat.

…apples and bananas, and so does Cozmo! This guy will literally eat ANYTHING at ANYTIME. He eats twice a day and qualifies as a true Filipino pup. He loves rice and ulam (dish to eat with rice), and if there’s no rice, he settles for pancit and his kibbles. Since his vision is slowly deteriorating, you’ll catch him sniffing his food before going in. It’s funny because you’ll know whether or not he’s excited to eat: he’ll sniff his food bowl and nyam it down, or sniff it, scoff like an upset child who doesn’t want to eat his veggies, and walk away. Similarly, I’m learning practice timed nutrition, eating every 2-3 hours regularly and journalling my meals. As much as I like to eat, I value what goes in my body and keep track of what goes in. Don’t get me wrong, I give myself a “cheat day” on the weekends and on a one-off day, you’ll find me baking and eating ice cream or chocolate. Yup! I said it 🙂

LESSON # 5 - I need my sleep. 

When quarantine life started, I saw several friends posting “I can’t sleep” or “Still awake” posts. I wondered, Wow, why can’t they sleep? Shouldn’t they be sleeping more? Shouldn’t I be sleeping more? Then I realized without a schedule, I’d probably be pulling all nighters and sleeping anytime, whenever I felt like it. I took that as a wake up call (pun intended), to really get a grip of my sleeping habits! One of my biggest struggles is getting at least 7 hours of sleep.

One practice I recently implemented was turning my phone off upon starting my winding down routine . Comment below if you, too have been having challenges around your sleep times. Perhaps I’ll write a post about my winding down routine in the near future – we shall see :). Cozmo on the other hand, has no issues when it comes to falling asleep – the guy can knock out anywhere and anytime! He’s living his best life: wake up, get tummy rubs, stretches, walks and eats twice a day, stays hydrated, and sleeps like a baby! Real talk, he snores like a human. LOL!

LESSON #6 - Life is precious.

We need constant reminders of this simple fact.

Life during these days in quarantine is indeed precious. There are people all over the world suffering with COVID-19 or other sicknesses. Maybe you’ve caught yourself feeling sorry for yourself because ___________ (fill in the blank). I’m also guilty of feeling sorry for myself every now and then because I’m “just at home”. Umm hello – most people are, and I should be counting myself blessed because I am home. Shoutout and special blessings go to all of our frontline workers, nurses, security, grocery store staff, and all other employees with courage to make it to work for humanity.

Not impressed… LOL

Cozmo’s little pity cries before having a bath reminds me: being uncomfortable is essential when recognizing blessings right in front of me. If only he could tell me what it is he doesn’t like about baths… Whatever the reason, the process of wetting, lathering, and rinsing this fur ball is essential to being fresh and handsome! If you’re feeling bad for yourself or experiencing negative thoughts, think of Cozmo’s cry – deal with it and count yourself blessed. Sometimes that’s all you can do. Besides, what value does negativity have on your life?

“Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, rejoice!”

Philippians 4:4
LESSON #7 - I am not alone. 

While I sat in our newly-arranged basement (aka gym, entertainment room and the best reading spot), Cozmo kept me company. He was on his blanket and I was sitting cross-legged on the couch. It wasn’t long after sitting down, that he stood up and snuggled right next to the ottoman. This old man was showing me how not alone I was. With one hour left of work, he fell asleep and started snoring. This reminded me that although at times I fall asleep during my walk with God and lose sight of His will, my Heavenly Father is with me, no matter what!

“Are you done yet?”

Teaching [you] to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:20

There you have it Beauts. Life lessons my dog has taught me, by the grace of God. I hope that this season of quarantine can help you see that you are blessed beyond measure. If you don’t have a dog or a pet, maybe there’s that one person that’s been around and checking in on you. Maybe you’re that person who checks in with your family and friends and you feel alone. Perhaps you’re okay with where you’re at. Whatever the case may be, count yourself blessed to be living during these times.

You’re learning. You’re growing. You’re living.

— LifeisaBeaut ❤

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