To fight off worry about the future or regret about the past, I actively look for ways to live in the moment - when I get it right, it's an incredibly peaceful feeling. I’m closest to that state of being when I am interacting with animals and it's one of the reasons I became a veterinarian, committed to a vocation that celebrates that interaction we have with our pets - the human-animal bond.
I grew up in a household full of animals, but my first dog, Missy, was a birthday present when I turned eight - she was a beagle, basset, terrier mix that my parents found in the classifieds. She was my best friend and taught me so much about compassion and love, fun and 0vercoming fear. She was there for me through the most difficult years of my life. She died while I was in college and when I think back now, I almost don't remember my childhood before her. I’ve had many other dogs and cats and other pets that I loved dearly, but my first dog will always hold a special place in my heart.
I saw one of my favorite sayings on a t-shirt the other day: "Be The Person Your Dog Thinks You Are." What a worthy goal!
The relationships we have with animals truly are opportunities to learn new ways of living and connecting with people. I am a better human being because of the animals in my life. Both our dog Guinness and cat Pixel compel me to practice behaviors that help me to live a better life:
Today, I will try to be the person my dog thinks I am.
Mary Craig, DVM, MBA
Dr Craig is a mobile veterinarian with a house call practice focused on end-of-life care.