With the New Year approaching, I took the opportunity to have a serious conversation with Pepper. She was settled in comfortably on the loveseat in the kitchen – napping, actually – and I sat down next to her.
She perked right up. I told her I had some proposed resolutions for her. “Some are more important than others,” I noted. “The first three you might consider aspirational. The last three you should consider high priority. I’ve written them down on a list for you, and I hope they will serve as a guide and a motivation in the New Year. Here they are:
- I resolve to ignore rolls of toilet paper and boxes of kleenex and their possibilities.
- I resolve stay off your bed, especially when anyone else is in the room as a witness.
- I resolve to stop counter surfing.
- I resolve to greet people in ways that do not include jumping on them.
- I resolve to not bark so fiercely that I look and sound like a rabid dog when the mother with the double stroller walks by.
- I resolve to steer clear of poop in the yard, even if I am sorely tempted to roll in it or eat it.”
I looked at her with a steely gaze. “What do you think of those resolutions?”
“I’m down with them,” she responded cheerfully. “I can try.”
“Do you have any ideas for resolutions for me?” I asked. “I’ve been thinking about those too, and I have a long list for myself.”
She considered for a moment. “I can only think of one.”
“Only one?” I asked incredulously.
“Just the one: I resolve to listen more than I speak and to speak the truth I discern.”
“Wow, Pep… that is Yoda-level profound. Thank you. That is exactly what I want to do in the new year. More listening… more truth. If I can.” Quietly: “And thanks for not mentioning all the other ways I could be a better human.”
She licked my hand and I kissed her face and she decided it was a good time to get back to her nap. I didn’t blame her. It is wise to begin the New Year well rested.
* * *
May the Force be with you in the New Year!
How old is Miss Pep? I know it took my beloved Strider a year to train. He’s totally chill now, although I would never, ever be careless enough to leave bacon within his reach!
Pep is a year and a half, and any bad behavior is completely my fault! Even wise dogs like Peppy do what is insufficiently discouraged. Warmest of wishes to you for a Happy New Year, Miriam! And I’ll check in with you via email for some tips! Xo
Listen more… How wise, thank you! And Happy New Year!
Thank you, Sine! And all best wishes to you! xo