One of things I love most about my dogs also tries my patience at times. Their passion.
I am a passionate person. A mundane conversation tonight really has me thinking about this. I have been called emotional. I have been called crazy. Perhaps I am. But I am unashamedly me. If I love something, I love it full force. If I enjoy something, there will be no questions about it. I could never be accused of being fake.
I love what I love, I enjoy what I enjoy. My family, especially the kids. My dogs. Raw feeding. Photography. Food. Weight lifting. Wine. Medical and nursing research. The outdoors. Beer. Stupid movies. Music. This is far from an exhaustive list. I get excited about things. I want to share the things I am passionate about with others. The conversation tonight that got me thinking was simply two exchanged sentences. About Pat McAfee. (He is the punter for the Indianapolis Colts. He is very funny. He is very passionate. I love him. Look him up.)
Perhaps that is why I am so drawn to my particular dogs. They feel what they feel, and do not even attempt to pretend otherwise. They can be wild and obnoxious at times, but I always know what they are feeling.
My dogs are demanding and pushy. But I love that they are not "easy." They bark at me when they want something. They sing. They dance. They sass. They challenge me.
Bruce and Faolan both bark their heads off at mealtimes, wanting their food. But they listen to me, and go to their respective crates before I will feed them. Neeko talks to me, in that northern breed way, when she wants something. It is quite convincing.
They don't pretend to be anything they are not. They do not put on airs. I have learned in the last couple of years that I am just fine the way I am. It's ok for me to snort at silly movies. It's ok to be moved to tears because of something I read or a story I see on the news. It is ok to enjoy and appreciate a good book, delicious food.
When they are happy, they show it. It is obvious. They wiggle. They zoom. They talk. They jump. Why do humans feel the need to temper their emotions? Sometimes I smile so hard my face hurts. Sometimes I feel so much I get a headache. Sometimes I exhaust myself emotionally. But I would rather feel than not.
As a rule, I tend to surround myself with other passionate people. They can be quietly passionate, or loudly passionate like me. It doesn't matter where their passion lies, so long as they feel it, feed it, live it.
It's hard not to be passionate when surrounded by it. My dogs love an adventure, new sights, new smells. They love their food. They love excitement. As do I.
They are definitely not people pleasers. That is one area of my life that I am continuing to work on. Professionally, I almost have to be. Personally, I am getting much better. I used to be embarrassed about my passion for things. Thought I was crazy, overexcited, emotional.
I have come to feel pity for those who are not passionate. Those who are apathetic, going through the motions. I want to give them some of my joy. Apathy and complacency are just not for me.
My dogs have taught me many things. How to be more patient. About canine behavior and nutrition. But most of all, they have taught me that being batshit passionate is not a bad thing.
(Lara at Rubicon Days' post On Dogs and Authenticity really got me thinking a couple of weeks ago.)