The ball is the only thing he has eyes for. He delights in trying to convince you to throw it for him at every opportunity that presents itself.
You can be sitting down enjoying the sun and the ball is presented with great expectation and much anticipation.
A lovely slimey tennis ball is gently laid to rest at your feet. Or if that doesn’t work, it will be dropped directly into your lap. He is so proud of it and you can tell by the look on his face that he just knows you will be enticed into his world of play.
So, the presenter (a tall and gangly fellow with four legs and the loveliest face this side of the mountains) paws it back and forth as if to make it look even more enticing. “See how it rolls so easily, it’s great isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be fun to play?” His outright glee with the idea is contagious.
This is followed by ‘the look’.
He stops and his face scrunches in eager anticipation with the hopes that you will agree with him.
His scrunched up face says……. “awww c’mon, play with me…..throw the ball……..it’ll be fun. Really. Honestly. Puh-leeeeeeeeeeeeese.”
His name is Gus and he knows how to have fun. He loves it in fact…..nothing makes him happier if he can convince you to throw the ball for him. He’s a genius at it and can read human body language better than any psychologist.
He probably weighs in at 60 pounds and my pooch weighs in at 17 pounds – but yet he is patient when she steals his ball and wants to immediately go inside with it (where he isn’t allowed). I think he is smitten with her.
He’s a tall patient fellow and kinda handsome; she’s a small fluffy girl who is very cute and coy. He wants to play, but she takes the ball business more seriously. She’s got ‘playing hard to get’ down to a science.
That’s how it is in life too isn’t it? Some of us go through life with a more playful, easy going attitude and some of us are more serious holding on to ‘old emotional stuff’. Of course studies have shown that if you have the right attitude, it is less likely you will get sick, suffer from depression or have other health issues.
October’s Psychology Today magazine is now quoting studies that state that it is more important to live your life in balance in all aspects. There is also a wonderful article called “Life Lessons” (by Elizabeth Svoboda) and they list “five truths that people learn too late”.
“Lesson #1 – Radical Acceptance (you can’t fix the ones you love, focus on fixing yourself)
Lesson #2 – The beauty of benign neglect (It’s more harmful to over-parent than to under-parent)
Lesson #3 – Opposites Don’t Attract (Seek a mate whose values and background echo your own)
Lesson #4 – Social Networks Matter (The strength of your friendships is as critical for your health as the lifestyle choices you make)
Lesson #5 – Lust Diminishes, But Love Remains (Being inured to your partner isn’t the same as being out of love)”
I would add a sixth.
Lesson #6 – Having a pet is of therapeutic benefit and can help you to slow down, turn off technology and just ‘be’ with an animal…….enjoying the antics, the unconditional love and the fun that they bring.
When Gus and others like him bring you the ball, they are really bringing you joy and your soul fills with inner happiness.
That’s a good thing and it may help to bring balance into your life.
Carole Fawcett is a counsellor, clinical hypnotherapist and freelance writer. www.amindfulconnection.com