I had a German Shepherd. Her name was Gypsy. One of my daughters painted a portrait of Gypsy I keep hanging on a wall. If you’ve had a pet you’ve considered a friend, you can understand the relationship I had with Gypsy.
She was an athlete. She could run with the wind. Catch Frisbees tossed at seemingly impossible angles. I’d toss a tennis ball sixty feet in the air and she’d snag as if she were playing centerfield in the majors. Most of all, Gypsy was a friend. Where I’d go, Gypsy wouldn’t be far behind. I’d often go in the yard with Gypsy to relax. She had a way of helping me forget work and setting aside other things holding my mind captive.
Today, I picture Gypsy lying on the ground in front of me. She has a look in her eye, partly mischevious, partly playful, and always loving. In my mind’s eye, I ask Gypsy, “Tell me about life, Gypsy. You enjoy every moment. What’s your secret?”
Gypsy cocks her head a bit to the side and gives me a quizzical look. She says, “Ray, what’s all the fuss? Lighten up.”
“Easy for you to say Gypsy. Cut me a little slack.”
Gyspy shakes her head, “I’m going to give you special dog secrets.”
I look incredulously at her, “Dog secrets?”
“That’s right, dog secrets. Heads up. If you nod off, I’ll wake you with a ferocious bark.”
“I’m all ears, don’t take that remark personally.”
I think she is smiling. Some claim dogs don’t smile, but I believe Gypsy smiled all the time.
Gypsy says, “Don’t interrupt me. I’m giving you wisdom that’s evolved in the canine breed over ions.”
“Whenever you get a chance, curl up in the sun and enjoy its warm rays. If you can do it on the sofa, all the better. When someone you love comes through the door, meet them, greet them, and hug them. Whatever food is served, be grateful for it, it’s all good and it’s all going to the same place. Get exercise – plenty of it. Exercise is always better when you’re doing it with someone you love. Most of all, enjoy the moment. Don’t think ahead. Tomorrow comes quick enough. And, be loyal, protect those you love. After all, we’re family. It’s all good, Ray. It’s all good,
Thank you, Gypsy. Thank you for your enduring wisdom.