This past weekend, my sweet, sweet Alaskan Malamute, Sitka, experienced a sudden and violent seizure, accompanied with a very high fever. After hours of tests and observation, it was determined that she suffered from a brain tumor. Soon, her body would begin to shut down and she would probably suffer a painful death.To spare her from such a fate, I had to make the decision to have her euthanized. After 11.5 years, I would no longer hear the beautiful "woo-woo" sound that Malamutes are known for. After 11.5 years, I would no longer have my baby girl to snuggle with at night.
After spending the majority of the past weekend in tears, I have come to realize that Sitka's life is actually an example of how people should live every day.
While she would occasionally let other four-legged creatures know who's boss, she never met a two-legged one that wasn't her long-lost best friend. She was always willing to shake their hand, and she never ended a visit without giving them ample opportunity to give her a hug. Every activity was her "favorite" activity, and her happy demeanor earned her the nick-name "prancy-paws," but she had many others: Baby girl, Angel, Cinderella, and Precious, to name a few.
She was as smart as a whip, quickly learning that any good deed would be rewarded with her favorite treat, which of course, was ANY treat. She knew her "place" in the family pack didn't mean that she was lower than anyone else. It simply provided the order and structure so vital to life.
And I truly believe that she understood that she was loved.
As I continue to grieve for her, I have come to realize that she was more than a pet; more than a family member. She was, in fact, an example of how all people should live, and how I wish I lived my own life.
Imagine if politicians were only more like Sitka. Imagine a Washington D.C. where politicians weren't always trying to prove they were the "lead dog." Just think of how much could get done if politicians assumed that everyone they met was their best friend; if they were willing to shake hands without questioning each other's motives; and they weren't adverse to giving each other a hug when they parted ways. What would our country look like if, instead of looking for ways to further their selfish ambitions, they looked for ways to make every aspect of their jobs their "favorite" thing.
And I can only imagine the improvement we would see if those in Washington understood how to love others as they love themselves.
When you consider the political morass we are witnessing today in the nation's capitol, where party agendas have taken the place of the rights of liberty-loving Americans, it's easy to see how Sitka's approach to living could make a difference.
There are those who say that dogs are dumb because of the simplistic way they live their lives. In reality, I think that's their genius. Their simple understanding of life and how it's structured makes living a joy. If we could learn to be a little more like them, perhaps we too could learn to live a life of joy as well.
Sitka taught me that. Wouldn't it be great if Washington politicians were more like her? Wouldn't it be great if we were all like her?
Posted on The Strident Conservative