In The Moment

EXERCISE_FeaturedThank the good Lord for my pups. I'm over-the-hill, rough around the edges, not politically correct, pretty cynical about people, have a tendency towards sarcasm, more of a who the (beep) drank the water from my glass (none of that half empty/half full garbage) type of guy. My wife should be elevated to sainthood and Mr. Satan won't want me any more than Mr. God will. So what's my point?

Like I said, thank the good Lord for my pups. I've had a lot of dogs over the years, each very different and special. Topping the list is my deceased K9 partner Sanders who was my partner, my best friend, my boy. Next up are my current pups Joey and Rufus. Both are 'special needs' behavioral dogs, each with a complex set of fear issues but each who teach me so much every minute of every day about enjoying who they are and the world they live in.

Joey's big brother was Sanders. Sanders taught Joey everything from house-training to socializing with other dogs, good manners and that streams can be so much fun. Sander's sudden passing in 2010 left him devastated and changed certain aspects of his personality forever. Rufus was born and raised in 3 shelters before finding safety at the Best Friends Animal Society sanctuary at Dogtown. When we adopted him at 6 years of age, ours was the first human home he'd ever been in. Though he continues to have occasional heartbreaking events he has come such a long way.

The reason for the short history was to give you a quick look inside who my pups are, as I see them, an admitted failing on my part.  As far as they're concerned, they don't let many obstacles get in the way of enjoying every waking, and sleeping, moment, which is what makes our dogs so very, very special. They love to sleep; Joey on his back, Rufus on his side, snoring loud enough to wake the dead. Play hard, sleep hard:) They wake up looking at me with the childlike wonderment of what each new day will bring. They find the simplest pleasure in venturing outside each morning, understanding that the night brought lots of other mammals through our yard and new smells from the skies just for them to sniff. Noses and tails high, they drink in the air, whether sun, rain, snow; hot or cold, but always with delight. For two years we watched Joey muzzle punch Rufus' flanks and pull his tail trying to get him to play and then one day, voila!, Rufus 'bootybumped' Joey, chased him and rolled onto his back so Joey could climb on- I don't know who was happiest, them or us! It was unbelievably exhilarating because Rufus finally found within himself the freedom to be a puppy.

Whether it's trail walking with them off lead, looking deep into their eyes as I rub their muzzles, Joey rooting through toys in the toy box, Rufus chasing deer, Joey jumping through my newspaper as I try to read it, both of them sleeping on the couch while my wife and I watch TV or Joey dancing on hind legs when he gets excited (which he does about anything and everything), I get to see them being dogs in their way, the way enjoyable to them, telling me in such simple terms what the truth about life is as they see it, not understanding why I don't see it like they do: rewarding, fascinating and fun.

When you look at your pups, forget what you see, see what they see and LIVE in the moment, SHARE in the moment and ENJOY the moment, for that moment will never come your way again. Don't miss out on the fun.


To read some of my other interesting views on things dog and human, please visit my website at or check out my Facebook page, The Inner Dog.





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Positively Expert: Sam Wike

In addition to Sam’s work as a successful trainer and behavior consultant endorsed by Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training and the Best Friends Animal Society Community Training Partner Program, he is also a behavior consultant to the Monmouth County (NJ) SPCA and local rescue groups.


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