Sometimes, I take a moment to look inside my interior to make sure my head space is not crowded with grandiose ideas, unkind thoughts and irritations at the idiocy of others, and whether or not I’m making a difference in the world at large or am I a worthless lay-about causing the grass to flatten from my heft. These times of self-introspection offer this dog an opportunity to practice humility. No one ever calls a Mastiff humble, but it has always struck me as an important attribute for shading the ground we walk on instead of living in a land of entitlement where disappointment waits for everybody.

Dogs exist in and around their surroundings and accept their lot in life whether it suits them or not. I’ve always found this to be a shortcoming. Otto is a perfect example of a downtrodden sort who thinks he has to put up with Millie’s criticism of his natural way of being. Bloodhounds drool and aren’t given to domestic tidiness which near as I can tell is no reflection on Otto but a blatant intolerance of his pack sister’s prissy poodle nature. Wouldn’t hurt her none to walk through a mud puddle once in a while instead of wearing pink boots that make her look like she belongs to Ken and Barbie.  Charlie on the other hand fights to find his comfort zone. Unfortunately, his first response to hardship is runing away.

I tire of analyzing others and turn back to studying my own shortcomings. I stroll through my head space and see an ant making a terrible racket from being relegated to a lower life form. It’s true. I do enjoy a high opinion of myself and don’t give much thought to bug life. Mostly, I consider ants a nuisance when I’m trying to enjoy a peaceful siesta in the backyard and several of them think it’s a good idea to annoy my foot pads which naturally wakes me up feeling disgruntled over the bottoms of my feet itching worse than a mosquito boring a hole in them. I fling the ants across the yard with a shake of my paw and don’t give a thought they might have landed in the lily pond.

I consider dragon flies curious objects of discontent flying around like miniature helicopters to annoy the rest of us. I lowered my dignity once by aiming Kahu’s tennis ball machine and letting twenty balls disperse the flight pattern they got going above our backyard. When leaning on this thought, I realize it wasn’t my most glorious moment. I may not have shown the exemplary behavior of a Marine, but I learned a lesson when rummaging through my mental inventory. Even a bug deserves respect.

While I’m spending time in my head space, I look for gratitude. Make sure I wake up every morning grateful to see my sacred guardian lying next to me smiling in his sleep. He’s a happy man and often tells me he doesn’t know what he would do without me. It’s a heavy burden knowing I’m not going to live forever and my vegan Kahu will be sobbing through life feeling the loss of his best friend. Yep, if I ever did something right, it was to love a lonely man who has suffered his own hardships of growing up in an orphanage because nobody thought he had enough value to take home, much like the dejected dogs sitting in shelters. Funny turns and surprises occur when the Divine Dog doles out our companions. I remind myself life could be worse than eating carrots.

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