- Everyone Deserves a Chance
Scout is an overly enthusiastic greeter. Often when we go on walks, he wants to greet every person and every dog. He’s very social (which continues to amaze me given his history). Scout does not care who you are or what you look like (unless you’re a cat). Scout treats everyone equally in the beginning.
- Sometimes Your Intuition is Right
I should say Scout treats almost everyone equally in the beginning. Like all dogs, occasionally he has a feeling about another dog or a person and he does not like them. This is a rough life lesson to learn, particularly because I believe there is good in everyone. Sometimes I have to take this lesson and apply it to the people in my life because the bad outweighs the good.
- Love Languages Are Important
Scout is a very physical dog and loves to be touched. He is somewhat problematic in this area at times because he will force himself on us when we are paying attention to other things (including Addie). He receives love through physical touch and I think a lot of that stems from his past. It is incredibly important to take others needs and ways of communicating into account for any relationship to be successful.
- History Does Not Define the Future
Scout was originally a wild dog. Based on that statement, he should not be anything like the way he is now. His history is primarily unknown, however I know he was not cared for, malnourished, and very timid when we met him. Honestly, we were concerned he would not want to stay with us. However, it was clear with care that what he really wanted was love and a home. If you aren’t willing to give people the opportunity to surprise you, you don’t deserve the surprise.
- Good Relationships Take Time
It took us about a month before Scout was comfortable being in the living room for more than 5 minutes without hiding. His favorite spot was behind a recliner in the corner where he felt safe. He was open to physical affection and spending time with us but he was overwhelmed with life. We continued to work with each other and become more comfortable around each other until we came to the place we are at now. If you don’t invest the time and energy, don’t expect the payoff.
- There’s Always Something to be Excited About
Fetch. Fetch is Scout’s everything. He also loves water, socks, bones, new toys, me, my husband, my mother-in-law, outside, neighbor dogs, neighbors, being inside, being clean, cuddling, sleeping, blankets, tug-o-war, Addie, boxes, bugs, plastic bottles, his bed, our bed, heating pads, plushy toys, running, walking, eating things he is not supposed to, snow, balls, horses, sticks, feet, trash, being warm, peanut butter, banana, yogurt, getting pet, happy faces, naps, and just being alive. Given that list I created in about 2 minutes, it is clear there is always something to be excited about in life.
- Communication is Everything
Dogs are incapable of lying. If there is something they don’t like, they will let you know. Scout is an obnoxiously vocal dog. He is easily soothed, however, by talking to him and physical touch. Often when he expresses his dissatisfaction or concern, he will seek one of us out. He is asking for what he needs and we give it to him. This is how good relationships become great (but you still have to put in the time to communicate because we’re not mind-readers).
- Embrace Positivity
If you’ve ever encountered a dog, you know you can say anything to them in a happy voice and they think it’s amazing. Typically dogs are afraid to go to the vet. Scout loves going to the vet because he gets to meet new people, new dog friends, and gets to see old friends. If you need to practice how to see things in a positive light, just borrow a dog and talk to it until you can see the silver lining, too.
Or if you need a mood-lifter, just hang out with a dog for like 20 minutes.
- Change is Hard but We’ll Get Through It
Scout has been through a lot of changes. He started as a wild dog, then a house dog, then a brother dog, and then we moved. He needed a little adjusting to each situation but he faced each change with a positive focus on the new changes. Scout originally came to live with us before we bought our house. It was a bigger house, fewer neighbors, more freedom, and river adjacent. He reframed all of these things into positives-less space between himself and us, more new people to meet, and he hates swimming so he was thrilled to be away from the river. He’s taught me so much about embracing change.
- Everyone Needs Love
Often the people we think don’t deserve our love are the ones that need it most. People can be shy or obnoxious or even belligerent. That does not mean they cannot benefit from a healthy relationship. Love is so important in life that babies who are not shown affection can die. This isn’t a one-way street, either. It’s not hard to get down on yourself from time to time (I know I do). Whenever I’m having a rough time, Scout always shows me love and compassion. He reminds me to be kind to myself.