Today I turn five years old. In human years, that’s around 35. Of course, I know they say age is just a number, like the one on my microchip. There have been times this year when I felt middle-aged, but I manage to maintain the attitude and energy of a young pup for the most part.
Like most dogs—and humans—when my big day approaches, I start to take stock of my life. Having another year under my collar makes me think about the past and share the lessons I’ve learned along the way.
Be Brave No Matter Your Size
I decided that every time I walk out the door, I’m going to say to myself: ‘No matter what happens today, it’s going to be a grand adventure and I’m a bold dachshund who’s going to enjoy it.’ The world can be a scary place for small dogs, but if you learn to act with all the confidence you can muster, you can defeat your fears.
Make Your Own Fun
I promised myself that if my treat ball ever stopped being fun, I’d quit and find something else to do. I’ve kept that promise all these years and, so far, I’m still chasing my ball, noshing kibble as it rolls. Start having fun and enjoy the LOL moments. As the saying goes, we don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
Learn New Tricks
I’ve always had an interest in going beyond Sit and Stay. Last year, I found a new class but thought maybe I was a little too old to learn something new. I went anyway and tackled it, proving that you can teach an older dog new tricks. So there’s really no excuse. No matter your age, you can do it!
I love life! There’s so much to learn and sniff all the time, and nothing’s better than waking up and getting breakfast! Of course, there will always be straightaways and surprise curves in the road, but the ever-changing scenery reminds me that there’s more to life than increasing its speed.
What do five dog years look like? Maybe a few more muzzle lines, each with many barks and tales behind them. What have I learned in these five years? That I make wiser decisions now thanwhen I was a pup.
Whether you’re a young pup or a wise senior, there are plenty of reasons to look forward to your birthday—or your whole birthday week, if you’re like me. (Some pups and humans alike celebrate the whole birthday month!) It makes me happy to be alive for yet another happy year.
Sure, it’s just one single day in the grand scheme of life, but birthdays should be celebrated. Age should be celebrated. Making it one day to the next and trying to improve ourselves every step of the way should be celebrated.
When it’s your turn to celebrate your birthday, remember that it’s a gift to be another year older. Who cares how many candles are on your cake? (Or on your special pup treat cake?) It matters more how you live your life between the birthdays. Growing a bit older every day seems to be the only way to stay alive. That everyday miracle is certainly worth celebrating.
All that Davi the dachshund needs are some tasty treats, his mom who loves him, his many friends and fans wishing him a happy birthday, and he’s fine.