My life is better because Duke was part of it.
Ten things Duke taught me:
10. Live in the moment. Seize each day and live well. Duke was the master of living in the moment. He was very mindful of everything and everyone around him
9. Napping is important. Duke loved his naps. He took short naps and then a long nap to recover from the short ones. He knew a short snooze in the middle of the day was just the thing to keep you going.
8. Routines are essential. Healthy habits are good for you and the environment. Duke loved the excitement of going out but he really was a creature of habit. He loved his bed, his backyard and his stuffed toys. He was always glad to be home.
7. Be excited about the little things in life! Duke knew how to greet the unexpected visitor (think UPS man or raccoon) as well as a loved one.
6. Be patient. Duke knew the value of patience and the patient dog always got that last crumb!
5. Exercise every day. Walk everywhere! Even when he was hurting, Duke was always ready for a walk, albeit a short one. Miss those walks so much!
4. Go outside and enjoy the fresh air. Even during the summer heat, Duke loved being outside and the best part was coming inside to cool off on the tile floor. Ah, the small things
3. Sun bathe daily, in moderation, of course! A perfect spring day or a sunny fall morning was Duke’s favorite times to be outside. Like Goldilocks he didn’t like it too warm or too cold.
2. Be one-pointed. Give your one-pointed attention to every task, whether cooking, cleaning or looking at your Facebook page! Duke gave his full attention to whatever he was doing whether sniffing a blade of grass or eating his Parmesan-laced dog food.
1. Death is part of life. This was the most important lesson Duke taught me through his own personal example. Even when he suspected the end was near, he had only affection and trust for all of us. We were his family and he was happy to be in our company. His death has left me heart-broken but I admired the way he approached the end of his life with such dignity and grace. He lived his life with honor and died with canine elegance and poise.