What I Have Learned From Running with a Blind Dog

This is Ella. She is the blind dog I have been living with for a week now. She answer when I ask her how her day was. She just looks at me with adoration and wags her tail. But I imagine if she could talk, she would have a ton of interesting stuff to say. Alas.

This is Ella. She is the blind dog I have been living with for a week now. She doesn’t answer when I ask her how her day was. She just looks at me with adoration and wags her tail. But I imagine if she could talk, she would have a ton of interesting stuff to say. Alas.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I am house sitting for my supervisor this week. Since last Friday, I have been enjoying the company of Zazu (bird), Simba (male kitten), Shadow (17-year-old male cat) and Ella (old, blind dog). And by enjoying, I mean I could think of about 3,275 other things I would rather do. Regardless, it has been a good learning experience. I have learned if you let Zazu walk around on the counter, he will poop and Simba will try his hardest to kill him. I have learned no matter how much you talk to an Aspen tree, it just doesn’t reciprocate. Also, the male kitten is one of the most annoying species on the face of the earth.

But, I have learned the most from Ella. Ella might be the sweetest old dog on the planet. She is fat, furry and full of love. My supervisor warned me before I left she would try to run with me. Ella loves to run. However, my supervisor told me to try to sneak out so she doesn’t go with me. Ella is used to running short distances with my supervisor.

The first time I went for a run, I waited till she looked asleep and the opened the door and stepped out quietly. A few minutes into my run, I hear something behind me. Here comes Ella charging. I had already made some turns and I am guessing she was either tracking my scent or listening to my footsteps. Regardless, she was charging at top-end speeds. I turned around in time to watch her sprint full force into a snow bank. She somersaulted and gracefully kept running. Although it did look painful. I admit, I laughed. Pretty hard. Like I had to stop running because I couldn’t breathe.

But then I started to think about the situation. And how she kept following me. And because I live my life in fantasies and am very much an idealist and romantic, I probably thought too much about what I had just witnessed and what I continued to witness. But, the blind (I know, sorry) faith of that dog is amazing. She also might love running more than me.

So, what I have learned:

  • Ella is fearless. She runs full speed. She goes for it. She trusts herself.
  • Failures do not stop Ella. I cannot tell you the amount of times I have watched this dog hit her head on something. Or run into a door. Or fall over her face while running. But she keeps going. With an amazing attitude. Her memory is so short to failures. And it is beautiful.
  • Ella absolutely loves adventures. I imagine almost every day is an adventure if you are a blind dog. But she also seeks it out. She is always outside exploring her surroundings.
  • Ella adores people a lot. Pretty much without any reserve or self-consciousness. She is not afraid to love. She is not afraid to show her adoration. She shows her adoration by running out to greet me every day when I get to her home. It doesn’t matter if it is 6 p.m. or midnight. She also wags her tail so hard it shakes her butt. And she makes these annoying, whiney noises when she first notices your presence (I had to retype to change that statement from “when she sees you”).
  • Ella truly loves and enjoys life. She cannot see life, but she seems to enjoy her existence in this world to the fullest capacity.

I started wondering what my life would look like if I lived life Ella-style. At first I thought I would probably do a lot more stupid stuff. And get myself in a lot more awkward, uncomfortable and probably dangerous situations. Those types of things would probably happen. But, think of the stories. I bet if Ella could talk to me (she doesn’t, believe me, I tried) she would have a ton of interesting stories to tell me about her day.

How would our lives changed if we became fearless? Or didn’t allow our failures to discourage our dreams and pursuits? Or loved and sought out adventures on a daily basis? Or truly adored people? Or absolutely loved and enjoyed life? How would our lives change if we tried to focus on one of those things for a week or weekend?

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