I’m excited!

It's the fresh start of a brand-new year! It's a clean slate, and to this pup that means moving forward with only the things that make me happy, loving and wise. We dogs are really good at that, since we tend to live in the moment. I try to teach my human to do this, but she and the other humans I’ve met are not particularly skilled when it comes to letting go. They ruminate about the past, nurse old regrets and hurts, and compromise the promise of the future by looking backward.

Take the idea of forgiveness, for example. Many of you humans carry around so much sad energy, and have made it a part of you! It’s almost like it defines who you are! And I know that you aren’t like that, but rather there is really a happy, tail-wagging soul inside. Well, maybe not the tail-wagging part, but you know what I mean. I understand that all humans have disappointments and unfulfilled dreams … it’s not possible to be human and not! But they aren’t you! They are just stuff that happened to you. We dogs have them also, but they leave as quickly as they come, since we let go of them to make room for new and better things.

We don't have a long time on this planet to mess around, and so we don't waste time. We also know that grief is an integral part of forgiveness. It’s only after you grieve that then you can really forgive that person, yourself, and life for how it turned out. Many humans don't realize that forgiveness involves grief in all sorts of messy forms. Grief for what happened, grief of disappointment or loss, and that grief keeps you connected to that thing, so you may feel it really isn't lost after all. But it's gone and in the past. And that’s where it should stay.

When I was a puppy, I told you how my sweet stray mama was shot at, only because she was a stray. How awful that was, how unfair and cruel, and how scared we all were. My mama took off injured, and we never saw her again. But I was able to put that behind me. It meant I had to let go of the wish that it had never happened, and experience that loss. But after I let go of that unhappy memory and grieved the sadness, it was gone. Then I got to be happy in a whole new way with my whole new family! There was so much room in my heart for new good things.

How do I know this? I know it because I am part cattle-dog, and we are smart, tough little dogs. I'm not so little, though, at 70 pounds (post-holiday snacking weight!). And because I have let go of the bad things that happened to me through forgiveness and grief, I now can embrace all the good things in my world here in Maine.

I tell my human friends that they can do it too. Take it from Benny H. Dogs don't lie.