Remembering back when

By By Benny Huckleberry as told to Liz Hoffmann | Jul 02, 2020

As I sit here with my stuffed toy bumblebee, casually licking my paws, I glance over at my human. She’s deep in thought and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. You see, being home so much due to this pandemic has provided lots of extra time for introspection. You know; almost all humans do it. You may even do it. It consists of reflecting back over the past and what you could have done differently. Like my human, perhaps you ponder prior decisions and wonder if you made the right ones? Or maybe you fear that you’ve made a bunch of mistakes? That you might be happier today if you had just been smarter back then? Maybe it’s only my human who does this, and the majority of other humans are totally satisfied with everything they’ve done. I really don’t know.

What I do know is that my human has talked to me about regrets that she has in many areas of her life. Even going back to her childhood or high school or college. Or when she was once married or what job she had or even where she’s lived. That makes my head spin! Why would anyone indulge in such a no-win and stressful endeavor? Thinking back over the past and making judgements on every memory and decision?

While I love my human to bits, this behavior gets me nuts! I just don’t understand it.

I’ve tried to tell her that it’s a dumb practice, and that I could do it too, but I refuse. You may wonder how dogs could possibly do it? Well, I’ll tell you how we could. For instance, I could go back over the day I was adopted. I could wonder if I hadn’t been so scared, maybe I would have been adopted by a different human. My life could be totally different. Maybe I’d have lots of humans in my new family and lots of dogs and kids to play with? Maybe even another boy dog who I could hang with? I’m sure I’d like that better (I think) than hanging out with my older sister Ilsa and the cats. But I don’t really know now, do I? Maybe it could have been great or maybe it could have been horrible. Maybe that other human wouldn’t have been so kind and maybe I’d give anything to have it as good as I have it now.

The point I’m trying to make is that any of us can always go back and second-guess our decisions or what we did. But it’s only that; a guess. It’s not for sure and it’s not helpful and it’s an assumption that we can never know the truth about. I could even be sad about my spots, and wish I was a solid brown chocolate lab! I could spend all day with these “what if’s” and “I should have done it differently” and what good is it? The only thing it really is good for is wasting time.

A whole lotta time is something that none of us have, especially we dogs. Heck, I am going to be seven in a couple of weeks, and so I am more than halfway to the finish line. Imagine that! Me, little puppy Benny will officially be a senior! Being a senior means that I must be even more responsible now about how I spend my time since it’s so fleeting. Which brings me to my point. I am of the view that we shouldn’t look back, and that we just should look at what’s now. Now is all we have, it’s what we share with others, and it’s our gift for the day. And if you ask me, that’s the best and only thing to ever ponder!

Love to you,

Benny H.

Benny H. is a 7-year-old mixed-breed dog who enjoys writing, meeting new people, and providing companionship to his loving adopter, Liz Hoffmann. They live in Connecticut. Liz has extensive experience in sales, marketing, and opening her heart to shelter animals.

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