I saw an old friend yesterday whose dog is seriously ill… my heart broke to hear what she’s been going through, and it got me thinking of how quickly time flies when you have a dog…which got me thinking… I can’t believe that Rufus is almost seven years old! It seems like only yesterday I was holding him for the first time…this little 8 week old chihuahua who fit in the palm of my hand.

He was the first dog that was 100% mine. I got him my junior year after a traumatic breakup. I thought getting a dog would help me feel better. I mean, how could this face not make someone feel better?

Rufus turned out to be a huge learning experience…I learned about the doggy doorbell after constantly cleaning up pee on the carpet the first week he lived with me. I learned that dogs can get separation anxiety (and met several of my neighbors in the process when they complained about the constant howling). I learned that Rufus does not like sleeping in a crate (or a cardboard box), and it was a terrible idea to let Rufus sleep in bed with me (since nearly seven years later, he still does).

Most of all, I learned what “dog is man’s best friend” means. Rufus was my best bud…he went with me to school and slept in my purse while I was in class. He snuggled with me on the couch while I watched TV. He charmed every single person he met. Most of all, he taught me how to be a responsible adult and helped to mend my broken heart.

Sometimes I spend so much time focusing on the day-to-day stuff that I forget to just stop and enjoy the here-and-now. I forget to live in the moment. I forget to just stop and cuddle Rufus…and Turk…and Ginger. I am going to make it my goal, as of today, to really enjoy the time I have with my dogs…because time flies, and before you know it your 8 week old puppy is a seven year old pooch…and that is totally okay.

Have you snuggled your pet today?