October 27th, 2013 by Karmun
The saying “it’s a dog’s life” is one that is highly off-point, if not completely irrelevant if you ask me. Quite the contrary, a dog’s life is pretty amazing, at least in our household. Mojo, our little Chihuahua- Miniature Pinscher mix is hardly a (human) year old and he has perhaps in all sense of the word, discovered the secrets to the simplest, lightest form of happiness, something the rest of us still struggle to merely grasp everyday.
Mojo’s bed is a pretty blue and red gingham sponge basket that he loves curling up in on rainy days and watch everyone else do their thing. It spills over with doggy toys of all sorts — balls, squeaky toys, tug rope and even one rubber hamburger toy I bought for him because he always salivates at the sight of a burger on TV. He loves car rides and sits shotgun next to my Mummy when she takes him out on those rare occasions. You haven’t seen happiness until you see Mojo stick his head out the window and have his little pink tongue flapping about in the wind, just taking in all the sights and sounds of the world around him.
He makes sure the floor is always clean of any remnants of food and very willingly offers his skill as taste-tester whenever you’re cooking. And you can make sure he’s part of all our family adventures.
Mojo is part of our family, one of us. If he has a birth certificate, it would probably read Mojo Ng hahahaha. We’re a pack — and he pretty darn well knows it.
He’s changed our lives drastically in more ways than one since coming home with us that one afternoon in February. He’s learnt many fetch tricks and playing dead tricks, but it is we who have learnt more from this playful little sprite. Just having him with us have taught us to live more in his happy little way and see the world in a colourful, more exciting manner.
1. Forgive and forget.
Mojo doesn’t hold grudges, ever. Like with all dogs, Mojo had to go through many lessons on not chewing shoes, socks, newspapers, wire cables, even articles of clothing we leave out to dry. We’d use a thin, bamboo cane on his hind legs everytime he chewed up something he wasn’t supposed to. He’d go to a small corner, bury his head in between his two front paws, and not look you in the eye after that. Come tomorrow, hoewever, (or the next hour in fact), he’ll be jumping all around your feet with his little stubbed tail wagging again. He’ll happily come to you for a pat or belly rub the moment you call his name. He greets every new day with equal amounts of enthusiasm and excitement regardless of what took place yesterday. He wakes up ready for adventure, with a wagging tail and boundless energy, even without coffee.
2. Stretching is good for you.
After every nap, Mojo does this ritual that cannot be missed. He’ll step out of his little bed-basket, position his front paws together, and stretch into a deep, downward dog Yoga move. You can also bet on him topping it off with a little, “Man, that felt good” groan. He’ll blink groggily and lick his little button nose before shaking himself well and thorough. Watching him always reminds me to spend an extra 5 minutes in bed just stretching because we all know how good that feels.
3. Be yourself.
Mojo has the most human-like emotions and traits ever. It’s always fun discovering a new side of him that we’ve not seen before. When we’re eating, he’ll slink up to us with the roundest, shiniest puppy eyes and if we continue to ignore him, he’ll even nudge our knees a little to remind us he’s there. He doesn’t care about being shy. If he wants someting, he lets us know. If he’s happy, he shows it by skipping all over the place in his little doggy manner, and likewise, if he’s unhappy about something, he makes it just as clear. Mojo doesn’t know how to be anything but real. He doesn’t struggle with self-acceptance and he definitely doesn’t care if he’s getting a little rounder in the middle than most other dogs around the neighbourhood. He doesn’t play mind games and that’s one of the best things about the little guy. It’s really refreshing, especially in a household with 4 ladies who sometimes do not really say what they truly have on their minds.
4. Don’t underestimate the power of a nap.
How often have we all craved for a quick 20 minute shut eye but deny ourselves that little pleasure because we believe we have more pressing matters in front of us, like a proposal to be written and submitted, or a couple housechores waiting to be gotten out of the way? When Mojo is tired, he stops whatever he’s doing, drops whatever bone he was chewing, and goes to bed. Instead of trudging through the rest of the day sluggishly like the rest of us would, he crawls into his little bed basket and shuts his eyes. He’ll wake up probably half an hour later recharged, and ready to greet everyone with his cheerful licks and happy snuggles ahead.
5. Patience pays off.
Dinner time has definitely not been the same since this little furry angel came into our family. When we’re eating, he’ll sit most obediently next to us, just staring at us with those eyes. He would have had his meal but still the greedy little tyke wants more so he just sits there watching us eat our food, almost willing us to give him a bite, or more. Likewise if we’re busy on the computer or watching TV, he’d bring his tug-rope and place it on our laps, asking us to play. We will try and ignore him but our wills are no match for his cuteness and persistence. We almost always eventually give in. He knows that if he just sits there watching us eat long enough, or if he nudged his little nose against our legs often enough, we’ll cave. Patience is a virtue and it sure as hell pays off.
6. Exercise is fun.
Mojo loves his evening walks. Actually, I wouldn’t call them walks because if he isn’t running around in circles, looking back only very occasionally to make sure you’re catching up, he’s sprinting up and down the road at full speed before promptly turning back and running to our side. Run, turn around, repeat. He has amazing energy and never seems to tire of the same route we take him on. At the end of every trip, he’ll be panting, wagging his tail but always, always begging for more. Exercise definitely isn’t a chore to him — it’s the highlight of his day. Maybe that’s why he can afford that extra bit of bacon we always slip him under the table when my Dad’s not watching hehe.
7. Always sneak in one more snuzzle.
My Dad hates it, the rest of my family tolerates it but I secretly love it. Most dogs show their affections by licking you — every part of you. Mojo is no different. Whenever I come home from a particularly long streak away from home, Mojo would be the first to greet me at the door and lick every inch of me that is exposed. I let him and then he’ll turn right over onto his back — his way of asking for a belly rub. No matter what time of day, he’s always up for physical attention and would always go in for just one more ear scratch or one last pat on the head. He loves every bit of attention we give him and we get as much happiness in return from him when we oblige.
8. When you love someone, always make sure they know.
Mojo whines in the most heartbreaking manner whenever we head out the door somewhere and have to leave him behind. I’ve seen him wait for my Mum to come home from work. He perches himself by the windowsill with his two front paws hanging out the window, and just waits. He waits patiently for hours on end and at the first sign that her car was near, he goes into this excited frenzy. He starts hopping on the spot and yelping in his little puppy manner, as if unable to contain his happiness that his Mummy was home too. He comes running towards us whenever we open the doors to our rooms and then starts his whole licking episode again even if he had done that just 20 minutes ago. When the whole family is home, he’ll trail us everywhere we go in the house depending on who he fancies trailing that particular day, and plops himself down as close as possible to us wherever we rest. He’ll sometimes lick our toes for extra assurance. He shows his love in the most unfiltered, most raw manner possible. We never question his love for us.
If living a dog life meant such pure, unadulterated happiness, than maybe it’s not such a bad thing. People have been saying for decades that having a pet is highly therapeutic, but I certainly did not expect it to be of such extent. Animals in their simple ways, sometimes know a lot more, not to mention, a lot better than we humans do. We could all learn a thing or two about life from our furry friends. Life is about simple joys, healthy activities, occasional treats, and unabashed love.
Wag more, bark less :)
I love you, silly Mojo.