Have You Stopped, Looked And Listened Lately?

Just before Christmas we found out that our wonderful dog Chase had terminal cancer and only had a few weeks to live. Although we were quite upset, he had come through major health issues the previous year so we were not surprised. My wife and I agreed to keep him as long as he was doing fine, and as soon as he showed signs of a drop off, we would put him down.

I tried to play the “he’s just a dog card”, but that did not work. It was a very difficult time when he took a turn for the worst. We scheduled an appointment at the vet the next day. The following afternoon, my whole family was out, so I had a chance to sit with him on our deck.

It was an abnormally mild January day for Northern Alberta, which allowed him one last chance to hang out in the yard that he loved so much. He was not able to chase the squirrels like had had done hundreds of times before, but he was able to lie there as I stayed close.

As I sat with him and shut off the world around me, I stopped everything that I was doing, looked around at the place that he had called home for so many years, and just listened to all the sounds around us. I had not been in that relaxed a state for what seemed like months, and was able to fully disengage from the hustle and bustle of life to be in the moment with him. I became so relaxed that I actually fell asleep with him on the deck for one of the last hours of his life!

I reflected upon this event a few weeks after he had passed, and thought fondly about our time together in the yard taking it all in. We get so wrapped up getting through the day that we don’t take enough time to stop, look and listen. I can’t remember the last time I just sat with Chase in the back yard and hung out. There were always other things happening that seemed more important than just being with him.

Perhaps you may want to:

– Cut back on your workload to spend more time with family, friends and even pets
– Reduce your outside commitments so you can have some “me time”
– Take up a hobby again that you have been unable to keep up with because life got in the way
– Connect with people that you have not corresponded with in a long time

and…

Stop, look and listen to everything around you. Take a breath and be thankful for everyone that you hold dear, and focus more on them. You never know how long they will be around for!

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About Tim Mushey

Dynamic and energized sales rep, mentor and leader since 1999. This blog will be about sales, social networking, personal branding, leadership, music and having some laughs! Don’t be surprised if I mix it up on occasion, and talk about something totally different! I thrive on being part of successful, forward thinking teams. I am ready to go from the moment my feet hit the floor each morning, with the expectation that new adventures will be coming my way. It is rare that there isn't a smile on my face, as I take it all in, and have some fun along the way!

Posted on April 11, 2013, in Inspiration, Motivation and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. Tim,
    A beautiful post. I am very sorry for your loss. My family and I just went through the experience of losing our dog. Like yours, she had health issues for the last year of her life. Even though we had time to mentally prepare it was crushing. Much tougher than I ever thought that it would be. Thanks for sharing such an intimate experience. Please accept my condolences.
    Best, Bob

    • Hi Bob! Thanks for sharing your story as well. You are more than welcome. Glad to write it. I was a little uncomfortable writing about my dog, then transitioning to people in the same post. But I think there are valuable lessons to learn none the less!

      We get so busy that we often forget what matters most – for ourselves, our families and even our loved one of the “four-legged” variety! Have a fantastic Thursday and thanks again!

  2. Sorry for your loss Tim. It was only a few years ago when we had to do the same with our dog Sasha. And as much as pets are different then children, they still feel like our children. I recall how painful it was for us to make the decision to help her stop suffering, but I too had some quality time with her leading up to it. Thanks for sharing your story. Indeed, it’s important to slow down and take things in for the world around us is moving way too quickly.

    • Hey Troy! Thanks for your comments. Nice to see you here as always.You bet the pets still feel like children.. It is certainly a difficult decision to decide when the pet’s time has come. My wife and I had a very clear plan ahead of time, and we only saw Chase in a difficult state for less than a day so that was a good thing. Sorry for your loss of a pup too! Never easy to say the least!

  3. Tim,

    First of all, I’m sorry for your loss. Our family just went through the same thing with one of our dogs. It’s difficult to deal with but it does spark the memory and helps to put things into perspective.

    All to often we get caught up in the everyday push to get things done that we forget the importance of Stop, Look, and Listen.

    Thanks for the friendly reminder.

    • Hey Bruce! Nice to see you here, thanks as always for the comments. Sorry for your loss as well. It is certainly never easy! You are welcome for the reminder. It appears that I struck a chord with many people today. I was not going to post this, but as usual decided to and I am glad that I did… Have a great night!

  4. Great little post Tim. BTW you never sent me the address to send you the CD to . Would you prefer a CD (audio only) or the DVD – some video of my ugly mug talking?

    • Thanks Rupert! I appreciate your comments as always…. Although I would normally take the DVD, I love listening to audio in the car recently. I will email you my address. Thanks…Tim

  5. Love this post Tim, and as a dog lover/owner it certainly tugged at my heart strings. You’re so right and I have to make myself do this now and then. My kids tend to put things into perspective at times, they are great at doing that. I’m sorry for your loss but so pleased you got those precious moments together.

    Much love,
    Sarah.

    • Thanks Sarah! I really appreciate your wishes. The lessons learned from my pup have been transferred over to others in my life to give greater perspective on everything now! So that is a good thing.

      He really did become part of the family and was treated like another child 🙂

      There were many precious moments so we were lucky!

      Thanks again for stopping by.

      Take care,

      Tim

  6. Tim, love the post. It’s straight from the heart and that really comes through in what you have written. I feel for you as we lost our dog without warning last November. They become such an integral part of our lives that the ‘just a dog’ ploy never works!

    You are so right that we should enjoy what we have in front of us today. I’m a great believer in taking joy in the small things of life. I blogged about it some time ago but I didn’t think it was appropriate to post a link.

    I hope you and your family can find joy in another dog soon.

    • Hey Neil!

      Sorry for your loss as well. It is never fun when you lose a pet, but when it happened so fast for you that must have been very difficult!

      Yep “Just a dog” never works for sure!

      Always enjoy what you have in front of you today. Don’t worry about the future and what may or may not happen – just take it day by day!

      Shoot me a copy of that post at: TimMushey@gmail.com

      I would love to have a read!

      Thanks again,

      Tim

  7. Thank you! I have two small dogs, one 8+ and the other 4+, and I think sometimes about what might happen later. And, yes, they are part of our family, not “just pets.” It’s good to be reminded that in all areas of our lives, we need to stay connected with those we love and cherish those relationships.

    • Hi thanks for the comments! We certainly need to stay connected with all of those that we cherish – the human variety, but also the four-legged variety too! Appreciate you taking the time to comment!

  8. This was very inspiring and I’m so sorry. I lost my darling dog Daisy last April and I know how painful it is! 6 months later I adopted a sweet puppy and it healed that lonely spot but no one can take my wonderful Daisy’s place. Thank you for reminding me to take time for myself! I love my job so much that I tend to neglect other parts of my life that are precious to me as well!

    • Hey Elizabeth! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Yes I am sorry for your loss as well. Glad you got a new pup to at least fill some of the void!

      You are welcome for the reminder! I think we all need a gentle nudge every once in a while to remember what is really important! I had previously liked your Facebook page but just liked it from my personal page too. Great content keep up the fantastic work..

  9. Thanks for the reminder to stop, look, and listen.

    My condolences regarding Chase. I know that from now on, every time you sit quietly in that same spot, you will think of him.

    • Hey Jessica! Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the wishes. Once I shovel the mounds of snow off the deck (or it finally melts) I will fondly remember our out time there last January. Appreciate you comments..

  10. Almost had me in tears, but I held them in. Great story, Tim, and a lesson about many things in life. For example, I think of the times when jobseekers need to take a break from it all, do their favorite thing like walk the beach, take a nice walk, and of course be with loved ones.

    • Well thanks for taking the time to comment! I really appreciate it. Don’t know if I should apologize about the “almost tears”! Glad you liked the post. I was hoping there would be many lessons in it.

      It certainly applies to job searches as well. So often people get fully immersed in to it, and forget that they need a break to reset and enjoy what is important around them too!

      Thanks again…

  11. Great post…love you guys….

  12. Thank you for this touching and heartbreaking post. I recently had a moment when I just sat outside and let the sun warm my skin and listened to the birds chirping. … It amazed me at how long it had been since I just ‘let it all go, and be at peace.’ A very important thing to remember, and to actually DO. Thank you!

    • You are more than welcome Tia! I am glad you had a moment like that too. As much as the post touched on the time I spent with my dog, the real emphasis was the fact that I put everything on hold from running through my mind (as usual) and just took it all in sitting outside.

      Thanks again for your comments… Tim

  13. Well said Tim. I think it’s so important to “be present” in the moment otherwise you can miss out on some important moments. I try to remind myself of this most importantly with my daughters . They grow and change so fast and want to remember it all!

    • Hey Nola! Thanks for stopping by to comment. So nice to see you here. Being present is so important, many of us lose sight of that as we get busier and busier. I know what you mean about the kids, I feel the same way with mine. Take care…

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