May 17, 2019
Hey, Seniors, it’s me – your old pal Junebug. Hope you are having a great retreat. Hard to believe it will be your last as CRSM students. Time flies. I’m going to miss your smiling faces around campus (and the scratches behind my ears)!
As you prepare to leave CRSM and begin the next step in your life’s journey, I thought I would pass along some canine advice that my mother gave me when our litter was split up. Dogs and humans have been best friends longer than any other species, so I hope maybe some of these might be relevant for you.
Give Everybody a Chance and Don’t Judge
Dogs are colorblind for a reason. We don’t judge people based on the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, their gender, their politics or religion, or even their body type. We tell good humans from bad ones by their actions. If they smile and pat your head, it’s probably worth taking a chance to get to know them better.
Every body is different, and we should love them just how they are.
Remember to Listen
Dogs have a heightened sense of hearing. We are always listening to the sounds around us. Perk up those ears! When someone talks to you, practice really listening to what they say, rather than simply thinking about what you will say next.
Listening is key to strong and lasting relationships. If we close ourselves off to others or don’t listen, we miss the chance to make new friends.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Messy
I love jumping in puddles and playing in the mud. Things don’t have to be clean and perfect all the time – including us! Expecting everything to go exactly the way we want and for people to behave exactly the way we want is a recipe for disappointment. Rolling in the dirt reminds us how much fun life can be despite its imperfections.
Always Be Upfront with People
When I want to go outside, or be petted, or have a treat, I let you know. I’m not subtle about it, and I don’t just drop hints. If you need something from someone, or want them to know how you feel, just tell them! Don’t expect others to be mind readers. Be sincere and honest. You won’t always get what you want but you’ll never be accused of playing games either. It is always easier to live with disappointment if you know in your heart you were honest and direct.
Be Loyal to Your Pack
Dogs belong to their pack. Family isn’t always just our blood relatives; it’s the people in our lives whom we’ve chosen to have there and who are there for us. Ruby and I are not related by blood (and Mr. Kendall and I are clearly not related by blood), but you’d never know it based on the way we love each other. We are a pack. We are loyal to one another and would do anything for one another.
Be loyal in your relationships. When a friend needs a shoulder to cry on, be that shoulder. When our loved ones need someone to come to their defense, stand with them. We can’t do anything really meaningful alone. Be a dog…err, person for others.
Walk More, Play More
Walks are one of my most favorite things. Fresh air, nature, lots of things to smell and explore… life doesn’t get much better. Make regular time to be physically active. Your physical and mental health are important and will make you a happier person. Dogs are often happiest when we are running around playing. You’re never too old for a little playtime – even Ruby still chases squirrels! Staying young is a mindset. Let out your inner puppy now and then.
Enjoy Quiet Moments
As much as I love to run around and go for walks, I also know how to take a break just enjoy the quiet, and even take a nap. Hope my snoring doesn’t bother you.
Taking a rest or enjoying some silent time isn’t lazy, it helps me stay calm and be more tolerant when I get back to all the activity. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, taking a quiet moment can give you the chance to think a problem through or just clear your head. I won’t get into what d.o.g. spells backwards, but making time to pray regularly is a great idea.
When I come to school, my tail wags. When Mr. Kendall feeds me, my tail wags, when you and your friends pet me and talk sweet to me, my tail wags. Being happy comes down to being grateful for what you have, rather than wanting what you don’t have. Take time to appreciate how rich your life really is. Pretty soon your tail will be wagging all the time too!
Love Thy Neighbor
And thy neighbor’s neighbor. And anyone with a doggie treat, really. Or anyone without a treat—those people can be great, too! I don’t want to brag but dogs are pretty good at loving others. Love others the way your dog loves you!
Well, I hope I didn’t get too preachy with my advice. You have a wonderful future ahead of you. Sure, there will be ruff…err, tough times and some failures along the way but so much of life is about how we move on from those experiences and keep trying to be better. Don’t forget that you will always be part of the CRSM pack. Come back and visit… if only to remind yourself that you are part of something bigger than all of us and better than anything we could do alone. And when you do come back, I can guarantee one thing: my tail will be wagging!
¡Viva Cristo Rey St. Martin! y ¡Mucha Suerte!