zen and the art of dog washing…

I just gave both of my dogs (Aslan and Blossom) a bath.

All three of us are now very clean and very awake and very relieved.dogwashing

Each time I try this, I’m reminded that dog washing is a metaphor for life.   Here are  five life lessons I received during this morning’s “class”:

1.  Life can get messy. Be prepared to get splashed.  And then get over it.

2. Everything is relative. No matter how tough things look from my perspective, at least no one is trying to hold me still while they pour water on my head.

3. Avoid doing stupid things as often as possible. Washing stations and drying stations need to be separate – so your blow dryer won’t fall into your sink.

4. When the going seems toughest, keep going. At the risk of sounding like a greeting card creator (oh wait, I AM a greeting card creator– ha!), we can learn and benefit from trying times.  Manoman, are my clean dogs ever beautiful!  Once again, the challenge was worth it.

5. Eat a live frog first thing in the morning – nothing worse will happen all day. You can trust that there are three creatures in my home who are SO glad the best is yet to come!

So that’s what I’ve learned this morning – from a seemingly mundane chore.

What chores are your best teachers?  And what have you learned lately from them?

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6 thoughts on “zen and the art of dog washing…

  1. Thanks for making me smile, Lisa. You have a real gift painting word pictures and then bringing the ordinary into a delightful way to learn. Thank you!

  2. Linda, i’m glad i helped you smile today. thankssssss!

    PP, thanks for your kinds words. May your “messy” times be few and far between!

  3. Being a public school teacher, I am blessed with time each summer to try to catch up on household chores that I have let slide during the school year. What I am learning is: (1) There is truth to the concept that clearing space simplifies one’s life, (2) The motto my sister taught me (and which I have posted on my fridge) is a good one — “A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place”, and (3) I AM A LOUSY STUDENT! Why do I not ever LEARN to live by these ideas during the school year and thus avoid this chore of sorting piles of papers and “stuff” that have accumulated during the past 10 months? From there, I have to take the lesson to one of not being hard on oneself, and trying to see this chore as a nice contemplative time, enjoying the discovery of things forgotten and rediscovered, and the even greater joy of things lost and now found.

    But Lisa,what I want to hear from you, is more about this thing of eating live frogs in the morning! I am assuming it was one of the wonder dogs, and not you. I am also curious to know if it might be similar to an NPR piece I heard a year or so ago, in which a woman told the story of her dog who was addicted to licking frogs, apparently because there was something on the frogs’ skin that got the dog high! Whenever her dog could, he would race down to their pond to lick frogs and then spend the rest of the day lying “stoned” in the driveway! I have a chore of keeping my cats from flattening the catnip in the herb bed—you may now have one of keeping the dogs away from frogs!

  4. ML,
    i’m gonna have to search that NPR piece on frogs. Blossom would SO enjoy that – ha! my “eating a live frog…” point suggests that when you start the day doing something awful, everything looks better from that point on.
    NOT a literal suggestion tho

  5. I understood your point— and I agree! I just wanted to let you know about the possibility that Blossom might not think eating frogs is so awful. That morning snack might have been the high point of her day! (Please excuse the pun!)

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