What our loved ones really want.

*Photo disclaimer – this is not Vivienne, my six-pound powerhouse of a dog. 

After a dinner break with family this evening, I had to get back to work.  The reality is I spend 12-14 hours each day working and that is not a complaint – it is a choice and something I love to do.  I’m sure to schedule breaks for a stretch, some fetch time with my fur-baby and the such, but tonight I was reminded of something.

Even after the dinner break. Even after quality time with my fur-baby and undivided attention from my parents and I, it just wasn’t enough for her.

Now granted, my little fur-wonder is spoiled in all upper case letters – SPOILED. I used to say loved, but she is spoiled. I admit it and take full responsibility. We all do, everyone in my family. But can we help it?!  NO!

I do think about what a long day it is for her, sleeping with short play breaks, while she stays by my side – loyally. 

Tonight as she whined from the top of her staircase next to my desk, I turned to her and had a serious heart to heart. I let her know that she had everything a dog could dream of – stairs, slides, treats, gourmet organic food, a family who dotes on her, an overflowing toy box in three rooms (and two houses!) along with a wardrobe that any Yorkie would kill for (not her!). Yet she cried, her eyes pleading with me, her favorite balls sitting on the floor below her as she stole a sideways glance a time or two – letting me know exactly what she wanted.  And despite my throwing them from my desk, it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t the attention she desired – or needed. She craved more. She needed all of me.

And in that moment, my little Vivienne reminded me that we all long for nothing more than mindful presence – for someone’s time and attention. It doesn’t matter what toys or indulgences we have access to – we just want that person to actually ‘be’ with us. To be present, in the moment.

I sat back and chuckled, realizing this is why people must choose cats over dogs. No insult to you all, but I could never do it. I’m a definite dog girl, despite the demands. Yet my adoring Yorkie, Vivienne, never leaves me alone – until she is ready to be left alone or sleep. She then has no problem turning on the attitude and dismissing me – or anyone else. She makes it quite clear that you are disturbing her and she doesn’t like it. A princess? I will not disagree!

The list of demands is endless – and I live for it, don’t be fooled for a minute. This little girl is my world and gives me unconditional love, despite her moods.

I have to chuckle when I recall my  boyfriend leaving one day, apologizing that he couldn’t spend more time and what was my response?  “Don’t apologize. That’s why I got a dog. I’ll never be alone again.” My response didn’t seem appreciated, and probably wasn’t. That may be one of many reasons why I’m unattached again today. Best decision ever (the dog, that is). My take away was, he was a workaholic who put work first. I’m a workaholic who puts loved ones first. Even when I have to work at very odd and off hours, I’ll get it done so they get me.

So be reminded, as I was today – life is short. Whether it be our family, friends or pets, the only thing anyone really wants is time. Not just time when you are in the room, but time when you are present – playing, frolicking, conversing = paying attention and engaged.

Thank you, my love, Vivienne. You were a pivotal life lesson and reminder of what’s truly important this evening.

Author: E.M. Murphy

A voracious writer, lifetime learner and eternal seeker who aims to open minds and hearts. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a NASM Certified Behavior Change Specialist, humanity and humor is at the heart of my writing, reminding us that the key to success will always start with a genuine concern for others while making sure to be true to our authentic selves.

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