There is an old joke about dogs and how much they hate having someone blow in their face. Yet the very same dog will happily hang their face out the window of a moving car. Either way, thjey are in effect having their face blown on. This adage popped into my mind earlier today as I took my faithful hound Xena out for a nice long spin in the car.
My canine co-pilot always chooses to sit right behind me in the back seat. This morning I was able to look in the side view mirror as she hung her entire face out the window. Oversized ears were flapping, tongue was hanging out the side of her mouth, and eyes were focused on the scenery whisking by. It was her personal version of hound dog heaven! I am certain the motorists driving behind me felt otherwise; as her trail of slobber covered their windshields!
Like most of her canine counterparts, Xena does not like having anyone blow in her face. I remember several of my parent’s dogs actually snapping at you whenever you even exhaled in their direction. One Beagle-Dachshund mix would actually lunge at me with fangs bared; causing me to nearly wet my adolescent pants!
Xena is quite a different story from her predecessors. Blow on her face and she simply gives you an annoyed look. Repeat that action and she will let out an exasperated sigh and walk away from you slowly. There is not much in life that upsets her; at most, things only annoy her. Nonetheless, she holds true to her species in detesting the act of having her face blown on.
Allow me to form a quick mental image for you. It is well below freezing outside, with a gentle sleet falling all around. You are in the car, driving down the interstate at 75 miles per hour. Your teeth are chattering because the car window behind you is all the way down. Glancing into the side view mirror, you see a furry face hanging out the window. You can only assume that it is your dog, because the animal’s face is completely glazed in an icy coat!
The life of a dog owner (or lessee, since you never truly own a dog) is filled with such irony. I can invite Xena to stick her long muzzle in the trash can and she will simply slink away. Leave the kitchen for one minute and I can assure you that she will be eagerly tunneling through the trash can within seconds of my departure.
These situations used to eat away at me. What was it about a dog’s genetic makeup that led to so many contradictions in their behavior? You went out of your way to give them something they should want, and they simply shunned you. Present the same dog with the same situation, this time not intervening; and they happily jumped all over it!
There are times when the proverbial lightbulb comes on, while other times it is a spotlight that turns night into day! In my mental deliberations regarding Xena’s ironic behavior, the latter was the case! There was one common thread across all of her contradictory actions. If something is forced upon her; she is likely to show little interest. Let that same something be her idea; she is entirely focused on nothing else!
There is much to be said for being masters of our own destiny. When we have things forced upon us, it is our nature to resist. When we act of our own accord and volition; life takes on a sense of happiness and independence. How often do you find yourself resenting another person because they are imposing their will upon you? Ironically enough, when you do the very same thing they wanted you to do; you find yourself experiencing liberation and freedom!
Much the same as the dog feeling the wind rush across her face, we all yearn for that feeling that we are in control of our lives. That sense of self-mastery can only come from living in the moment. Let go of lamenting the past where others have attempted to control you. Release the fear of the future where others may try enslave you. Instead, live for the moment; where you and you alone chart your destiny. Do so and you very well may find yourself feeling the pure joy of liberation!
As for me, I have made a wonderful and enlightening discovery. Once you get past the occasional insect getting trapped in your teeth; hanging out that open car window is really a thrilling experience!