Monday, May 07, 2007

Spring Training: What Joy to Work!

Well it's that time again -- that time when Don gets back into a regular training routine with the canine kids.

After just a reminder or two, Baxter, Elsie, and Ridge jumped right in and seemed to recall Don's commands and expectations. The knew exactly what to do and how to do, and they enjoyed it!

It's amazing to me how much they remember after taking the winter off (yes, we're lazy about training in the winter, especially since it's usually dark outside by the time DH gets home from work, leaving no time for daily training with him).

Elsie, of course is the calmest of the lot, and the most focused.

The little Kenya bean, however, (remember, at 8 months old, this is her first spring training) picked up on training commands very quickly.

Look how well she sits and stays for him:

And check out her enthusiasm on the way out to train with "Dad":

That's my girl, the Kenya-Jumping-Bean! :o)

You know, Labs love to work. Whether it's training or retrieving or mine-detecting (there's a great article about this in this month's Just Labs magazine) or doing police work or performing aid tasks for people--it doesn't matter what the work is--they plow into their work with gusto.

Maybe it's because they only do work for which they're designed.

I wonder how many humans can say the same. How many of us settle for joyless jobs that may pay our bills, but don't come close to being work for which we have a natural bent or aptitude? No wonder so many of us are miserable in our jobs.

I finally discovered the right job for me when I hit middle age, and it's made all the difference. I can jump into my work now with enthusiasm.

I'll admit it isn't quite the boundless, joy-filled enthusiasm Kenya and the gang demonstrate when it's time for them to work, but at least it's not tail-between-my-legs dread.

Maybe it was the freedom I felt entering my forties to no longer have to prove myself. Maybe it was realizing there's more to life than acquiring material things and an impressive resume. Maybe it was just weariness with doing a job I didn't like and felt unsatisfied in. I don't know what it was, but whatever it was, it finally gave me the liberty to pursue something I enjoyed for a living.

And I (and my loved ones) have been far better for it.

No, I don't make that much now freelance writing, but that's okay. We simply don't drive new cars, buy expensive toys, or splurge more often than we can afford. And we're content to stay in a moderate-sized home.

I'd much rather have fewer things and greet my work each day with joy and gratitude, than earn a big paycheck and live a miserable life.

Thanks, Lab kids, for the life lesson. I hope I continue to pay attention to your wisdom.

'Til next time,

1 comment:

Author Mom with Dogs said...

Yay for you joining the path less taken. And for the obvious joy you and your dogs share together.

Love the photos.