3 Keys to Happiness

Screen shot 2013-06-28 at 1.08.51 PMLet me start by reminding you I am a dog. Yes, a dog with a blog. Please don’t confuse me with the Disney show – A Dog with a Blog. Stan does some amazing work with his blog and television show. It is nice to know I have company when it comes to blogging.

I know it is good blogging etiquette to get to the point right away. Please bear with me as I get to my topic of the 3 Keys to Happiness. I feel like I have to “set the stage” since I haven’t blogged for a while. Besides, I’m a dog. My train of thought wanders at times.

My human mom is encouraging me to get back to writing. She is working on the same thing. Her blog is Learning is Growing. She says we both took another hiatus. I am not really sure what she means, but since I know we both haven’t blogged for a while, I think she means we took a little vacation from blogging. It is nice to be back.

I had an experience a few weeks ago that made a huge impact on me. I have thought about it a lot. I figured it would be a good topic for my readers and away for me to remember the experience for years to come.

There aren’t many places a dog can go in my area except for walks, a ride in the car, a trip to The Smart Store (aka Pet Smart) and the vet. I love the first three. The last I tolerate. So, when my human mom told me I was going to a fancy dinner at a large hotel and conference center I really didn’t even know what she meant. All I knew was it was another fun ride in the car once I realized we weren’t going in the direction of the vet. Another clue should have been the nice brushing I got before we left, but I just took that as another one of my favorite 1 on 1 times with my human mom. I love to be brushed. It feels so good! And, I have to keep up my status as a CUTE dog!

When we arrived I was still a little worried. The place was big, but so is my Pet Hotel and Day Spa. I love my Pet Hotel, but also miss my human mom terribly when I am there. Once I realized my human mom was staying with me at this fancy place I felt a little more at ease. I also realized I was wearing my K9 S.T.A.R.S. vest. I usually wear this when I go to the library to listen to kids read. I thought it was strange that there weren’t any kids there. Were the adults going to read to me instead?

Until TuesdayAs it turned out, I was attending a fundraiser event for S.T.A.R.S., Inc – the organization in which I volunteer my time as a Read to Me dog. At this event I met a real HERO, well TWO HEROS to be exact.

The guests of honor were Captain Luis Montalván, U.S. Army (Ret.) and his service dog, Tuesday. Luis Carlos Montalván served the U.S. during two tours of duty in Iraq. He returned physically wounded and psychologically and emotionally shaken. Thanks to a comforting friend, a Golden Retriever named “Tuesday”, he’s now on the on the comeback trail and travels the country with his powerful message of hope and healing. He has also detailed is message in the book Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him. You can also read more about Captain Luis Montalván, U.S. Army (Ret.) and Tuesday on their websiteFacebook page and Twitter. A motion picture based on Until Tuesday, as well as an independent documentary titled, “Buried Above Ground,” co-featuring Capt. Montalván, will be released in 2013.

With Luis and Tuesday My human mom said I was “as good as gold” at the event. I was well behaved and made people smile. The best part of the night was meeting Luis Carlos Montalván and Tuesday. But before I did that Luis Carlos Montalván and Tuesday spoke all of us in attendance. Their journeys have been one of highs and lows. Of successes and challenges. Now that they are together, Luis and Tuesday are never apart. Tuesday has provided Luis Carlos Montalván the opportunity to regain his life and share their story! Tuesday rescued Luis! Even though I’m considered a rescue dog, my human mom says I rescued her. She even has a magnet on the back of her car to share that with the world. I really doesn’t matter who rescued who. What matters is the love and companionship between human and dog. That bond is so special.

Luis ended his talk outlining the 3 Keys to Happiness that he and Tuesday saw on a sign outside a store in New York City one day. The sign read Three keys to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for. These words have stuck with me since hearing them at the big event.

Something to do (What’s your passion?) – For me, a rescue dog, it is to give back to others. I am so thankful for Noah’s Hope, the rescue organization that helped me find my  forever home. Now it is my turn to help others. I do this by volunteering at the public library as a Read to Me dog. I love seeing people (kids and adults a like) light up when the realize there are DOGS in the LIBRARY! I love listening to kids read. I love seeing parents and caretaker interacting with their children and setting the example and opportunities for them to be READERS!

Something/Someone to love – That’s easy. My human mom means the world to me. She has provided me a loving home. She tells me she loves me EVERY SINGLE DAY. She has helped me forget my past and has given me a bright future. We both look at pictures of our first days together and marvel at how far I have come. I was a very timid pup when my mom rescued me. I was scared of people. I shook a lot. I really didn’t act like a happy dog. My human mom spent months getting me the right training and I eventually became an AKA Canine Good Citizen and therapy dog for the K9 S.T.A.R.S., Inc. She had lofty expectations of me and I rose to the occasion. I love her for that.

Something to hope for – As a dog in a loving home I now have everything I ever hoped for for myself. I know my human mom is going to be there for me and provide the things I need even if that means an occasional trip to the vet. I don’t have to hope my human mom will snuggle with me because I know she will. I don’t have to hope that she takes me for a walk, because I know she will (but I do sometimes have to encourage her to do so!) I guess my only hope for myself is that my human mom keeps remembering to buy my favorite night-time treat GREENIES! What I do hope for is that all my fellow rescue dogs find loving, forever homes, just like I did.

If you have something to do, something or someone to love and something to hope for you have found happiness!

What do you do? Who do you love? What do you hope for? I’d love to hear from you! 

Here are a few other pictures from my big night on the town! My human mom loves taking pictures of me. I don’t mind. I’m cute. I love to be the center of attention!

Under the tableI was a well-behaved dog and did not beg while people were eating. I spent most of the meal time under the table. It was cooler under there, too! And, as always, a few crumbs were dropped. Humans are silly like that and once something is dropped on the floor they don’t seem to want it back. Food is food in my opinion – off a plate, in a bowl and off the floor.

It also gave me an opportunity to take a little nap! Going out to dinner at a fancy place is exhausting. I was glad my human mom let me rest a little bit! I was more refreshed to listen to Luis and Tuesday tell their story!

ListeningI enjoyed listening to Luis Carlos Montalván. I sat very attentive. It was a little hard to see since we were sitting toward the back. My human home told me how well behaved Tuesday was, too! He sat right by Luis providing him support to talk to a big crowd. I’m a little jealous that Tuesday gets to spend every hour of every day with his human dad. I keep wishing my human mom would take me to more places – like to her work, shopping and out to other fancy dinners. I guess that is one more thing I hope for – I hope (or wish) I could go more places with my human mom! But Tuesday is different. He’s Luis’s service dog. Tuesday helps Luis with so many day-to-day task. My human mom keeps telling me that someday I will be able to help kids at a school once she finds a principal job. Should I start sending my resume out with hers?

A treatI enjoyed a special treat of water on one of the fancy plates. I hope the restaurant didn’t mind. My human mom could tell I was hot and needed a drink of water. I was so glad she shared some of hers with me. She always knows what I need. My human mom is super smart!

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