8 Things I Learned From Angel

8. Loyalty
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Loyalty is a virtue, a very popular virtue indeed and especially one that every person requires from family and friends. Loyalty is a character trait that seems to be instinctive in dogs. They don’t have to learn it in obedience school, they just are by nature loyal. We have all heard of the stories of loyal dogs that would not leave their owners’ graves. Or of the dog that kept on waiting for its owner at the train station as it had done every day of its life: waiting for his beloved friend to return.

Like most canines, Angel is quite loyal herself. She never forgets a loved one. I see this whenever our daughter comes home for a visit. Angel gets so excited and just loves on Heather as if they’ve never been apart. I think that loyalty means remaining trustworthy no matter what. Sadly, this is not so common in people. Some lose their loyalty after a disagreement, or after some separation, or if the other party is absent. Some lose their loyalty as soon as their backs are turned. Real friends and loving families provide that soft safe place for us when we know they are loyal to us. There’s no happier place after all than where you can be yourself and be accepted and loved.

We can choose to be loyal. We can make a conscious effort to remain trustworthy no matter what happens. And thus we can bless our family and friends with our unfailing loyalty. They will love us even more. And maybe we can pass it on to them and they will also be more loyal to us or their own family and friends.

This is the end of my “lessons from Angel series”. Thank you so much for reading. I have truly enjoyed sharing this journey with you all. You are awesome and I am grateful for your precious time and attention. Angel and I thank you all so much!

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Lessons from Angel Part 2 – Understanding My Angel

I have my friend Peggy to thank for getting me started with walking outside for exercise. She had started walking as an exercise towards a healthier lifestyle. One day she posted on Facebook inviting her friends to walk with her. She had been posting that she walked around 5 laps a day. I was interested but I wasn’t sure I could do five laps. I replied to her post and said just that and she said to come on. So I did and I really enjoyed it. That first day I actually did 4 laps. I told my husband I really loved it and would like to do it again. He encouraged me to do it and he suggested that I bring Angel along. I asked Peggy if she would mind if I brought my dog along and she said she would ask the Fire Chief if it was okay. Within the day, she sent me a text that it was okay as long as the dog was on a leash, and that she’d see us the next day.

Angel was so happy that first time I took her walking. I got up early that morning, I had coffee and a small breakfast. I said to Angel, “do you want to go walking with Mommy?” She looked at me as if I had lost my mind. I said “where’s your leash Baby, go get your leash”. She seemed to understand that. She looked around and saw her leash on the floor and she picked it up with her teeth and brought it to me! I was so happy, I patted her, and hugged her and said “good girl, good girl!” as she wagged her tail and her whole butt. We left at around 8:00 am. I put her in the backseat of the car and threw her leash in there, too.

When we got to the park, I introduced Angel to Ms. Peggy and I knew she liked Ms. Peggy. I tried to walk her on my left side so I could walk with Peggy on my right. But Angel preferred to walk in the middle, so she could look at me on her left and watch Ms. Peggy on her right. My sweet pooch Angel, she just was so happy walking that very first day. She smelled the air, and she had her head up, and her mouth open just like she was smiling, you know. And she looked at me, smiling like that, and when my hand brushed next to her, she kissed it. Like saying, “I love you Mommy, thank you for taking me walking”.

So the next day, I was sleeping really well. I was thinking, maybe no walking today. Maybe I sleep in today. Sleep feels so good. Maybe because of the great exercise I had the day before. Then I felt Angel licking my hand off the edge of the bed. I took my hand away, I said, “Go back to sleep, Angel”. Then she was licking my toe that was on the edge of the foot of the bed. I pulled my leg back under the covers, saying “Angel, no, Mommy’s sleeping”. What happened next stunned me, woke me from my slumber, and got me straight up and out of bed. Angel had jumped into the bed with me! As if to say, “if you’re going to sleep all day, I will sleep right here on the bed with you!” She had never done that before. And I just knew that the only way I could get her off the bed was to get out of bed myself, and I was right. As soon as I got up, she got off the bed and followed me. I looked at the clock and sure enough it said 8:00 am. It’s as if Angel knew it was time for walking again. I couldn’t help but smile to myself. I went to make coffee and toast some bread. Suddenly I could feel Angel fussing at my feet. When I turned to look she had her leash in her mouth and she was wagging her tail and almost skipping with excitement. As if to say, “let’s go walking now Mommy, I’m ready.”

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Tomorrow, Part 3 of Lessons from Angel