My goal in life is to become as wonderful as my dog thinks I am. Texas is a state unto his own. He is mighty and proud. He is sweet and sensitive. This little dog is a king in his jungle. He strutts, he strides, he parades, he patrols, and whoofs and growls and hollers. He embraces his enormous ego and brandishes his courage. Oh, to be as self confident as my dog. I know that when I come home at night this little creature will be so overwhelmed with happiness that his whole body is taken over by his enthusiasm. He squirms, wriggles, squeals and squeeks his happiness, tail wagging, body twisting with delight. Oh, but to be that excited to see someone, to love so freely, energetically and with complete abandon. We should all take a page out of his book, do as he does, love freely, energetically and with complete abandon. I wish that I could.....to be so honest with myself, so forgiving that I can be free to love without judgement or cynicism. If I could but love with a dog's heart, I would be free. I cannot tell you how many lessons my little dog has taught me. I know, there is a poem written about the lessons dogs teach us all, but, what Texas has taught me, has been about myself, or rather, what I should examine about myself. My first lesson was about weariness, little Texas is always, first cautious about strangers, as am I and with that lesson I learned that maybe I could be just a little less closed off and more accessible. So many more, like, making my own fun....Texas is an "only dog", so, oftentimes he has to entertain himself, and therefore, he's become pretty good at creating situations where he can either manipulate me into retreiving his chewie or relocating it with a flip from his long snout, so that he can scamper after it. He is also quite good at hiding the chewie so as to have something to play hide and seek with. This would be a standard type of game a dog might play, however, poor Texas grew up in an apartment and believes that if a chewie is placed 'out of the way', but, not necessarily 'buried' it is hidden - often times the chewie is quite literally in plain sight, yet my little hero believes with all of his hiding prowess I should not be able to see his treasure. He will sit adjacent to it, usually with his back to it, watching me or whomever is in the room with narrowed eyes and stance at the ready, should the hiding spot of his chewie be discovered. Much to my family's delight, we have all enjoyed Texas making his own fun. One of our favorites is when he 'buries' a chewie in the couch.....any ol' couch will do, so long as you don't expect to sit on it where he has buried his treasure. It is poetically obvious Texas was bread to 'go to ground' when he 'digs' at the couch or carpet when he wants to bury or cover something up, as he did not grow up digging in real dirt. However, since we moved to the country he has had the pleasure of digging in real dirt.....again, in a messed up kind of poetic way, when he's digging in the real dirt, he has no idea why, because it would never occur to him to bury a chewie in dirt....because then how awful would that taste, eh? He has discovered in the limited little garden I grew last year that small frogs live there and they are fun to scout out, but, alas, he has not figured out that they are, to some species, edible. He can be found in the garden, under the massive zucchini leaves, sniffing and snorting around, with his long snout, burrowing into the soft dirt, on the hunt for more of the hopping, skipping little critters. Again, he does not know that he is a dog and that dogs most likely eat frogs, when they can catch one. Then, there it is, the crux of the matter.....Texas has not been able to catch a frog.....(Thank you God). I do have to give him props though for the Mole he dug up. We were having a serious Mole problem in the front and back yards, mind you that we have a 'landscaped' front and back yard, aside from the two additional acres of dirt and greenery, but, the Moles only wanted to hang out in the newly sodded front and back yards, so, we were having a pest control company come out to deal with the little varmints..............I'm not a big fan of actually killing little animals in inhumane ways, (ie; chemicals), however, the sod cost a large amount of money and the Moles were really working it over. And, honestly, the pest company assured me that they were only using a vibration device to motivate the moles into leaving.....but, my Dad is another element I could not control, nor could the Moles have seen coming.....he believed in drowning the little s.o.b's....so, hoses were run into various Mole holes and alas, Texas found one, not so alive, as he was digging in the flower bed, where a previous Mole hole cave in had occured. Boy, was he proud...."look Mom, I finally caught something that I did not flip into the air myself", I'm sure he was saying to me with his ever expressive eyes, as I took the dead Mole from his mouth and threw it in the dumpster. Poor Texas sat vigil at the dumpster for quite some time that afternoon, until he saw Kitty from next door and his attention was diverted long enough to forget why he was there. I am to blame for his truncated abilities in the wild, but, I am okay with that, as I fear he would be hard pressed to make a go of it in the wild, he is far too comfortable in His castle and in his bed to be tempted to venture beyond his ability to see or hear me. So, I am quite happy to have him as the heartbeat at my feet.