Canine Rebellion

I want to take a moment to introduce you to Cooper.

Cooper is my 9 year old hound dog. He’s also my good friend and roommate. Coop’s a pretty good guy, and for the most part, likes to lay around like a beached whale.

I’ve always had a lot of respect for Cooper as he’s got life pretty well figured out. He knows what makes him happy and he tries to stay out of trouble. Two tenets that many of us seek to live by.  Although recently, it appears Cooper is dealing with some issues.

A couple of weeks ago, I began coming home to the trash and recycling bins knocked over and the contents strewn across the floor. At first I suspected poltergeist activity and fled the house terrified. After composing myself, I realized Cooper was the most likely suspect. This continued to go on at least once a day, with Cooper going so far as to lie next to the trash he had torn apart. Needless to say, new trashcan protocols have been implemented, but the trash addiction hasn’t been cured.

So the point of this story about Cooper isn’t that my dog likes trash or that I’m an easygoing landlord. To the contrary, my point is that Cooper may in fact be a good role model.

In dog years, Cooper is in his early 50’s, a middle aged dog-man, and he’s trying new things. Not only is he trying new things, but he’s decided to fuck shit up. He’s not taking up golfing or playing chess at the park… no, he’s shoving a middle finger in the air and making life more interesting for everyone in the house. As inconvenienced as I may be by this behavior, I think it’s a great lesson.

As we grow up, we’re expected to follow a certain path and become complacent. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can be limiting if we lack perspective. As we mature and gain meaningful life experience, shouldn’t we be motivated to challenge the status quo? Shouldn’t we seek to find new sources of joy and passion? I think so, and so does Cooper.

I’m not suggesting we all start dumpster diving or dump trash in our living rooms. What I’m really getting at is that there’s no right or wrong time to challenge ourselves and grow. It might be scary and it may seem inappropriate, but that’s not always a bad thing. Hell, if my old dog can learn a new trick, maybe the rest of us can too.

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