Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

Meet Pepper.

She will be 9 years old this year. She is old, as you can see from her newly white hair that is now taking up residence on her snout. Pepper at the age of 9, which is 59 in human years, found a new love. I never knew she would develop a passion for water let alone actually swimming. When she was a puppy, and up until last year, she was terrified of the water. She would wade in it, but no doggie paddle for her. Last year, she saw Mordi swim and just decided she could swim too. It was funny at first to see her go vertical and flap her paws like a classic drowning victim, but she would paddle so hard and then finally glide away in the water.

All of this got me thinking how terrified we, as humans, are to start something new for fear of looking like a novice or of being unable to perfect the activity right away. Fear is paralyzing, and it kills any growth, creativity or joy one may be able to garner from this one life that we all have. After all that is what life is all about, right? You try something, and sometimes you fall all along the way; however, if you are tenacious and keep trying eventually you will glide like Pepper now does in the water.

Life is not a final paper that is written with no mistakes and free of any grammatical errors. It starts out with promise but needs a lot of work along the way. Why do we have it in our heads that life should be as error free as possible? We grow in the times when we are “vertical” and in the times we look like a novice. I want to be more like Pepper. I want to try things even though I may look silly and maybe I will never be perfect at them, but at least I tried. I believe we are truly at our best when we are not in a state of perfection, but in those editing phases of our life where we are learning, growing and being human.


3 thoughts on “Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

  1. Nancy says:

    The last pic was taken by Melissa. Doesn’t she look so happy?

  2. Seth says:

    There is definitely nothing quite as adorable as watching these two swimming until their eyes are too tired to stay open. That, and when Pepper or Mordi will swim in circles for minutes at a time if they lose their stick. So cute!

  3. Melissa says:

    What a great post, Nancy! The metaphor of the final paper is absolutely perfect. That’s exactly how I live my life, and then when I realize I can’t get it just right I want to give up. Well said.

    I adore seeing Pepper swim. It reminds me that change is possible. I love that.

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