By Anne Mukei
I have three dogs — Jimmy, Black and Flappy. Actually, they are not really mine, but my son’s. I ensure they have food, vaccinations and the occasional bath. Apart from that, I ignore them. I don’t like dogs, but I have learnt to live with them, simply because my family likes them. But it seems I have subconsciously grown to like them. A few days ago when they got naughty by squeezing themselves past the gate and out into the street, I knew they would be back in no time. Sure enough, two of them returned home, apart from one, who found it fun to run around the estate.
Apparently, this stranger could not resist Flappy’s beauty and held him ‘hostage’ for a few hours. Meanwhile, he was asking to be paid before he could release him, or else he would sell him. My heart sank. Suddenly, I was appreciating things about him I had hitherto abhorred; his sometimes — loud bark included. I started to miss the sense of security I felt simply by knowing he would alert everyone by barking if a stranger was at the gate. I started to miss the way he wags his tail when he sees me. The way he dances in circles to express his joy with the world. To cut a long story short, I finally managed to talk to the abductor on phone and he released the white fluffy dog. I promised myself to lovingly pat the dogs once I got home and even get them a big bone.
I was going to appreciate them for what they are. It is amazing how we take things, situations and people for granted, till something happens to make us realise just how much they mean to us.
A colleague tells me that when his older brother died, he realised he had never hugged him, yet he loved him so. This coming from a man is touching – don’t we always assume men care the least and are least bothered by acts of affection?
Joy and fulfillment
He went ahead to tell me how much he cares for his three sons. Yet, there is no single day he has ever told them he loves them. He reckoned that the fact that he takes care of their needs is clear indication of his love for them. He has now promised himself to give each a bear hug once they come home for the school holidays. We had a good time laughing at the picture of him dishing out his love to the boys he loves so dearly. We both agreed it was not the easiest of things to do; yet with a little appreciation, it could happen naturally. Appreciate those who mean something to you today, wont you?