Dogs – like us, each has, let’s say, “unique quirks.” We love them anyway.
Sure, my Topper rolled in cow pies and the occasional dead animal. Casey spent most of his time behind the sofa. Rudy growled if I sat next to him. During temper tantrums, Dalilah would eat anything within reach. Rico barks at the slightest sound. And Roxy ate my underwear out of the dirty laundry.
I was crazy about each of them.
But now I have Whiskey.
She takes imperfection to a whole new, previously unheard of level. A gross level.
Her farts smell like rotten eggs. Her breath can stink up a room just as easily. She knows when you ordered food – even if you ordered online! – and barks until it arrives. Once she starts barking, she can’t stop, echoing off the walls and the inside of my skull like a sledgehammer. I don’t know how she does it, but she makes me conform around her in my bed at night.
Worst of all, she eats Rico’s poop.
You can always go back to the shelter, I scream as we race to the morning pile in the yard.
An empty threat, of course.
Because even with all of her imperfections, I adore her. Like all my fur babies, there’s nothing I won’t sacrifice to keep her happy, healthy, and safe.
One day it really hit me how much I love her – those floppy ears, that snowman-like face, the way her grunts sound like a little kid mimicking an engine. It kind of blew my mind.
I know. Loving a dog is a pretty low bar. Yay goals, right?
But consider how perfectionism continues to be a multi-billion dollar business, whether promoting the unattainable ideal in the media or trying to recover from it with one of many thousands of self-help books. This stubborn belief deep in our collective psyche has made millionaires.
What if, instead, we consciously note the beloved-yet-imperfect things/ people/ places already in our lives and, equally important, acknowledge we love them anyway? Wouldn’t that make perfection a moot point?
If I can love turd-burglar Whiskey, for example, what else can I love that doesn’t fit my definition of perfect? The tree in my yard that only grows to one side? Yes! The multiplying lines around my eyes? Uh … yes! My brown-nosing colleague? OK, it’s a work in progress.
Even so, Whiskey makes a great case for how useless “perfection” is as a prerequisite for love and happiness.
I don’t have to be perfect to have value. You don’t have to be perfect to have value. Life doesn’t have to be perfect to love, appreciate, and enjoy it.
But a scented candle never hurt either.
Thanks for stopping by today.