Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Self Improvement - What Maximus Taught Me About Living

Jeff Faldalen


It all began in the middle of September of 2004 when this four-legged critter came into my life and forever changed it. From the moment I seen him I knew there was something special about to take place. Little did I know this 4 month old puppy was going to show me things in life I could have never seen before.

Now Picture this......

Waiting at the LA airport to pick up a new dobby puppy that was shipped from Penn. I was so excited to see him. It seemed like it took forever, when the elevator doors open and out comes an airport employee pushing a flat bed cart with a huge dog kennel on top of it. I remember looking into the kennel to find a scared little puppy. Now keep in mind, this is a dobby and he has his ears taped up, making it looked like he had two antennas on top of his head. He was sitting down with his front legs spread out, basically telling me "If you want me, you are going to have to come in here and get me." And the moment I pulled him out of that kennel, he took over.

What in the world were we going to name this puppy?

I wanted a name that represented power, integrity, character and a name that was not only unique, but meant something. It was finally decided he would be called Maximus, after the movie Gladiator. Little did I know, he was going to show me a thing or two about how he saw things.....

You have heard the saying a million times......

You know, the one that says never judge a book by its cover. If there was ever a dog to be intimidated by it was Maximus. I mean, he was a 115lbs Doberman Pincher. But once he let you know who he was, he had you hook line and sinker. The thing he taught me was how people deny themselves some of the most incredible experiences in life because of their perception and what they fear.

Have you ever ran the other direction because of fear?.....

I remember walking him down the street and having a woman put her boyfriend between her and Maximus because she was terrified of him. Maximus turned and looked at me as if to say, "why are they afraid of me? I just want to love them." It broke my heart, because I knew Maximus and how much he loved to love and the people who were afraid of him, denied themselves of an incredible experience. But we all do it in different ways.

Have you ever loved with out reservation?....

I have not always been the person I strive to be today. In fact, I was complete opposite. I was terrified of love, because I was afraid of rejection. And I am grateful that today I cherish most people. I would like to say all, but that is not entirely true. I don't cherish people who choose to blame others for their pain. There are a few other things I could mention, but you get the point.

Let's get back to the rejection issue....

You see Maximus was always curious, so he was always walking up to people. He didn't fear rejection because all he wanted to do was love people. He wanted to play with you and slap you in the face with his 80 grit sand paper tongue. See he taught me is when I am afraid of rejection, I am only thinking of myself and not what I can do for the other person.

And probably the most important thing Maximus taught me......

The quality of our lives is really all about how we see things. Let me give a snap shot of how Maximus viewed what most would consider disgusting. Almost, like clock work, he would go out in the back yard and leave us a treasure and then come bolting into the house to do his three or four victory laps around the center of our living room letting us know he left us a treasure. There is a great lesson in all we do, we just have to prepare ourselves to see it

You see, the fact is.....

Maximus and my grand mother had the same philosophy: To sing like no one is listening, to dance like no one is watching and love like you have never been hurt. Because the last thing Maximus taught me each and every day of his life, was to live and not dwell on yesterday or worry about tomorrow. Because when I had to make the decision to put him to sleep the only thought I had at that moment was I hope he knew, every moment of his life, how much I appreciated him and how blessed I felt to be the one that Maximus wanted to share his life with.

If Maximus would have been able to talk....

Which I would do for him quit often, I know he would have never complained about anything. The only thing he cared about was showing you know how much he enjoyed being with you. I remember the last run we had together, he held his head high, tongue flapping out the side and ran like a champion, just because that is what he did. He enjoyed everything in life, except being home alone.

If you ever have the chance or wondering...

What it would be like to have a Dobby as a pet, don't think twice. They are the greatest dogs on earth. And maybe you will experience the things Maximus spent his life showing me. As I complete this, I miss him big time and all I can think of is I hope he knows what he taught me and how much I loved him.

I could write a book, and maybe I will, about my life with Maximus. Everyone who met Maximus fell in love with him. Even though he wanted everyone to know he owned the block, by barking at anything that moved, he loved more then I ever thought was possible. Because of how much of a lose he was to me, it has only taken me over three weeks to be able to write this.

Be sure to look for up and coming posts of our new puppy we will be getting in a couple of months.
If you are a pet lover or just want to leave a comment, please feel free to do so. I would love to see your thoughts

Best wishes,
Jeff Faldalen

PS Having Maximus in my life taught me "To live like my life depends on it" because life is to short to worry about whatever one else thinks

Are you ready to have someone mentor you towards your dreams and find out how to improve your life and start living out your dreams. Be sure to watch this video of how a dog improved my life

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