Delictus Interruptus: When Pets “Interrupt” Our Lives

We all work hard for the things we want (or think we want).

But, in our daily pursuit of happiness, it can be easy to lose sight of the things that are really important.

After rushing to work, grinding away for eight to 12 hours, rushing home, preparing meals that don’t make us yawn and addressing the oft-dreaded mail, it may feel like there’s just not enough gas in the tank for loved ones or cherished activities.

And, when something or someone abruptly derails our concentration, it is easy to feel put out.

I’ve felt that way on more than one occasion. Last week, I was snaking through a maze of online instructions on how to expand this website. I’m not particularly tech savvy, so the task demanded intense focus. At a “critical” juncture in the process, our Boston terrier, Lilly, bounded over, sat in front of me and offered her trademark “g-r-r-ruf”: Time for a walk, daddy!

Grudgingly, I pushed myself off the couch. Lilly sat patiently while I retrieved her front-loading harness and slipped it over her head from below her eye level. She did not protest as she did when my wife and I used to come at her from above. Lilly looked up at me and smiled when we hit the crisp, night air and a slight breeze ferried a potpourri of scents to her waiting snout. Along our walk, we had three “close encounters” with other dogs during which she calmly sat and looked up expectantly at me for a treat.

Were it not for this “interruption,” I may not have appreciated exactly how far Lilly has come behaviorally. Also, moving about after several sedentary hours stimulated my body and brain. By the time we got back home, I’d plotted my next strategy for uploading new content on the website.

Interruptions can be golden, especially when they provide the opportunity to interact with a living, loving being. Interruptions can teach us not to take ourselves - or whatever we’re working on - too seriously. Neither we nor our projects will perish because we take time out to connect. Who knows, we may even return to whatever we were doing with a fresh perspective we might otherwise not have had.

Then, there’s welcoming the interruption for the sheer joy it can give us and our pets.  A game of fetch or pounce-on-the-laser or a quick snuggle may be a most rewarding distraction from our own version of the Great American Novel.

In the end, the stuff of our lives will wait for us.

Our pets are with us only once.