For our prompt of “Choice” today, I chose to make a little sketch of my dog Elliott as his first birthday is coming up next Thursday, and he’s officially becoming an adult. Beyond growing over five times larger than when he first came home, he’s also developing quite a fun and interesting personality. And thankfully, clocking in at just under 60 pounds, the vet says he’s likely done growing. But, he’s a bit too large to be considered a lapdog now, and is twice as large as our previous dog Phineas. Of course, this doesn’t stop him from still occasionally trying to hop on our laps, though rather unsuccessfully unless Philippe and I happen to be sitting next to one another, doubling the amount of available lap space. Yet, when I look at him today, I still see the same little soulful, imploring eyes that made us choose him out of all the other dogs at the shelter. It strikes me that the choices we make in life that come purely from a place of peaceful tenderness and universal compassion are always the most rewarding.
That’s not to say that it hasn’t been quite an adventure for us. Neither Philippe nor I had ever raised a puppy before, so we had no idea what to expect. I remember once when Elliott first arrived and Philippe suddenly jumped off the couch and checked on him as he was sleeping. “It looked like he wasn’t breathing!” he exclaimed. As it turns out, Elliott is simply a very sound sleeper. Yet, there would be many times along the way that we merely hoped we were doing the right thing and would question every decision that we made. “His ears aren’t symmetrical now. Is that a problem?” I asked on another day. The vet assured us that it wasn’t and that it was just a side effect caused by the cocktail of his 14 various breeds. For his part, Elliott never once had a concern about anything at all. He developed a wildly delighted and extremely social demeanor and has never been truly bothered by much. As long as there are enough toys, food, and love to go around, he’s always perfectly content.
And, I’ve been reminded that those are pretty much the only things that I require in life as well. Yeah, even the toys. Though these days, that includes art supplies. Yet, Elliott still has it much better than I do. He’s shielded from the hatefulness and toxicity that’s creeping up through our human culture. Mostly, because he has no interest in the news or the opposable thumbs required to use a smartphone. He instead focuses on his actual needs, which through all of our early fears turned out to be surprisingly few. Though, thinking back to that first day when we met him at the shelter, it always felt like we all knew what we really needed. It was one of the easiest decisions that I’ve ever made. It was a choice born out of pure optimism and love that made it impossible to second guess. There’s a beautiful rarity in that level of certainty. So, on this day, I’ve decided to take a moment to let my heart reminisce and enjoy that extraordinary, singular moment when Elliott and I first looked into each other’s eyes and silently said, “I choose you.”
About the Doodlewash
Sketching Stuff Coloring Set – Da Vinci Watercolors: Charlie O’Blue, Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta, and Ultramarine (Green Shade). ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note and I’ll add it to my shop!