As some of you know from my author page on Facebook it has been a sad week around our house. The dog that my first husband and I got together, Einstein, had an inoperable brain tumor and had to be put down on Thursday.

Einstein was almost 11 years old, and even though I have not lived with him for the past eight years, he has still been a daily gratitude in my life.

One of the things that has made this week tolerable (besides kids and counseling…) has been remembering all the gifts that Einstein has left behind in the form of lessons:

1. Love with Your Whole Body When Einstein greeted you, it was without reserve. He wrapped his whole body around you just to make sure that you didn’t miss one bit of puppy love (or Golden Retriever hair…) He would dance, hug, lick, and in the cases where he saw Roger, even pee a little.

Einstein reminds me to not hold back. I have to say that with all these grown up kids around here, it became easier to say goodbye without hugs or kisses on the head. No more. I want to love like Einstein loved – without any doubt that the person standing in front of me is the most important person in the world.

2. People are More Important than Work My son Justen works with his dad and would sometimes work from his dad’s house, where Einstein lived. On those occasions, Einstein was so glad that Justen decided to take the day to just snuggle with him and would let Justen know of this plan by laying his giant head across Justen’s lap and laptop.

Just because I can work from sun up to sun down on my laptop doesn’t mean I should. I was to spend more time with my husband and kids on the couch than my job.

3. Dorks make the best kind of people (and the best kind of Dogs) We often called Einstein a dork. He greeted people by peeing (just a little bit) once ate three dozen cookies cooling on the kitchen counter, and, well, really didn’t live up to the name Justen gave him. But we didn’t love him despite all those things, we loved him because of them.

I spent most of my time before my 35th birthday looking for the cool people to hang out with. Now I like the interesting people. Cool is way overrated. I like the slightly off, those people who are a bit broken and not afraid to show it.

Einstien never really made a name for himself in obedience school, but I don’t know of a dog who left a bigger impression on the people he loved.

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