We all know them. The “bon vivants” who inspire us with their looks, personality, charm, and attitude. They’re the ones who just seem to get more out of life…who have that special “joie de la vie.” We don’t want to BE them, but they do have those admirable qualities that we desire.
My inspirational role model is Ralph. I met him last November, at the Dallas SPCA on Industrial Blvd. As I walked by, he shot me his most intense, charismatic gaze. That come-hither look that said, “Baby, I’m yours.” I was bewitched. So I signed the papers, purchased a collar for his tags, and took him home.
Did I mention that Ralph is a dog? An exuberant, mixed-breed terrier who, as it turns out, has an intoxicating love for life that’s contagious. Ralph has the ability to make even the most mundane act an adventure. "Wanna take a walk?" Tail wag…leap…spin…frolic! "Dinner-time?" "Time to go to bed?" "Want a treat?" "How about a few pistachios?" Tail wag…leap…spin…frolic! His enthusiasm knows no bounds. And he always wears black, with a little white at the neck…very Georgia O‘Keeffe. So he’s my style icon as well.
Ralph is the WalMart greeter at his local dog park. People and dogs alike, he doesn’t care. He’s at the gate welcoming them to his world. No face goes un-licked…no crotch un-sniffed. His absence of discrimination and complete lack of prejudice are legendary. Everybody knows Ralph. And in Ralph’s eyes, everyone is beautiful and all is right with the universe.
He likes to run. Just run. Tethered to a bike, he’ll run alongside said bike for miles…through the neighborhood…down the bike trail…around White Rock Lake. Ears back, scraggly facial hair blowing in the breeze, he races to nowhere with the boundless energy of an Alaskan husky in the Iditarod. His destination? He has no idea. His purpose? Just to run. His reward? An ice cream cone at McDonalds, which he devours with relish. He really doesn’t need a reward though, because Ralph is all about the journey. But he does love that last little bit of crunchy cone…
Whenever I feel cranky, Ralph’s my guy. A few minutes of having my face licked, and looking into those soulful brown eyes, is enough to make me pull my head out and realize that life really isn’t that bad. Ralph walks the walk, and lives the dream. He wakes up to a new day, everyday. He eats dog food and filet with equal enthusiasm. He finds absolute delight in the most inconsequential pastimes…chasing a Frisbee, chewing on a rawhide bone, or playing with a bug. He drags his blanket around to the shady spots, and when there’s no shade to be found he simply revels in the sun. Ralph’s capacity for joy and love, minimal needs, and zest for life inspire me daily. You could say he’s my lifestyle guru!
Gotta go make coffee now and get ready for work. Tail wag…leap…spin…frolic!