Quality Time…



One of the most important things I learned from Cody is quality time. Illness tends to offer a perspective that you would not otherwise truly “get” in a reality sort of way. Everyone who is familiar with any Eastern philosophy knows about being “present” and centered and conscious of your breath, being in the moment, experiencing each moment and allowing yourself to truly BE in it. But until you are faced with the harsh reality that time is short, I am not sure it TRULY sinks in. And sometimes even then it does not. Denial is not just a river in Egypt.


As most of you know, Cody was five when he was first diagnosed. Anyone who is familiar with Labradors knows that until they get to be around that age, they are a bit hyper and nuts. Cody was no exception. He was absolutely awesome in every way, with that added flavor of excitement and hyperactive energy that makes me love Labs. But when he turned five, he really sort of came into his own. He calmed down enough that he truly started to shine. He was more mellow, attentive, engaged, trained and super lovey. It really did take almost four years for him to get there too. Any Lab owner knows what I am talking about. Labs are an investment in time and training and it pays off BIG TIME. Cody got robbed of some really great years obviously. More like I got robbed of his prime years I guess. He had no idea, he was happy all the time, absolutely content with who he was and his lot in life. I miss him every day.


I was laid off back in February and am now working from home again, doing freelance this and that, and going to school (online) for Nutrition, writing a lot… and spending a wonderful amount of time – QUALITY time with the animals. There is nothing better. I love the daily interaction… the way the time passes and the movement around the house with each other. I love the quiet solitude of afternoon siesta for them all. And that is like clockwork. The post lunch naptime, when the day is at its warmest (all my windows and doors are still open and it is April!) and the energy level fades… the snoozing in various spots around the house is fascinating. They always look so damn comfortable! I am jealous…




Hanging out all day in the house with the boys is amazing in many ways, and incredibly educational. As I said all the windows and doors are open, so when something peaks their interest I tune in and hear it too, or smell it, or sense it. I am much more aware of the day and the time hanging out with them all. The dog is totally different from the cats too. The cats get spooked by lawn mower sounds. The dog gets hyped by kids at the bus stop on the corner. A dog barks in the distance and Oscar joins in. Birds fly around the backyard pool and the cats are on high alert.

It is better than TV…


But one of the main things I have noticed is that Oscar, being a mixed breed mutt and having no idea what he has coursing through his veins, is where Cody was at five years old now at not quite two years old. He is about 1 year and 8 months old. he is mature, relaxed for the most part, attentive, engaged… he is smart and sweet. He has his weirdness that we are still figuring out – the anxiety of strangers and hyper sensitivity to outside noises at times. He has big issues with one of us being gone, he needs to have the herd all together all the time.

But all day he is methodically following me around, snoozing near me and watching my every move with interest. Everything I do I show him. Everything I have in my hands I show him. If I am getting something out of the frig, I show it to him and let him smell it. Carrots, broccoli stems, water. If I make a smoothie, as long as it doesn’t have anything in it that is toxic to him, I let him have some or lick the glass when I am done. If I am doing work and writing with pen and paper, I will show it to him and he will sniff it until he is satisfied. If I am outside in the garden and I pick some herbs, I let him smell them in my hand. I show him different plants and flowers and he checks them out. Always talking to him and letting him know good and bad.


I don’t know how anyone cannot like animals. I know a few people who say they do not like them, could never have one. Fine. Those people are exactly the kind that shouldn’t have one. But the amazing benefits of engaging and connecting to a creature that knows nothing but being present, here and now, in this moment and doesn’t know of anything past or future. This is IT! That is special, there is true healing, nurturing, life lessons there. To share your world with a being that gets it so easily, and shares that, and teaches you…

There is absolutely nothing better….


~ by Michelle Sammartino-Zeto on April 2, 2014.

2 Responses to “Quality Time…”

  1. Lovely. Animals – especially dogs – live in the moment. Truly a lesson we would do well to absorb. As usual, your posts are humble and thoughtful.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Margaret and Helen

Best Friends for Sixty Years and Counting...

Whiteboard Unicorns

A Chronicle Of My Labrador's Fight Against Canine Lymphoma

Cake Wrecks

A Chronicle Of My Labrador's Fight Against Canine Lymphoma

Chicken Maker

A Chronicle Of My Labrador's Fight Against Canine Lymphoma

Hyperbole and a Half

A Chronicle Of My Labrador's Fight Against Canine Lymphoma

Saving Cody

A Chronicle Of My Labrador's Fight Against Canine Lymphoma

Ultimate Kitchen Commando

Helping you achieve your food goals one bite at at time

© 365 Days of Pure Vegetarian

Cooking with Compassion ~ recipes from India & around the world

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: