Moosie is Seamus, a black Labrador Retriever that was part of the Blonski Family for 12 years.
Moosie had a lot of energy as a young lad...er, lab. His very favorite game was "chase the ball." I would thrown a tennis ball and he would chase after it, scoop it up, and then race back to me.
Funny thing was, even though Moosie was a Labrador Retriever, I had to teach him to actually drop the ball at my feet or let go of it when I grabbed it so I could throw it again. His idea of retrieving was to chase after the ball but then to hang on to the ball as if it were the most important artifact in the history of the world.
My idea of retrieving was that I would throw the ball, Moosie would chase after it, grab it in his jaws and then trot back to me, drop the ball at my feet, and then we would repeat.
Even though "retriever" was in his name, the concept of retrieving was either new to him or we each had a different idea of what it meant.
Chasing the ball came naturally enough to him. But there was a little bit of training that had to happen for the two of us to thoroughly enjoy the experience together.
As I venture through life, I understand how this is in my own life. A lot of things come naturally to me. But to really enjoy life, I need to learn how to do things with other people. I need to learn how to put others first ahead of my own feelings, sometimes.
Moosie could play by himself. He could take the ball and scoop it up in his mouth and then shake his head to throw the ball. He could then chase after it and repeat the process. But Moosie couldn't through the ball nearly as far as I could. So he would come to me with the ball, plead with his eyes to "play ball with me."
In a similar way, I can enjoy myself by myself. I can sit in the early morning hours with a hot cup of coffee and the sun peaking over the eastern horizon. But my day gets so much more enjoyable when my three sons wake up and we go fishing or play basketball or throw a baseball around. I can do all those things by myself, but it works much better with them involved.
Moosie taught me that.