Despite lacking the potassium and sugar values needed, Simba is undeniably bananas. He is athletic, sweet, bold, and energetic. Still, when he lays paw inside our home, he becomes a wonderfully spoiled and soft pup. He claims four beds–two designed for dogs with one being orthopedic, four couches, and vast stretches of carpet, hardwood, and cool, refreshing splashes of tile. Yet despite this array of options, he typically manages to find the location that my wife or I desire. Begrudgingly, he relocates or rolls onto his back, suggesting that we might share said space, but only if he can unintentionally slap us with his paw or tail from time to time.
Outside the confines of our home, Simba believes he is the Ferdinand Magellan of our modest yard. Circumnavigating its boundaries, he surveys the land and its surroundings, relaying information to the top dog, Bo, and alerting him of any potential threats or visitors. In all reality, it is a good thing that he forwards this intelligence to Bo, because he (Simba) is too preoccupied with tennis balls to notice much else. Virtually nothing motivates Simba like a worn tennis ball. I can recall moments where he even managed to jeopardize his own safety in order to retrieve his beloved ball. Scrambling madly to track down his favorite spherical toy, he once slid abruptly into the side of our home, cutting open his head on the stucco siding and leaving a jagged opening between his eyes that flapped in the wind, exposing a subcutaneous layer of our fragile canine. Still, he pranced unaffected to our side to display that he managed to bring us the ball. Bloodied but smiling, Simba would need a few well-placed staples to fix the cranial abrasion, and all play-like activity would resume shortly after.
Given his affinity for persistence in finding joy through even the most miserable situations, I have always admired Simba’s resilience and ability to smile and wag his tail. After all, a simple head cold gets the best of me. But Simba? Well Simba can run into walls, land on his side after attempting what we have come to call “Simba flips,” brave frigid winter temperatures in his birthday suit, and run endlessly in pursuit of an object that many dogs deem boring after just a short while. He does all of these things with a passion for living his life to its fullest, and perhaps that is what I appreciate most. Maybe he learned this trait from Bo, and maybe he also learned to chill and sniff the cool breeze from his chocolate buddy. And maybe, just maybe, Bo has learned a thing or two from the undeniably crazy pup that we have so lovingly come to know as Simba.
“If I’m left high and dry at the end of this wild journey, just taking it is a great feeling.”