Max does not always teach me from his stellar positive behavior. If fact, I may have already run out of positive things he does…jk! Not that he’s a bad dog, but he is a dog, and dogs do what dogs do, which often is not the best thing to do.
Anyway, he has been teaching me lately about the need for attention and how that can often be too much of our motivation. Max likes very much to be entertained and I think he’s not too unlike us in that way.
Max always wants to be petted, often butting into activities my friends or strangers or I am doing, expecting to capture the attention of everyone around and be entertained with affection. And he usually gets it because he is so cute.
But it is flat out annoying when that is all he does and I am around him so much.
When other people are around, he just has to be entertained or it drives him nuts. The only times he has barked are when he expects that entertainment and does not receive it.
But, lest I be too hard on him, I must admit that I am just as bad in seeking to be entertained.
I have Olympic fever, as Jimmy Fallon keeps acknowledging (…and Tonight Show fever). It’s just so entertaining. My evenings are consumed with watching as many events as I can – to the point that I often ignore Max’s pleas to play and go outside.
But his needs to go out are just so inconvenient – they come right when some of the great events are going on. So, it becomes a big problem finding a time to tear away my entertained eyes to take care of Max.
Maybe Max’s attention seeking is just more apparent than mine, since he does not have an iphone or ipad or DS or whatever to keep him occupied and entertained constantly. He has to rely on others to fulfill that addiction.
Still, he has taught me that we all crave entertainment, and if not that, we are certainly addicted to entertaining, being the center of attention.
Actually, I don’t think the two are that separate, especially in observing Max. He is addicted to both entertaining and being entertained. And it all comes down to craving attention or craving something to satisfy attention.
But Max has also taught me how toxic this can be. It eats away at us and leaves us discontent and unfulfilled to just be with ourselves or those we love. Maybe we need less entertainment to break us of that incessant need. Maybe we need to sit back and just enjoy others for their own sake – not as sources for our furthered entertainment (or as momentary breaks in our entertained lives), but rather as companions with whom we can share life.
Maybe then we can look at the other person and love them outside of our attention-driven self absorption…
After the olympics, of course.
Or, for those who have more sensitive ears – this version.
So thank you Max for teaching me how consuming and annoying an obsession with entertainment can be. And thank you for loving me even when I am consumed with being entertained otherwise.