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Living like a happy Kelpie

One evening last night I was watching my Australian Shepherd relax on our lounge room floor. Completely content after a full and happy day. My young Aussie Harry, is five years old, and seems to possess a never ending supply of energy. Most of his days consist of a walk with my wife in the morning, a relaxed day and finally an energetic afternoon at my in laws acreage property chasing balls, rabbits, and all other manner of things I wish he would leave alone. This activity leaves him happy of an evening and relaxed while my wife and I relax after a long day.


If my wife has a busy day with the kids, she may miss this afternoon run around for Harry. On these days, Harry is a bit of a pain. He struggles to settle as he anticipates that second play and burst of activity. He barks until somebody gives him the attention he deserves. We have very spoilt and noisy dogs at our place. I think Harry reminds me of all those Kelpies we met on our farm placements as students. A happy Kelpie is a Kelpie who has worked in the day with it’s beloved people. A Kelpie left on a chain or in a run, is not so happy at the end of the day.


I think it’s the same for us. After a day at work where I am fully booked and busy, I come home thoroughly satisfied and contented. But on days where it’s slower, if a couple surgeries or consults cancel, I find myself bored and less satisfied at the close of the day. While this may mean that I am more tired at the end of the day, especially after another couple hours of running after kids before their bed time, overall I feel like I have achieved what I wanted and feel better for it.


Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of taking the easier path. We confuse ourselves into thinking that a slower or quieter day will leave us feeling happier, but I actually think it’s the opposite. We need to feel challenged to feel fulfilled. My wife once worked at a very busy Melbourne clinic and after a couple years took a break from it for a quieter clinic. Initially, it’s made her happier, but after a period of time she felt she missed feeling busy and the challenges of pushing through a fully booked surgery day. She has exactly that at our current clinic and is happier for it.


Sometimes, we need a breather, we need a quieter day or a moment to catch up and that’s ok. However, in order to not get lost in life, we need those challenges, we need something to excite us and get us up in the morning. This week, think of the happy Kelpie. Work hard. Challenge yourself. You’ll find that you will enjoy your relaxation time all the more.

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