There’s something about certain breeds of pets that hook people. Some people want playful Labs, some want needy lap dogs, others want rough-n-tough Sheppards or Rottweilers, and some people are cat people. I initially fell into the first group of wanting a Lab. Chocolate to be exact. And then one day my mother in law told us about adopting retired racing greyhounds.
We researched the breed and former racers, and I have to admit, at first sight I thought they were pretty ugly dogs with Flintstone-like feet. But the more I learned about them the more intrigued I became, and soon enough we adopted OHow She Shines (Shine), a four year old brindle female that ran 90+ races.
Several years later, in October 2012, we had to put our 12 year old hound down. As any dog owner can tell you, it’s one of the worst days of your life. The days that followed were sad, but eventually the pain wore off. We entertained the idea of getting another hound but opted not to. Having a dog does tie you down, somewhat. You need to be home by X o’clock to feed/let them out. And while our greyhound, Shine, was a Therapy Dog and we were legally allowed to bring her anywhere, that’s not always feasible or accepted.
We decided to focus on turning our loss into a gain
So after our years of dog ownership, we decided to do a bit more traveling. Panama beckoned, so did some weekends away; a Florida trip, a border hop to Buffalo, a few nights in cottage country.
But what really happened is it kick-started a minimalist movement in us. I’ll admit it, we fell into the same trap others do. You buy a big house and fill it with…STUFF! Or you buy a bunch of stuff that’s supposed to make you happy (but will probably land you in debt). And sure, for a short while it probably does make you happy. Perhaps you go on a trip somewhere and come back with trinkets and chochkies and stuff you don’t need.
We had a raised bungalow back in Canada for the two of us. The basement was finished and while we used it for working out and watching TV, we didn’t really need the entire basement. We easily could have fit everything we NEEDED on the first floor, and even that was a lot of space.
Our selling adventure started with a yard sale, selling things we realized we just didn’t use, hence, we didn’t NEED.
My dartboard that got little to no use…SOLD
Tools I bought because I needed them once…SOLD
7 foot Christmas tree that we didn’t even have enough decorations for…DONATED TO FAMILY
The funniest part was as we started selling stuff we wanted to sell MORE stuff! Our house had too much stuff. We had too much stuff. So we sold it all.
After all our selling was done we made $10,000. This allowed us to live in Panama for an entire year. Our love for pets allowed us to become house/pet sitters, which allowed us to save money on accommodation. And yet another thing it allowed us to do; travel and experience more. As you can see, that’s a lot of allowing.
With the loss of our pet’s life, we ourselves gained more life.
We may someday find ourselves attached to another greyhound, but we won’t find ourselves attached to more stuff.
Now go sell all your stuff!