Yes, that’s a doggie hoodie. You’re welcome.

Day 6.

Mister Hambones.

Hammy. Hammies. Hams. Jeffy. Jeffy Bug. Jeffy Bug Face. Silly Billy Bug Face.

All of the above are the names I’ve used for my dog, a cocker spaniel mixed with noone-knows-what but probably some kinda terrier. His Christian name is Jefferson.

But I most commonly call him “Hams.”

Hams has been accused of being not smart. Hams doesn’t sit, lay down, or shake hands on command. Hams doesn’t stop barking when you tell him “no.” Hams also isn’t completely 100% house-broken. He still pees on stuff. At first glance, Hams doesn’t seem smart.

Over the past couple of days, however, I’ve come to realize that Hams just might have it all figured out.

Another reason for my “sabbatical” is to find out what it is that I can do, or what many things I can do, to have the life I want and to live on my own terms. It’s the “4-Hour Work Week meets Vagabonding meets Awaken The Giant Within challenge.” The end game, if I may be so bold as to put it out for all seven of you who read this to know, is to search and explore and generate sources of income that will fuel the film projects I want to create and bankroll the life I aim to design. I’m looking for inspiration in every blade of grass. And today it came in the form of watching Hams make a number two.

Hams won’t sit for a treat. But I give him the treat anyway. Hams won’t stop barking until I throw the ball. So I throw the ball. When Hams has to pee Hams just pees. Hammies figured it out. He’s living life on HIS own terms. He gets two square, organic, mostly gluten-free meals a day from his adoring human as well as cuddles whenever he wants ’em. Something else interesting about Hams is that he doesn’t really like to be pet. He gets really jumpy when people try to pet him anywhere below the harness, and he’ll get snappy if you go for his butt. Hams has completely decided how he likes and wants to be treated, and everyone falls in line. It’s been said that we train people how to treat us, and with that I think I’ve really learned something from Mr. Hambones. Set your life’s design, know your limits, and teach people how to treat you.

Hams is also a loving, adoring, trusting creature. He looks me in the eyes and wags his tail for no reason. He and I can walk anywhere and everywhere without a leash- he’s glued to my side. He’s small but dominant and powerful. Hams puts rottweilers in check at the dog park. He falls asleep on my lap just often enough for me to miss it when he doesn’t, and Hams has one trait that I think is just transcendent: he trusts me. I’m the one he trusts to see to it that no harm ever comes to him.

You see, Hams got beat up a little in a former life. He even has a bb gun pellet lodged under his skin. But he doesn’t show it. He’s strong, will risk life and limb for his tennis ball, and has more toys than he knows what to do with. He could run around scared of the world and skeptical of everything around him, but he isn’t and he doesn’t. He put together his own life rules and sticks to them. Hammies wrote a new story for himself. And Hammies is one happy Hambone.