Sunday, October 7, 2012
With the dog, we are dealing with an instinct very close to man (or woman in my case). The dog as guide to everywhere in this and the other world in mythology certainly gives dog instinct an unerring flair. But, however much we love them, many of us also suspect that in the case of the actual dog, it mostly obeys its own inner urges. (My husband rubs turkey fat on his hands as part of his demonstration of this theory.) Yet, it is just this illogical, playful, following of their own bliss that makes our dogs vital centers of our lives.
My own dog has been with me for almost thirteen years and never deviates too far from her own pattern and, being a good watchdog, she makes sure I don’t deviate too far from my own authenticity. That’s our deal—she shows me how to live in the moment, how to be aware of all that surrounds me, and how to express warm concern for my own well-being. We laugh about that a lot.
Over the years my canine friend has not only lived up to all the smarmy hype one hears about dogs (you’ve heard it all), but she has surpassed it so many times that, in short, I owe her my very life and I intend to repay her any way that I can.
So now, as she and I are both aging and entering new phases of our journeys, I have become her physical guide and she has deepend my spirit even more. Our once brisk, invigorating walks have evolved into a snail’s pace as she tries to get her bearings by smell alone; our morning forays have turned into long, slow, and cautious pokings around, in which she much prefers to be on leash in fear of getting lost. When getting into the car or up the steps, she confidently places her front feet on the uprise but waits patiently for me to lift her hind legs. My life, in tune with hers, has become very, very slow. Of course, she knows instinctively that is what I need most at this time, a quieting of the mind. And as always she obliges me, mirrors me, and gives me exactly what I need to heal.