There is a park just a few blocks from our house – that’s it in the photo above – where I like to take our Goldens, Ranger and Tucker, for their daily walk. Going walkies, as they say.
If you’ve spent much time in the company of dogs, I’m sure you’ll get what I’m about to say immediately (and if you haven’t, you really should try to remedy that!):
Dogs are zen masters.
Not convinced? Consider:
Dogs are always present. They live in the moment. They have beginner’s mind. They experience the illusion of the first time. However you want to put it, they are always here now. I sometimes fall into the trap of thinking our walk starts when we get to the park; not so Ranger and Tucker. We can be walking through a field on the way to the park when OMG GOPHER HOLE MUST BE EXAMINED THOROUGHLY. AND THIS ONE, TOO. It’s all the walk to them.
Dogs eat when they are eating, and fetch wood when they are fetching wood. OK, they’d probably be eating then, too, if you’d let them – but still.
Dogs aren’t attached to the outcome. Sure, they might have their preferences, but if I tell them we’re going for a walk but instead take them for a car ride, it’s all good. They like to chase and wrestle each other, but it doesn’t matter who takes the other down – it’s all the same game, regardless.
Dogs lead us to enlightenment (however briefly). It often happens that Ranger and / or Tucker will come gaze at me with their big puppy eyes, perhaps patting me with a paw and throwing in a whine or three, and suddenly I realize that what I’ve been doing isn’t that important after all, and will certainly not bring me the calm and joy that going walkies with my boys will.
Dogs are willing to employ unorthodox methods to shake us from our complacency. Eating shoes, remote controls, and an entire apple pie? Check. Vomiting up all of the above in inconvenient locations? Check. Licking my face immediately after one of the above episodes? Check.
I still have much to learn, but I hope to have many years left of sitting at my dogs’ feet and rubbing their bellies in which to study.
Do you have your own examples? Share your stories (and photos!) in the comments below!