Golden Retriever-Sara

Image via Wikipedia

As I let the old golden retriever out this evening,  I thought about how my life with her had changed.  She had a stroke last June and was completely paralyzed.  I was contemplating the daunting task of writing a book about the experience.  Something I would never have thought about doing before this class.  But as I watched her go out and roll in the snow and do what she needed to do.  I did not rush her to hurry.  Instead I watched her beauty.  I watched the sheer joy she feels as she rolled.  Something she could not do for over a month.  I revel in the wag of her tail, the smile on her face and the joy I feel when I see her walking towards me.  I think about how my life has changed through meditation.  How my yelling at the dogs has become nonexistent.  Yes,  I am not perfect,  they are my children.  They have expressions of needs,  desires,  and impatience with each other.  The older dogs are my soul-mates.  I read them well.  The younger ones are embryos ever evolving until they reach a certain maturity.  Then,  they are easier to read and understand.  Instead of losing my patience now,  I simply read them and do whatever is necessary to deal with their needs.   Argh,  the simple fact that they are childlike always is a challenge.  One of them likes to eat things he is not supposed to eat and has had the stomach surgeries to prove it.  He is the master of escape.  So,  I have become more patient.  I breathe through the frustration.  When the young ones  test as they often will do,  I breathe and then firmly give the commands necessary to get the situation in check.  Its a challenge to have my own service dog too.  She is young and in training. A skittish yet skillful, gentle soul who was not cut out to be a leader dog.  She loves to work and constantly tries me.  Like a teenager testing the waters of adulthood.  Anyone who says animals don’t have souls and don’t think is wrong.  I spend more time watching them and their eyes are windows.  I see their souls.  They watch me too as I watch them.  The need to contemplate them and the people and things around me has become almost a type of obsession.  The need to understand things is stronger now.  As I type this,  one of the young ones waits patiently,  breaths on my knee, my side,  and stares at me,  waiting for me to get her ball,  or throw a glove to teach her to pick things off the floor.  Perhaps dogs meditate too and a goldens patience is something I guess we can all learn from.

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