My pets inspire my life. A big statement perhaps, but one I consider to be true. There are, of course, other things that inspire me as well. A life well lived in the face of adversity, a kind deed performed for one less fortunate, a magnificent sunset. I’m sure there are more, but my pets, or companions as I prefer to call them, offer day to day inspiration in life itself, and if you watch them closely, you might learn a thing or two.
My dogs will greet each and every day with exuberance and wonder. Oh, what a joy it is to be alive and well for another day! Good morning everybody, we are so happy to see you again! They live in the moment, and care not a jot for what happened the day before, or what misfortune may lie ahead. Worry is confined to mealtimes, when I can’t get the food into the bowl and onto the floor fast enough, and then peace and happiness is once again restored by a full belly, a run around the front yard and a quick nap on the sofa. Sure, my dogs have got it good, but they give me so much in return.
My dogs know when I’m feeling down, or not well, and offer their silent support – a soft head at my feet, a gentle nudge to remind me that they are there, a lick and a wag of the tail. They are in this for the long haul, and never desert me when I feel alone.
They share good times as well, often adding their own personal stamp to the excitement of a moment in a flurry of activity and a lap of honour around the loungeroom floor until they flop, exhausted and satisfied that they have had their say in the proceedings.
What is often cited as necessary for living well by many religions and new age gurus, is practiced by my dogs as a matter of course. It is natural for a dog to live in the moment, to experience the ‘now’ for what it is, no strings attached to the worries of the past and a future that has not yet materialised. This is what makes them so happy and forgiving. It also gives them the ability to love unconditionally. When I concentrate and find myself centred, just living in the moment, just ‘being’, I find a peace and solace that often escapes me in the momentum of the times that I live in.
In saying all of this, I am not immune to the suffering of others, and I am sure that animals are able to remember past suffering and are able to attach an emotional state to their pain. What is so special is their ability to forgive, and love again unconditionally because they choose to. That’s all it takes. Are we brave enough to just ‘let it go’ and get on with it, without grudge or prejudice, regardless of our circumstance? A difficult proposition undoubtedly, but just watch your companions in action, observe and learn. We might just make a good companion too.