Waking up from a bad nights sleep, my heart feels in disarray, my eyes burn, impressions from the nightmares of the night before plague my awareness.
I come down the stairs eager to see my dog, my friend. I know she'll be sitting on her bed, her little head resting on the fluffiest part of the
cushion. As soon as she sees me she moves on her back in the laziest way imaginable; and her tail begins to wag while she looks at me anxiously,
thinking "rub my belly!". Just seeing how she wants me to rub her, how her days anticipations consist essentially of such pleasantries, multiplies
the joy that I feel. I go over, kneel down, and begin to speak in my typical "dog voice" "you like this, don't you!! yes you do!!", while I rub
deeper and deeper, up and down from her neck to her stomach, I enjoy her stretching herself out, opening her mouth and letting out a big yawn with an
almost imperceptible puppy-like sound.
Later on, around noon, she comes up to me, rests her head on my knee, thinking "take me for a walk
". Her kind and tender eyes, not demanding,
simply asking, imploring me, almost looking into me, beckon my soul "You have an obligation!", and she, the tender creature needing a walk, awakens
in me with that simple act a deeper love for her, and for all things. I can't resist; I don't want to resist. I go up to the door, she begins to
become ecstatic, knowing that her wishes are soon to be met, but still she retains that usual suspicion of "is this the time? Or is he doing
something else?". I go into the closet, take out the shoes - now she knows it's time for a walk; she begins to wag her tail more exuberantly, moving
towards the door, anxiously pacing back and forth. The image is too loveable. I get the leash, tell her to sit, and she sits, always obeying a
command. I put on the leash, open the door and out we go.
We go out the door, and as we near the sidewalk I'm antsy to see her sit, as she always does. We come up to it, and she sits, and I always pat her on
the head, notifying her of her goodness in obeying. Each time we near the sidewalk I unconsciously go through this action with her - if not a tap on
the head, she feels my heart is pleased with her cooperation. We come closer to the park, I see her growing more and more agitated, more and more
eager to get off leash. As we enter the area, I take off the leash and tell her to sit. Deliberately, I walk ahead of her some 10 feet, looking back
to see if shes sitting where i told her to stay. She waits, looking intently at me, calm, submissive, but thinking "I want to go". I'm delighted by
how she stays so still, how disciplined and patient she is for a dog just 3 1/2 years old. With my own bit of enthusiasm, I say to her "Go!", and
she jets off with lightning speed. Her eyes emblazoned, her tongue hanging out, life is before her, play is before her. In that simple act, she
symbolizes before me the joy of living, of moving, of being, without thought, without constant reflection. Her urge to run leads her onwards.
I search for a stick, find one, and call her. She sees me, assumes an alert posture, and dashes towards me. I hold it up high and she jumps a good 2
feet in the air. She misses. I do it again, and again, until I feel the need to throw it for her. I throw it, and like a loyal pal, she brings it
back. But as I come to her, she thinks I'm playing. So she runs away. I let her play this game with me because I see how much fun she has doing it.
Indulging her canine games gives me just as much pleasure as it gives her! I hide behind a tree. I peak out, she doesn't see me. She's searching,
with an almost fearful look on her face. She sees me and run towards me. I turn away, she comes closer, unsuspecting my ruse, I grab her by the tail,
pull her closer and wrap my arms around her belly while I kiss her on the head. At such moments, I cannot but see the beauty of life. How infinite
spiritual values can unite in finite events. I see how my own spiritual growth rubs off on her. How she always approaches others playfully and
lovingly; how her face seems to reflect the love she has imbibed from her owners in her short life. Still, as a dog, and as a quarter doberman pincher
and a quarter rhodesian ridgeback, shes very protective. But once she gets a sense of the person, she becomes so kind, and so gentle. It's amazing
how deep a love a man can have for his dog.