Conversations with Dog – Part 2

Due to yet another injury I have been off work for a few weeks. All good, it’s nothing serious and I should be back in the saddle next week hopefully. My time has been spent studying for upcoming exams, communicating backwards and forwards with the publishers and hanging out with my amazing dog who is labrador x kelpie.

IMG_0745She is slender, blonde, intelligent and full of love. A lot like her human mother really.

In an attempt at challenging her and keeping her clever little head entertained I have taught her numerous commands. She has the usual “sit”, “stay”, “wait”, “come here” (this one seems to be rather subjective to her mood) – but she also has “hi-five”, “kiss” and “kangaroo”. We also have 3 or 4 different games we play. She has determined the rules (these can also be subjective to mood).

But this is nothing compared to what she has taught me.

Metta lives in the present moment. She doesn’t hold on to past problems or worry about what will happen in the future. She is only concerned with right now. How do I know this? It does not matter if I have been away for 5 minutes or 5 weeks, when I return she bears no grudge. She is always super excited to see me. When we have disagreements, (there is always a bone involved in our disputes – bones of contention, one might say) she doesn’t sulk for hours or bring it up at a later date. She just gets on with the very important business of enjoying the moment.

This means that she is also very mindful. She can be hurtling around the garden (which is a hotbed of cacti of all shapes and sizes) trying to catch the ball and she will never crash into anything. She stops, millimetres away from inch long spikes, teasing them with her precision.

I throw soft toys around the house for her to catch and wrestle and I am safe in the knowledge that she will neither run into furniture nor knock anything over whilst thrashing the poor stuffed giraffe around ferociously. Her spacial awareness constantly amazes me. Anything that has been knocked over has been due to my lousy throwing skills.

I know that I am not this aware of my body. I knock elbows (fracture them if I’m honest), stub toes, cut fingers… and I have been practicing mindfulness for years. And I am constantly bringing my thoughts back from the future. “How is this going to work out?”, “What if this is to happen?”. Knowing full well that…

Worrying is like paying on a debt that might never come due (Will Rogers)

…and yet still patiently having to train my mind on a daily basis to do my bidding.

If only training the mind was as quick as training a dog.


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