Thursday, May 9, 2013

I & Dog

My son gave me an interesting book for my birthday. Its called I & Dog by the Monks of New Skete. Have you heard of it? It discusses the spiritual connection between people and dogs. It's a short book, more contemplate than scientific. I read it in 20 minutes or so, and spent another 10 minutes looking at the gorgeous pictures. However, I'm definitely going to read it again, this time taking time to mull over the text. Hours after I'd finished the book I was still thinking about some of what I read. For example, the introduction states that:

We humans can and do form mutually inspiring and beneficial relationships with our dog companions, and this experience colors every aspect of our life.

I asked myself "Did having a dog as a child affect my life?" The answer was obviously yes. More difficult, however, has been trying to articulate how my life has been affected. I'm not sure if I even can!

The only picture I have of my first love
I've mentioned my first dog, Eli, before. Amazingly, a brindled mutt from the pound became the best friend a girl could ever have. Eli was smart, funny, patient, protective, loyal and my constant companion. He's been gone 30 years yet my friends and family still share "good old Eli" stories. He was a once in a lifetime dog. My love for him -- and more importantly, his love for me -- greatly influenced the woman I am today. Don't believe me? Look at what I do for a living. Look at my blog. You can even look at my wardrobe -- most of my clothing has dog pictures and/or actual dog hair on it!

When I reread I & Dog I will think of Eli. And Pepper. And Logan. I'll remember the joy they brought into my life. I'm sure I'll cry. As the book also says:

     The biggest problem with dogs is that they don't
     live long enough. They always seem to leave us when
     we're most vulnerable, most in need of their bias,
     affirming presence. Dogs make us believe we can
     actually be as they see us, and it's often only when
     they're gone that we realize their role in what we've become.
 
I'm going to grab a box of Kleenex and then give Roxy and Jedi a hug. I'm thankful for the dogs in my life. How about you, have you hugged your dog today? -- K