My Dog Gandhi
I have a completely deaf and half blind dog named Gandhi. We named him Gandhi because after naming our cat Fang, we are firm believers in giving our animals good-natured names. We also have a Scottie named Tonks and a Westie named Lassie who serve as Gandhi's guide dogs.
Now I know that all creatures have lessons to pass onto us, but I seem to have learned a bit more from Gandhi. Perhaps it's because I tend to pay closer attention to him, making sure that I haven't shifted the furniture on him or making sure he knows that we are leaving, because simply shouting a "goodbye" doesn't work for him.
These are some of the most important lessons that Gandhi has taught me:
- Trust is good! I tend to try to handle everything on my own and struggle with accepting advice, but Gandhi completely trusts his two little guide dogs to navigate through the environment and they haven't steered him wrong yet!
- Mindfulness is necessary. I'm not sure if it's because he is deaf or if it's just his personality but Gandhi is the most mindful creature I have ever known. He is always in the moment, whether he is playing, eating or sleeping. I read books on mindfulness but I learn so much more from simply observing Gandhi.
- Patience is indeed a virtue. Like his namesake, Gandhi can be very determined and sometimes he takes a bit of time to make up his mind. I have no choice but to be patient because any lecturing (or complaining) on my part is wasted. So, I watch Gandhi consider and most often I find that we are in agreement.
- Enthusiasm is awesome! When Gandhi sees/smells my walking shoes, he becomes a 75lb vision of bouncing joy. I used to grouse about the walk but I'm learning that Gandhi is right ... taking a walk with your dogs can be a pretty darned good part of the day.
I enjoy reading stories about people and their animal companions. Here are some that I have particularly enjoyed:
Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote
Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can't Believe My Dog Did That! compiled by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Jennifer Quasha
Every Day's a Dog's Day: A Year in Poems by Marilyn Singer
Are there any books that you are fond of for the Dog Days of Summer? Cheers and have a lovely summer.