“I’ve been in that angst of loneliness, where you’re really alone in the universe, except for the dog.” William Shatner
The kids today probably have no idea who William Shatner is, but for my generation, he was Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. Captain Kirk was cool; he went where no man had gone before. Captain Kirk knew about the universe. William Shatner, the person, has known hardship in his lifetime, the kind of hardship where his only salvation was his dog.
Maybe it’s because I hit my sixth decade of life and the realization that life has gone by so fast was hitting me, or maybe it’s because I was realizing a lot of my dreams will die with me, but in any case, I can relate to Bill’s quote. It reminded me that I need to be mindful of and grateful for the blessings in my life, for the things we take for granted, like the companionship of our dogs.
I was sitting on the sofa the other night surrounded by my dogs, not doing much, half-listening to the TV when a tear rolled down my cheek. Truthfully, it caught me by surprise. I don’t cry easily, complements of a thirty-year abusive marriage that should have ended much sooner. During those years I built a pretty sturdy wall around my spirit, one that is not easily penetrated; it’s called self-preservation. Anyway, there I was confronted with a tear from out of the blue. I found myself thinking about goals that likely will go unrealized: having a book published, living by the ocean, and being debt-free, for instance. Not given to wallowing in self-pity, I pulled myself out of the funk and looked around. I may not be living in my dream condo by the ocean writing my book while listening to the roar of the waves and smelling the pungent odor of the sea, but I have a roof over my head, food to eat, a comfortable bed to sleep in, people who love me, and dogs who think I am pretty special.
I cannot possibly know the angst of loneliness William Shatner experienced compelling him to pen his thoughts; none of us can. We each have a journey we walk every day of our lives. Perhaps, a turn of events caught him by surprise, maybe he was doing a life review, or maybe he had realized we come into this world alone, and we leave the same way? Whatever the case, he realized he wasn’t utterly alone because he still had his faithful dog by his side. Thankfully, I do, too. We should never underestimate the loyal and loving companionship of our dogs…..