Bridging the Divided

Learning Present Living From Our Pets…..

Sitting on the sofa, all four Yorkies piled on top of me, I realized I was utterly and completely content. Each was snoozing, Char lightly snoring, all lost in doggie dreams. I sighed deeply and thanked God for the moment.

Kaiah is rather ADHD. She has an invisible on/off switch somewhere on her tiny body. Kaiah plays the majority of the day or is at least trying to entice someone to play with her. She is hard to ignore, and equally hard to deny even a short playtime. When all else fails, the cat becomes her playground. Chardonnay, Tasia, and Rowdy fall elsewhere on the spectrum between ADHD and centered. Tasia’s philosophy on life is don’t sweat the small stuff, except when it comes to demanding to be placed on a heating pad for her snoozing pleasure. Chardonnay is anxiety-ridden when she is awake, and Rowdy is a crotchety old man, but I get it. Dogs are like people – they come in all sizes, shapes, varieties, with different likes, dislikes, and personality characteristics, and quirks. And, why not – God is a creative God.

Probably the most wonderful thing about dogs is that they live in the moment. They don’t spend their time reliving the past or wondering about the future. They are always present. Humans could learn a lesson about present-living from their fur babies.

Reliving past events to momentarily return to re-experience the joy or excitement of a life event is one thing. Rehashing, wishing we would have said or done this or that, re-igniting the fires of discontent or hatred, or punishing ourselves for what we did or didn’t do at the time is a useless endeavor. What is the possible gain? The past is a teacher meant to teach us how to do better in the here and now – nothing more, nothing less.

Dwelling on future events is as useless as living in the past. The future is only potential – nothing more, nothing less. Future events are made up of variables from the present. What we do now, in part, determines the future. 

Unless one abuses a dog, instills distrust, dogs are content. Even Chardonnay is anxiety-ridden, but she is content. She sleeps peacefully, loves fully, and trusts us completely. A lot of her issues, we believe, stem from her puppyhood before we adopted her. Somewhere in those few short months, she learned to mistrust those who cared for her. Unfortunately, the anxiety remains a part of the fabric of who she is, but she trusts us in the here and now.

I know our dogs don’t worry about whether or not they will get fed today or tomorrow. They simply trust. Now that we have a fabulous, loving, and skilled groomer, they do well in her care. When we pick them up they are thrilled to see us, but it is obvious they were fine with our absence. God bless our groomer, and we hope she is forever their groomer. Our dogs don’t worry about finding shelter, staying warm at night, or their overall safety.

Some refer to animals as dumb animals. They aren’t. They are far more in tune with God than we are sometimes. Animals understand living in the moment, leaving the past behind, and not concerning themselves with the future…..

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