Raising a dog is a lot like raising a child. Dogs, like children, are mirrors of our behavior. If we kick and shout to get what we want, that’s what they’ll do, too. If we are gentle and patient, so, too, are they. We’ve spent countless joyful hours teaching our pup, Eddy, to sit, “paw” a handshake, come to us, and where to…uh, vacate… and where not to. In the process, he’s taught us a lot, too.
The very first thing Eddy does when he wakes is stretch. It doesn’t matter if he’s on his back or his side, half-on a pillow, or tangled up in the covers. When he gets up, he moves around in all kinds of cute, weird ways to oil up his machine. Right before bed, he stretches out his cute little legs as long as possible. I like to think he’s consciously choosing to make more space in his torso so he can take deeper breaths even while he sleeps. I’m sure it’s really just because it’s a great way to get comfy and looks adorable.
“Eat when hungry, drink when thirsty, sleep when tired.” Eddy lives by this famous saying by the Buddha. Yeah, he might get stressed when we have to leave him in the apartment while we head off to a meeting, or scared by loud noises, but I’m willing to wager he’s a whole lot more chill than 99% of humans I know. I’d attribute his easygoingness to his ability to constantly “be” instead of “do”.
When he doesn’t get a morning and evening walk, Eddy gets depressed. I feel the same way when I don’t use my body in a day. My workout could be a serious session of a cross-training, weight bearing sweat-fest, or a simple 30 minute walkabout outside. Either way, I’m getting endorphins from moving, sunshine from being outside, and taking time to reconnect with my body. My mind is always honed when I’m grounded in physical reality.
The most important thing Eddy teaches us is unconditional love, boundless enthusiasm. When I get home, he’s always excited to see me. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been gone 5 minutes or 5 hours, he bolts out of bed to say hello and see what I’ve been up to. Eddy’s always curious to meet new dogs, sniff new plants, and explore the world around him. He loves everyone and everything by paying it attention, giving it respect, accepting all and denying none. I bow to all who embody that teaching.
What have your pets and animals taught you? Let us know!
Written by Corey Loftus
Founder / Visionary : constantly quotable
Corey is a husband, yogi and father to a fur-child named Eddy.
He began his meditation journey with HapKiDo as a child and discovered the Tibetan Bon Tradition of yoga.
corey [at] iamhom [dot] com