She is, I realize, “just” a dog. But she has, nonetheless, taught me a few lessons about life, living and illness. Despite all her troubles, Bijou is still game. She still groans to her feet to go outside, still barks at and with the neighborhood dogs, is willing to hobble around the kitchen to carouse with a rubber ball ”” her shrub of a tail quivering in joy.
I know now that Bijou was an important part of my therapy as I recovered from having my prostate removed. I learned that dogs, besides being pets, can also be our teachers.
Human beings constantly struggle to live in the moment. We’re either obsessing over the past (”Gee, life would’ve been different if I’d only joined the Peace Corps.”), or obsessing over the future (”Gee, I hope my 401K holds up”). We forget that life, real life, is lived right now, in this very moment.
I am a self-confessed dog lover so my attraction to the piece is understandable, but it is marvelously written. Our Toy Maltese sometimes falls asleep with all four feet in the air and his mouth partially open. I find it impossible to look at him in that posture without smiling, and often laughing. Indeed, last night my wife Elizabeth simply described his posture to me over the phone–he wasn’t even with me– and he was making me smile. I was just up visiting my brother and his wife who are invaluably helped, as is my Dad who is staying with them at the moment, by their two dogs. Here’s to pets who help us–KSH
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