8 Years. A Lifetime.

by Simon Goland, September 14, 2011

Today’s Reflection is about a lifelong period of 8 years of a life with a precious companion.

September 10 was the day of Tobi’s birthday. He turned 8. Strange how the “official” organizations in North America now categorize dogs of this age as “seniors;” I guess this is what happens to dogs with all the inbreeding and manufactured food that they are being subjected to. While Tobi is perhaps not a “formal” puppy any more, he is much closer to that, than to being a senior. Except, perhaps, for the increasing moments of “selective hearing,” which seem to show up every time I am in a hurry and he is not. Otherwise, he is still a puppy in his behaviour, personality, and energy.

And what a gift it is to be in the presence of.

“It is by not always thinking of yourself that you might someday be happy. Until you make room in your life for someone as important to you as yourself, you will always be lonely and searching and lost.” – Richard Bach

8 years does feel like a lifetime when I think about all our time together, the experiences, and the moments of learning I have gone through with this four-legged, cold-nosed, tail-wagging angel, guide, teacher, and a role-model. Both about life and about myself. Tobi has this quiet, gentle, yet persistent way of teaching me his lessons, with a lot of patience which I, apparently, sometimes need. He doesn’t care that I can be a slow learner, because he is always present and in the moment and is all too happy to keep repeating the point, until I eventually get it.

I’d like to say that I do. I know that playing and having fun needs to be high priority in one’s life. “The highest,” Tobi will say, and I will have to put aside whatever it is I am occupied with and focused on, and go play. Perhaps not surprisingly, walking away from that “whatever,” even for a few moments of play, does wonder to my creativity and focus, once I come back to it.

So is being open, utterly trusting, and loving unconditionally, in the moment, regardless of what happened a moment ago. Don’t think I have mastered this one yet, though have been getting better in this area over the years. “There is hope to you yet,” agrees my tail-wagging guru.

It is very important to know what one truly wants and keep asking for it until you get it. This one I do quite well, most of the time. “True,” agrees my teacher, “but only to the extent that it does not contradict the one above, on playing.”

“I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, only more love.” – Mother Theresa

The next one is the key, the most important of them all. Love really is the foundation and the operating principle behind anything and everything. It sources everything, every action and every thought, and I can see how it really is the way Tobi lives his life. Daily. As for me… well… I can only say that it is much better than what it used to be, once upon a time. My wise role model wags his tail in agreement, and sends a deep sigh to the Universe, which probably means that he is lucky to have so much patience for me.

A sunny week to you all, inside and out.