The Healing Power of a Dog
Updated: Jan 9, 2021
“Religion, is a smile on a dog.”
Do you remember that old Edie Brickell lyric? I do. And at this moment, I don’t find anything to be more true.
Dogs live in the moment…and only in the moment. Sure, they remember old tricks and all their favorite sniffing spots, but dogs don’t sit around worrying about the past or stressing about the future.
While you and I may need to meditate, pray, and constantly remind ourselves to be here now, dogs are always living in a state of utmost awareness.
My dog's name is Sammie, and she’s an angel (like most of them!) I won’t ramble on, but I will say this: she keeps me grounded in the present. If I’m ever suffering through a spell of sadness and get the urge to stay in bed a little longer in the morning, feeling bad for myself…I can’t.
Why not? Because Sammie jumps up beside me, licks my face, and reminds me it’s time for breakfast. So I get up, feed us both, and stay out of my head long enough to begin to feel how nice it is to be walking my dog through the park. Before I know it, my morning funk has disappeared and I’m simply living. That is Spirituality.
This is not to say we should go through life without ever reflecting upon our experiences or ourselves, but to linger too long in a state of doubt, depression, fear, or sadness is not a healthy mode of being. Thank you, Sammie, for forcing me to remember that when I’m down.
I'll leave you with an excerpt from one of Andrew Harvey’s memoirs, in which he recalls an elderly friend in Paris who had fallen into dark, lost times filled with suffering. She did, finally, resurrect herself because, well, here’s the quote…
Her life did not change because she had a vision or met a master or suddenly fell in love with God. “I did not meet Jesus,” she used to say tartly, “I met a dog.”