My Assistance Dog, Marshall, lives in the present rather than fretting about what the future might hold. He doesn’t have a mind full of ‘what ifs’. Instead, he lives in a mindful way in the here and now.
Truth is, I can sometimes be like a ‘dog with a bone’, excessively ruminating over things. But Marshall reminds me of more awesome priorities:
He finds joy in the moment. Before covid-19 necessitated staying in, I didn’t really understand why he gets excited seeing passers-by.
Now I know! Never underestimate the effect of connecting with others in a cheery way.
He doesn’t hide his need for affection and nudges me to ruffle his fur. It’s heart-warming to show our love for each other. The same applies to human relationships.
He soaks up the warmth of sunny days. If we absorb the warmth of others (kind gestures and encouraging words) the coldness with which we may treat ourselves, will be thawed.
He is attuned to others. When he senses someone is hurting, he comes alongside and offers a comforting gentle nuzzle. We can show empathy for others in quiet intuitive ways too.
He digs up what he’s buried – when he feels the moment has come. Recognising the right time for action, is important.
He never growls for the sake of it. Some battles aren’t worth fighting.
He finds pleasure in the simplest things, like walking in the woods, paddling in the stream, or playing with his pals. We too, need to take time for refreshing recreation.
He is simply a dog. He doesn’t try to be anything other, nor does he make comparisons. We could save ourselves a lot of frustration and dissatisfaction, if we were simply ourselves.
He always greets me with exuberant enthusiasm, if we’ve ever been apart. We too, need to let others know that they really matter to us.
So let’s live life to the full, by learning any necessary life lessons from Marshall. It’s not for nothing that dogs have been called ‘man’s best friend’!
Truth is… Jesus said, “I have come that I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10)
Photo credits: 2019 Paul Wilkinson Photography (Hearing Dogs for Deaf People)