“Wouldn’t it be great if everyone reacted this way?” he asked.
I nodded and burst into tears.
The man talking to me, my friend, asked me this after his new dog put his head on my right foot and his upper body against my shin Thursday morning upon meeting the dog for the first time. The dog sensed my pain, my anxiety, sadness, and stress. This is the second of as many dogs owned by my friend that had the innate ability to know that I needed comfort through quiet confidence. Eery was it that both dogs knew to sit by my side quietly.
I love animals. They are such perceiving creatures. They are pure of heart, mind, and action. They keep it simple. They do not overcomplicate with thoughts, judgments, and other negativities. All of which cause troublesome interactions between people. Dogs are considered to be man’s best friend. The reason, in my opinion, is because they listen to your words, your mind, and soul. Then they anticipate what you need and most of the time all that is needed is to be heard by another sentient being.
The greatest asset my father and brother hold is the ability to sit by your side without any expectation of conversation. My favorite times spent with my immediate family are those times when all four of us watch TV, and maybe drift off to sleep together, in the same room.
In short, dogs, and the males in my family get it. Being present is enough. One does not need to further complicate things with words, thoughts, and unreliable expressions of emotion.
Unfortunately, or fortunately (depends on the day) humans were blessed with emotions and high-level, reasoning ability that force some of us to overthink things. In life you have to take the good, take the bad and do the best that you can.
(“…and there you have the facts of life/the facts of life.” Look, I was born in the late 1970s. I’m not going to leave the low-hanging fruit just blowing in the wind.)
Put more succinctly, I like my brain’s ability to think and solve complex issues in an efficient manner, but must it stew on something small till it overheats like an old car? Yes, it must. But it doesn’t HAVE to.
I can build in the pauses to prevent the car from stalling. Once it overheats, it is toooo late.
I call the shots as to where I want to direct my thoughts, or how much emotional energy I want to invest in something that happened in the past or will happen in future. The so-called preparation and Monday-morning quarterbacking never gets me anywhere but miserable, so I’ve got to “Be here now,” in this moment.
I need to find the dog deep down inside me and experience life.
I must be my own calming, quiet presence, resting my proverbial snout against my own feet and shins to show myself some love.
I deserve it.