My dog Caviar may have cancer. Or it could be just an infection. We are seeing what a week of meds will do to a lump on his paw, which is now the size of a grape. When we got the news of the possibility of cancer, our hearts sunk. He’s an older pup, 10 years old, and yet it never registered to us that he will indeed pass one day.
But he will. We all will.
The amazing part of the whole story is that my dog is not at all affected by the news. He continues to wake up with the sunrise, wagging his tail and licking my face until I get up. He continues to prance along on our walks, checking his SniffBook pages and chasing squirrels. He continues to jump around with the thought of receiving a treat. To him, it doesn’t matter how much longer he has to live. All that matters to him is that he is alive right NOW.
Man, we seriously need to take a few lessons from our dogs.
His happiness and contentment is worthy of some serious envy. All that matters to him is the present. Dogs are a physical representation of an enlightened being inside millions of homes across America. We do not need to pay hundreds of dollars and fly across the world to meet a spiritual being. We just need to look down.
I know for a fact that if I had a huge inflamed lump on my hand, I would be freaking out. More than just freaking out, I would be obsessing. Every thought would be dedicated to analyzing and thinking about the pain this lump is bringing me. Not Caviar. For him, this lump is just that, a lump. A lump that he occasionally licks and sends love to but doesn’t think about much of the time. During his leisure walks, he is too busy smelling and enjoying the fresh air to be thinking about his pain. While he is napping, he is too busy having puppy dreams of running through fields. In fact, only a small portion of his day is focused on the huge pain on his paw. What a difference between him and me.
I think we can all take a lesson from Cavi. Of course, we were given the amazing ability to process life on a grander scale than my black lab. But with that gift, we forgot the simple pleasures of just being present to life. Can we take a moment at least once a day to slow down and just be? Can we stop trying to figure out the future or analyze the past and focus on what a gift our life is?
To read more of Thais Guimaraes’s work, click here.