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Life Lessons from " My Little Buddha"

Updated on July 14, 2014

"Little Buddha" practicing Zazen

Be in the Moment

Maddie was the most beautiful cream colored cocker spaniel and the first dog I've ever owned. Her soft golden fur felt like velvet to the touch. She loved snuggling and giving endless kisses. When she looked at you her big chocolate brown eyes seemed to melt any heart and peer into your soul. Excitedly, she greeted each new day with enthusiasm, wiggly spaniel behind, a "good morning" lick on your face. Time to get up, Human! She owned me from the very first day we met to the last graceful breath that shattered my heart. She allowed me to feel joy and happiness in her presence just as I feel joy and happiness at the mere thought of her now.

All dogs are Zen masters. They teach us awareness. They teach us that the only moment is now. Dogs teach us to slow down and observe. They teach us stillness. You cannot own a dog without being present. They won't allow you to obsess about the work day or worry about paying your credit card bills. Let's go for a ride in the car. Play fetch! It's a beautiful day for a walk in the park. Scratch my belly, please! Look what I found in the garbage can! Where did that slice of pizza go? I need to pee. Dogs remind us that whatever we think is important can wait. Let's enjoy a treat, now.

Maddie, My Muse and Editor

Silence is Profound

We love our dogs because dogs, unlike most human beings, are non judgmental. They want to be with us whether we are rich or poor, Jewish or atheist, gay or straight, Democrat or Republican. Although I told Maddie I loved her a thousand times a day the silence we shared was profound. We never worried about words to say. Love can be shown in actions rather than words. Love can be felt in silence. We weren't trying to impress each other with our knowledge of politics or philosophy.

Dogs love us unconditionally. Is there any greater love? How often can we sit comfortably with another companion in complete silence without the wheels of our mind spinning out of control? What should I say? What are they thinking? Did I remember to put on deodorant today? What time are we eating? What if I say something stupid? Are they unhappy with me? The spinning is all ego. Dogs are the opposite of ego. Dogs don't care if you attended Harvard or chew with your mouth wide open. Dogs are always happy to be with us. They encourage our creativity by allowing us moments of silence. They are present without intruding on our solitude. There were times when Maddie and I would sit peacefully outside or walk in the sunshine of a cool cloudless day and there was such a deep loving connection. A deep loving wordless connection. Silence.

Look Into My Eyes. Resistance is Futile.

Love is All You Need

Maddie inspired me to participate and write for the prevention of animal abuse, spaying and neutering and dog fighting law campaigns. My love for her unleashed even more of my compassion not only for dogs but all animals. She expanded my awareness. Owning and loving Maddie allowed me to connect to other organizations that utilise the power and amazing gifts that dogs bring to the world. Service dogs are trained to allow disabled veterans more freedom and aid returning soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Daily, dogs serve our military and emergency services with courage. Service and companion animals assist the blind, those suffering from seizures, the elderly and even help children with Autism and learning disabilities.

Our own pets teach us patience, responsibility, compassion and to think outside of selfish behavior. Dogs increase our own health and wellness by encouraging exercise and lowering our blood pressure by petting and hugging them. Who hasn't bonded and become more sociable because they love dogs?

Even as the grieving and healing process continues for Maddie, perhaps there will be another dog in the future. But there was only one Maddie Mooshie Diamond Lotus Buddha. When the time is right I will be ready to be owned again. There has yet to be a word created in the English language to define ALL that encompasses Dog. DOGS ARE LOVE. Maddie was truly a beautiful, happy, affectionate, loving sweetheart. She is missed every single day. However, I know I am a better human being for having her in my life for twelve unforgettable years.

Thank you, "My Little Buddha" . You will always bring me happiness.

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