Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dogs Really Are Zen

I once read, somewhere, the suggestion that you should meditate while walking your dog. The idea is that you just follow your dog around, focusing on what your dog focuses on, to practice mindfulness, of being, as dogs are so good at being, in the here and now.

I have to admit that my dog isn’t good at Zen dog walking, given that she loves to pull, throwing herself against the resistance of collar and leash with a happy relish, as if she were competing in the Iditarod.

And before you tell me I should train her to walk properly on a leash, I have. She knows. She can do a perfect heel, nose at my knee, watching me closely in order to drop to a sit as soon as I stop, but she’ll do it only if she knows I have treats in my pocket.

Lola is smart and sweet-tempered but she lacks that intense desire to please that some dogs have. I tell my husband she’s more psychologically healthy than those needy dogs. He rolls his eyes.

But she does stay, happily, in the present moment, taking obvious pleasure every day in some very ordinary things, which is why I like having her around so much … 

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