I am house- and dog-sitting for some people. I hardly know them, really, but they trust me with their house and to care for their dog while they are out of town. I was recommended to them by my boss, for whom I have house- and dog-sat and who is a friend of theirs many years ago and when I’m available, I’m happy to help. I tend to be open to whatever experiences life throws our way as we learn from them and why not?!
I did not grow up with pets. Frankly, I am so independent that the idea of a dog waking me up at night because s/he wants to be let out to pee is bothersome. I like my sleep and don’t want it to be interrupted. Maybe I’m selfish. However, I had an experience today that made me really think and reconsider this all. Last night, after the dog woke me up several times, he got sick. I woke up this morning to a mess which I cleaned and immediately felt sympathy for the dog. This being, who I firmly believe has a soul, is ill and uncomfortable. I have noticed his shivering and lack of strength, lethargy, and decreased appetite but it took him getting sick for me to understand that this poor soul is at the end of his life.
After cleaning up his mess, I rolled out my yoga mat to do my morning yoga. Despite his lethargy, he found the strength to come sit on my yoga mat and wagged his tail. Message received, there would be no yoga this morning. I sat up and began to pet him and he leaned his head, with his full body weight, on my leg and stopped shivering. I pet the little beast and talked to him and he calmed down. I thought about it. This little animal is old and declining in health. I can be woken up at night to comfort him, God knows I would do it for a friend and I have been known to stay out late at night imbibing on the finer liquids of life. While sleep is valuable and being well-rested is important, there are times where losing some sleep to care for another soul is OK and in fact, from that experience and behavior you experience the most beautiful moments in life, which are just that, moments with another soul. I think that is the purpose of life. At the expense of sounding hyper-philosophical, I think that’s it. We live to have moments with others, our souls yearn for other souls that give us happy feelings and how beautiful is that? So while I did not have my 8, uninterrupted hours of sleep and my Garmin reported my sleep as choppy, I had a moment this morning with a beautiful dog, he trusted me and the feeling I had with his whole body weight surrendering to me was euphoric.
I wish that feeling for you, the euphoric, time-stopping feeling when you feel connected with another soul — be it a dog, a lover, a friend, a child. Have a beautiful day!