My dog is now 11 years old but he doesn’t realise it which is why you can see him leaping around like a puppy here on the beach. My dog, like most dogs, loves life and makes the most of things.
It struck me on New Year’s Eve how much I could learn from my dog. Renly is frightened of fireworks and has got more scared as time has gone on. But he never worries about it in advance. Around the beginning of November he sits cuddled on my lap as the world explodes outside and then goes to sleep. Because I’ve been full of flu I was in bed at 10pm on 31sst December, with the dog asleep by my side. We woke at midnight to the fireworks going off. He trembled next to me. The fireworks finished and he went back to sleep. He did not stay awake and worry about whether that was it, whether there would be more, whether things would be more scary. He went back to sleep.
There are other things he is afraid of – like big dogs. He was attacked twice by big dogs and so when he sees them he barks loudly at them. But he isn’t anxious before he goes out worrying about who he might see. Every time we go out he is so excited to be going. There is no fear of being attacked, of seeing someone he doesn’t like. Yes he is fearful when he sees a dog similar to the ones that attacked him but it is only in that moment.
So Lesson ONE – don’t be anxious about anything.
Lesson TWO – only worry about what is happening at the time. Deal with the moment and then move on.
Even when out he doesn’t stay nervous after seeing a big dog, or after hearing fireworks, or being frightened by some noise. The fear is in the moment, dealt with and then he moves on to the next part of the adventure.
Lesson THREE – is trust the one who cares for you. With the fireworks Renly fully trusts that if he snuggles up close to me that I will look after him and even though I don’t make the noises go away I am there for him. On walks he can be loud and barky towards these big dogs because even though there were two occasions when I didn’t manage to step in in time every other time I’ve been there for him. And even with the two occasions I did stop things getting horrid. I need to be trusting God and the Universe like that. Knowing that yes sometimes bad things to happen, but that I can snuggle under God’s wing and be protected by them. I don’t have to sort the world out on my own but can just stay safe and out the way.
So my intention for this year is to become more like my dog – to live in the moment, to not be anxious about anything, deal with things as and when they are happening but not outside those times, and to trust that God/the Universe has my back and that I can trust in my heart in all things, leaning into God when I need to and knowing they are there for me.