“The only creatures that have evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants”
— Johnny Depp
Love: a force, a vibration, a sentiment. Love is the subject of countless melodies, poems, art pieces, films etc. etc. It is an inexplicable emotion which cannot be quite conceptualized, but without it concepts would not exist. The idea of experiencing love seems all to elusive in a world where it is taught that vulnerability is a weakness and should be averted at all cost; to protect our hearts at the expense of separating ourselves from just about everyone and everything for fear of heartbreaks and suffering as a result.
Introducing: the dog.
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Dogs are singular creatures, like many animals live in the present moment, they differ from humans in their perception of life; they maintain a level of innocence humans can only experience during the formative years of their lives. Eckhart Tolle, a renown author and speaker explains that dogs “have a native readiness to celebrate life and to live in the moment” a quality a bit more rare in humans since there is a tendency to rationalize everything before fully accepting it. Tolle goes on to say that: “With people, the mind is always in the way. There is too much going on a mental, emotional level. With a dog, there is just an outflow of love.”
Dogs can teach us a lot about love, genuine and unconditional love and loyalty, such as it has been the case of four legged legends featured in Hollywood films such as Rin-Tin-Tin, Lassie, Benji et al.
A dog’s ability to forgive–even the cruelest of abuses–is a characteristic we as humans would do well to emulate. Several times I have seen abused dogs who were afraid of humans, be transformed and revert to their natural state; a state where something so spontaneous, pure and unrestrained is to them the only way to live.
The truth is that a dog will never tell you how rough you look upon waking up in the morning, a dog will never tell you that you no longer suit their needs, need a better job or halitosis is an issue. A dog will never tell a you about the old ’84 El Camino that needs to be thrown into the bottom of the deepest ocean. They do not care about those frivolities, they care about you and your relationship…even when the on sale kibble you got from a convenient store sucks. They are able to perceive feelings, intentions, and somehow know that you’re doing your best. A dog can be the medium through which we can reconnect with that part of ourselves that is in a harmonious and balanced relationship with nature; that part that dances and celebrates life, the universe, love permanently. Through observing and participating with a dog and their relationship with nature, we can learn a great deal what is to experience love to its fullest capacity; a dog can ultimately coax someone suffering from depression and anxiety to begin the path to restoration and equanimity.
A dog never stops seeing potential in us, he or she will lead the way because it is in their nature to take charge of the pack, until we learn to be in sync with nature and are fit to assume our role. All from a place of ultimate, unbounded and unconditional love.
When everything around you has fallen to pieces and the human race has left you down, raise a dog, you will learn love again.