Canine Connection…And Mindfulness

Today I had a lot of errands to run.

Later in the afternoon I had to go by one of the law firms I contract for. As I was walking toward the building I met a homeless vet and his dog— His name was Alex. He was an exceptionally huge, powerful looking, beautiful, red coated German Shepherd. I was awe struck by the majestic, thick coat that seemed to just glow in the sunlight. The man thought Id be frightened of the dog and told me right away that he was a happy boy.

It was unnecessary, because me and his dog Alex bonded at first sight. He looked at me and stopped, immediately meeting my gaze while sporting a wide lazy grin, big brown laughing eyes, and a happy tail. He began crying/whimpering. Anxiously pacing. He looked up at his owner.

Perplexed, the owner motioned to Alex that it was okay to come to me. This clownish, happy boy was a well trained, off leash canine. All it took was a look from his master, an expression, a gesture, a sound, and Alex followed suit. Though attached to a leash, his master informed me it was only used when people came around in case he “didn’t jive well with someone” or to cross roads or other busy areas.

In the space we were in, it was clear that Alex was a giant, intelligent, loving ball of gold. The warmest, purest energy I have encountered in a long while. He came right over to me and parked himself at my feet, his face pointed up toward mine as I stood standing in wonder at such a huge dog. He seemed to look right in to me, and though I normally shy away from direct eye contact, Alex’s gaze didnt feel invasive to me…… We began to play immediately. He relished every neck rub, ear rub, tummy rub and morsel of “doggy language/talk” I bestowed upon him. I was rewarded in kind.

His master looked perplexed as he observed and said it appeared as if Alex knew me from somewhere. I told him it was highly unlikely as I was strictly a dachshund owner and really never came across any occasion to meet up with shepherds. Nonetheless, Alex rubbed his head against my leg, wanting every hug I had to give him. So, I sat down right there on the sidewalk and just wrapped my arms around his neck and he rested his head on my shoulder quietly. I could feel him panting, and I could also feel his strong heart beating in a steady rhythm. His master sat and watched from a bench stationed underneath a tree that was a few short steps away.

Alex’s heart was calming…..soothing….. and filled with warmth….with light. His energy just seemed to seep right into my own heart, filling its empty chambers with as much as they could take. I felt so at peace, so understood, so incredibly whole for those few moments I shared with him. He never once jumped up on me, never attempted to forget his manners. With the exception of queuing me with his nose to hug him and hold him, he never once raised a paw impatiently. I held his face in my hands as I talked to him and laughed, scratching under his chin as I said silly things to him….stuff that seemed all too important to him….

Before long, I reluctantly said goodbye to Alex. He began to whimper again and his Master made a motion that seemed to snap him back into compliance. As they began to walk away Alex looked back at me one more time and paused, perked his ears up, and tilted his head to one side for a moment before turning and racing in the direction of his master. I felt sad for a second, like I was being separated from something I didn’t want to be taken from…..but in that moment I was reminded of how crucial it is to be mindful of the moments we are in…..not the ones we were in, or the ones we will be in……but the ones we are breathing through, and living through….. right now this second.

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