It struck me, as I watched Leo trotting across the smooth sand at Menemsha Beach yesterday, that I could learn something from him, something about life being short and staying in the day. It was a gorgeous day, sunny and bright and very warm, unusually so considering the winter we’ve had. The sea was crystal clear, the beach deserted and just perfect. We were happy.
Leo is five now, enjoying middle age, a gentleman, wise and well trained and especially loving. Bred to be a therapy dog, he has that special something that keeps him connected to me in a way my other dogs, real canines, never attached. Sometimes I think he’s more Muppet than dog. He doesn’t live to run away like the Springers did. He doesn’t have that ancestral canine calling to catch birds and bring them home to my doorstep or to chase deer.
Leo’s calling is to be present, to be with me, to understand on some gut level that I need his love. He doesn’t worry about the future, what will be, what will happen, when, where, how. He is content in the day, more than content really. He is exuberant in his joy, with his love and attention. He reminds me that today is important, that depth of connection right now is vital. He reminds me about trust and loyalty. He reminds me about sharing beauty and love and gratitude.