There are few people so understanding, so unconditionally loving, so uncalculated, forgiving, accepting, and such masters of the moment as are dogs. This is why my best friend is not a human, it’s Monty.
The last week has been a rough one for me physically. After the thrill of that post going viral, the prospect of new possibilities, and two anatomy finals, my body finally caught up, and crashed. The night of my last final I crawled onto the couch feeling a little dizzy and a little shaky. I spent the next three days there. I’ve been sleeping 14 hours a night and still waking up exhausted, feeling easily that I could sleep 14 more. Through the roller coaster of emotional highs and physical lows, there has been one constant, and that has been Monty. The day the blog went viral, we danced in the kitchen in a circle. His paws on my hips, I was laughing with excitement, and he was just along for the ride. I remember thinking, ‘He has no idea why suddenly I am dancing and my parents are opening champagne’ and yet he danced anyway. We were happy, so he was happy. If that’s not a lesson for human beings I don’t know what is.
After a couple of days of dancing and laughing came the inevitable crash. Finishing my final on Monday evening, I fell asleep that night at 8 pm. I woke up on Tuesday around 11. I was dizzy, heavy, and weighed down. Monty woke up slowly with me and I took him on our morning walk. Half way around the block I was feeling that inescapable fatigue crawl over me, and I knew all I’d be able to do that day was lay down. I whistled to Monty and we started back home. We’d only walked maybe a block, but it was enough for him to do his business and mark his territory on four different plants. Once inside I ker-plopped onto the couch and he followed. He laid his head on my legs and we slept another few hours. It was like he knew that’d be the extent of our physical activity that day, and he was OK with that. A dogs intuition is nothing short of amazing.
The rest of the week including today, has been a lot of sleeping and not as much fetch and tug-of-war as he deserves. And yet he seems happy. It’s as though whatever the moment throws at us, he embraces. Tired? We sleep. Energized? We play. Hungry? We eat. Happy? We dance. And there is no remembering or holding onto anything, and there is no anxiety or worry about tomorrow. There is just, this. And he does this, so incredibly well.
Sometimes when I lay awake at night thinking about what the answer to life is, this is what pops into my mind: Pupppies! It makes me laugh. But have you ever played with a puppy and not smiled? It’s impossible. Continuing on, even as I write this, Monty is curled up next to me on the couch, quietly breathing. We woke up two hours ago. He isn’t mad that we aren’t going to the park today, even though that was the plan. Sometimes on sick days I just lay petting him, watching his belly go up and down, and I feel at ease. That is what he seems all the time–at ease–and isn’t that how our life should be? When we’re at ease, we are open to good things. Once we tense up, we close ourselves off.
Anyway, I dedicate this to Monty, and best friends everywhere. I often wonder what humans would be like if we were more like our canine counterparts. Not in the sense that we would sniff each others butts, but what life would be like if we became masters of the moment. If we lived without ego. All of us. That sounds like a nice place to be.
I’ll end this with some tribute pictures of Monty..aka The Monster!
Arph and Arph and Arph Arph Arph! (get it? that was monty doing the sign off…you get it..)