Pets are Bodhisattvas

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ~Mahatma Gandhi


Patch enjoying an afternoon nap

I read a lovely, yet bittersweet post over at Tiny Buddha’s Blog today. It was about dogs being our teachers or maybe what I would call doggie Bodhisattvas. I too have lost many pets over the years — each one had their own personality, yet they all had one thing in common — they lived in the moment. Not one of them sat around and worried about their future — ok, maybe a couple wondered when their next meal was being served, because they followed me in the kitchen every time I went in, but maybe they weren’t worried as much as hoping that this would be the time I would put down their food dish, or accidentally drop something delicious on the floor. But wondering is not the same as worrying. Come to think about it — I doubt they wonder about things much either. They just see me walk in the kitchen and at that moment — they decide to wander in after me to see what’s cookin’.

Anyone who is lucky enough to share their life with a pet, knows that they are happy 99.9% of the time, even if they are sick. Several of my pets lived with chronic illnesses over the years and they never complained once — they were always up for a belly rub and a chance to sleep next to me on the couch.

I’m not sure though if the concept of living in the moment — like my pets do, actually sank in — until I got cancer. I was wrapped up in the drama of life — meaning I seemed to always be in the middle of trying to fix a problem that seemed to pop up, either at work or home. I mean, if you think about it — our society seems to feed off drama. Just look at all those so-called reality shows. Back in the day, my grandma was addicted to her soap operas. No wonder Americans have heart burn!

Just like that bumper sticker says:


Many of us are spending way too much time thinking about nonsense and not enough time enjoying life. Now that I am healthy, I work daily to live like my pets — to be happy with what I have and to chill out. My mind is stubborn though –it’s so easy to fall back into old patterns of thinking. I have to begin each day making a conscious decision to be happy and when I regress — I have to learn to forgive myself.

As I write this Hoss, my Chihuahua is napping by my side on the couch and Patch my Beagle mix is sleeping by my feet. They sure know how to spend a lazy afternoon.

How are you spending your day? Are you thinking about this weekend or enjoying the moment — right now?



3 thoughts on “Pets are Bodhisattvas

    • I know we cannot replace the pets we loved and lost but hopefully, you are sharing your life with another pet. There are so many sitting in shelters waiting to find their forever home.

      • Well right now we just have a very surly and mean cat so I don’t really think of him as a pet. We had another baby and don’t really have the time or space. But when the time is right I know a doggie will come to us. And definitely from a shelter!

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