PostThe reason you love your dog …. And what you can learn from him. (Besides licking your privates and sleeping all day)

Barkley the dog is dashing across the grass at a break neck pace chasing his favorite squishy, slobber encrusted tennis ball.

(Which by the way is completely different from the favorite squishy, slobber encrusted tennis ball that he was chasing yesterday. The truth is, whatever ball he happens to be chasing at the time automatically becomes his favorite ball.)

Barkley is totally focused and can’t help but fully express the joy he feels at dashing across a sun dappled expanse of grass. He’ll take off running so fast sometimes that his rear end almost catches up with his front…

We all love our dogs. They are cute, huggable (most of them) and loyal. We dress them in sweaters and feed them out of custom made doggie dishes…

Most dogs in our society today have become as much a part of the family as any child or grandparent.

But that’s not the real reason we love them…

I believe the reason we love them is that they have an innate ability to be fully in the moment and express the pure joy of whatever they are doing completely in that moment…

It will usually make us stop… if only for a second or two and break into a smile.

Watch a dog on a sunny day at the park.

His owner is probably thinking about a multitude of different things that are gnawing at him. “The car payment is overdue, my boss needs that report on his desk first thing in the morning. I wonder what that lump is on my lower back?” …

On and on we fret.

Meanwhile Barkley has lost himself completely in the unbridled joy of sprinting after a squishy tennis ball.

Our dogs allow us into this state of mind briefly and it enables us to tap into a way of being that brings joy and if only for the moment, a sense of peace and contentment.

This is, I believe why we love our dogs so much. They give us glimpses into a state of being that many of us will never truly know.

This is also what I think we can all learn from that scruffy, exasperating member of the family

He rolled in the manure, threw up the table scraps on the carpet and got fleas last year. Yet we still think of him as one of our closest and most loyal friends…

The state of being that he gives you glimpses of is available to you.

It doesn’t come naturally to most of us like it does to Barkley.

But it is available to you if you search for it and allow into your heart.

It is accessible when you get rid of worry, it shows itself when you focus on being grateful for just being alive, you can get closer to it when you find and follow your bliss…

It’s worth the effort of searching and when you finally figure out how to access it for yourself you’ll probably realize it was right there all along…

So… Next time you’re at the park with Barkley, before you grab the squishy tennis ball with your finger nails and attempt to throw it without flinging slobber on your pants, take a second and see if maybe he’s trying to teach you something…

Good luck and “WOOF!”