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(Wo)Man's Best Friend

I've had my dog for almost nine years. She was 8 when I adopted her through a local dog rescue; she had had a really rough life to that point. I always tell people that we rescued each other because I was also in a difficult place. When I picked her up for the first time, among all these other anxious, barking dogs, I knew she was meant for me.

I had never had a dog before and to be honest, she didn't really know how to be a dog anyway. She had been in a cage for most of her life, used as a breeding dog. I tried to imagine her old life and I wondered if anywhere in her brain she remembered what it was like; it would haunt me to think she could still feel alone and forgotten. I was one of those sort-of obnoxious dog people who bought her everything I thought she might want (?) because I wanted to erase her memories of the past.

I write this today because my old friend is slowly fading. She is almost 17 years old so she deserves to slow down. I have, of course, been aging right along with her at a slower, human pace. My ability to calm myself into a quiet, zen-like place is not as evolved as hers is. She seems to understand the need to spend more time relaxing than chasing or barking or simply getting agitated over every loud noise.

I have struggled in past months with all the 'loud noise' around me. The cacophony is hard for me to tune out. It is amplified through social media, news outlets, even friends and family. I think many of us might say it has become exhausting to fight against all the discord to find inner peace and calm.

So back to my Yorkshire Terrier. She is aging with grace, I think. As her body and mind slow down, she can embrace her own calm. I like it. I am trying to practice similar methods, to find a zen energy to direct me. I do not want to retreat from life because life is now, is present. But I want a life that has at its center a sense of calm purpose. If we could all achieve more peace, some of the world's cacophony will surely dissipate.

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