Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart


Buddha dogs and learning about love

pascal at Dori's 2013We have two dogs — both goofy-looking French bulldogs. The elder, Pascal, is sick. Turns out that despite being ‘guaranteed,’ AND xrayed, he has dysplasia. As well as a pinched nerve in his lower spine. He’s in a lot of pain.

Most folks prefer his brother, Hugo the lovebug. Hugo will take up with strangers as if they were long-lost twins. He once tried to run off w/ the plumber (really). He will fold in to your lap as if a (barely) animated canine blanket — laying completely open.

Pascal is nothing like this. He barks incessantly at even the birds in the yard. He is subject to fits of anger if your feet scare him. He refuses to jump onto the chair — he has to be picked up. But as it turns out, that’s his dysplasia. As are his non-biting attacks when he’s inadvertently pained.

And now we’re facing the question dreaded by every pet owner: how much quality of life is enough?  And how many $$ — on a fixed income — are too many?

I’ve learned so much from this lumpy galoot of a dog. That love really is unconditional, often. He’s not the smartest, or the prettiest, nor is he the best dog I know. I’ve had dogs since I was born, and he bests few of them. But he’s himself, and no one else is. That’s love, I guess.

It’s also attachment, which I’m leery of, as a Buddhist.dukkha Not the love part, but the ‘I don’t want to lose my dog’ part. Classic dukkha. Actually, all three kinds, rolled into one hurting French bulldog. I don’t want to have to decide whether he should live or die. Whether the pain he feels will be ameliorated enough. When he will need the hip replacement(s) we know already we will not be able to afford.

And I don’t want things to change. I want it to be last week, when he was still fine, and the nerve wasn’t pinched. Because I’m conditioned to be happy in his presence. Not to suffer, as he is now.

Who knew my baby dog was such a Buddha?



Previous Posts

the healing comfort of quiet
When it's noisy, I can't think. My mother used to say -- I can't hear myself think!! Now, these many years later, I get it. When the dogs are barking (frequent!), and the phone is ringing, and someone (or 2 someones

posted 5:11:19pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

sitting with suffering
"Instead of asking ourselves, “How can I find security and happiness?” we could ask ourselves, “Can I touch the center of my pain? Can I sit with suffering, both yours and mine, without trying to make it go away

posted 6:27:09pm Oct. 18, 2014 | read full post »

the rock of the multiplication, and feeding the hungry
If I were a Christian, I would be a member of a small church. A very small church indeed, in Tabgha, a small village on the Sea of Galilee. The Church of the Multiplication, where the miracle of the loaves &

posted 3:57:43pm Oct. 17, 2014 | read full post »

ch-ch-changes
Ben Franklin is on record as having said, "When you are finished changing, you're finished." I LOVE that. And I heartily agree, although I confess: there are all kinds of change I resist fiercely. I don't like ANY  kind of changes to my schedule -- if it interferes w/'my' time, it's a pain. I'm

posted 9:21:07pm Oct. 15, 2014 | read full post »

rainfall and intimations of moving
Although I love rain (honest), I don't think about it a lot. Truth is, I take rain for granted. The drought in California is real for me, but it doesn't come to mind when it rains. At least not usually. But this

posted 4:27:14pm Oct. 13, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.