The Power Of Choice

Lately Rico has been meandering even more on our walks. So much so, hopeful buzzards keep an eye on us.

Rico taking a break during a walk

 

Yesterday something hit me that probably explained his slowing speed; I forgot Rico’s birthday last month. Ok, not that, but the fact he turned nine. Or nine-ish. Rescued dogs’ ages are only good guesses. Whiskey, for example, is also nine years-old according to her adoption contract. Four according to the vet. So birthdays are more about celebrating another year of happiness for us.

 

We didn’t celebrate Rico, though. Instead, I’ve been aggravated at his putzing along. I’ve dreaded walks. Avoided them, even.

 

One day in the too-near future, however, Rico won’t be lagging behind us like a prisoner of war and I’ll regret being vexed. If I ever get over the heartbreak, I mean. 

 Rico and I on an outing

 

I try so hard to stay present with all of my pets. It isn’t enough, however, to counteract the pain, uncertainty, and desperation associated with a beloved’s death, be it in the past or future. Hell, anymore, being present isn’t even enough to counterbalance the angst of watching the news or reading certain things on social media.

 

What’s the answer?

 

I doubt there’s only one, but here’s mine:

 

I reflected on my pets’ lives and deaths. For me, one of the most important duties as a pet parent is doing my best to help my fur babies pass from this world cocooned in love, peace, and comfort. It’s never easy. But their emotional state at that vital time means everything.

 

What about my death? I want to pass from this world floating on love and peace, too. Hard truth is I (everyone) can pass away in the blink of an eye at any moment.

 

So when I’m feeling any shade of negativity, I now ask myself this one question:

 

If I died right now, is this the energy I want to experience for eternity?

 

Because that’s what I believe happens. Think about it. We’re all made up of energy that we absorb and transform using our bodies and minds. When we die, it stands to reason we can no longer change our state using our bodily functions or justify it with our minds. We can’t think, “I’m mad because of my boss.” We just exist as mad energy without context. This is the point where God’s role in the afterlife could come into play, but that’s a different blog. For now, let’s say we stay in the last state we experienced unless another force changes it for us. That’s just science.

 

I once wrote that practicing staying present is the greatest gift our pets teach us. But now I think that’s just one part of it. Maybe the other part is understanding the power of choice as it relates to our energy and how it determines our fate during our most vulnerable moment.

 

During life’s smaller miserable moments, like a frustrating walk with two crazeballs, I can practice being fully present and choose to change my energy from anger to peace. I just have to ask myself, “If death came right now, would I want to feel this forever?”  Then maybe I’ll have practiced enough to be aware and choose peace at my worst moments, too.   

 

And to think all of that because I missed Rico’s birthday and felt guilty about our walks. God bless animals. Without them, I, for one, would be a lost cause.

 

Oh, and yes, I’ll be out there with these two chuckleheads walking, meandering, and fighting to keep my shoulders in their sockets …

Whiskey and Rico waiting for a walk

… And taking deep breaths.

Thank you for stopping by today.

 

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About Christie Green

A student of martial arts since 1995, a writer since 1999, and an animal-lover for all of time
This entry was posted in A Mindful Life with Dogs. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Power Of Choice

  1. M. says:

    Reblogged this on Callie's Wag and commented:
    This post is so beautiful, perfect, and wonderfully written, I had to share.

  2. M. says:

    This post is so amazing, and I agree with so much of what you wrote, I had to re-blog it.

    • Thank you so much! It means the world to me when I “meet” people like you who understand the value of pets is so much more than we give them credit for. I really do think of my dogs as my furry Buddhas 🙂 Looking forward to reading your blog!

  3. colinandray says:

    Our Ray has days when he just “doodles” around, which can be frustrating however, I just remind myself of something basic facts:
    1. It is his walk and not mine.
    2. If he is apparently happy, why would I interfere?
    3. I am not in a hurry (otherwise I would have scheduled his walk better)!
    4. Sniffing everything in sight is very demanding on a dog so, if the end result is a very tired dog, isn’t that what we would like?
    Just some thoughts! 🙂

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