Finding your inner dog

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours … In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.” – Walden,  Henry David Thoreau



The older I become,  the complexities of the world and the demands on my mind and energy become more intolerable.  I do not plan to  – nor can I afford –  to retreat into seclusion of a cabin in the woods.  I am neither a Thoreau, Ted Suszynski, nor recluse.  But every day, the stress of my job, a world crises of one sort or another, and the increasingly frequent yelling at someone driving erratically or at high-speed make the idea more palatable.  I now am more adept at avoiding the controversies surrounding Work, Politics, Religion,Sports & Family:   Having made several mis-steps  previously and finding the “heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to”*,  I  have allied myself with those who are striving toward a spiritual truth and Promise.  The truth I am still learning is that all people – every last one – are definitely complicated and none have attained perfection in this life.

Dogs, on the other hand, are wired with basic stuff. Positives: a food bowl that is regularly filled. Going for walks on a regular schedule.  In Dexter’s case, an opportunity to get his neck scratched,  bury his nose in a fresh gopher hole, or getting attention from friends and neighbors we encounter on walks.  Comet eats often as though he might not get fed ever again;  often he tries to crawl into my lap though he is way too big.  For both,  I am glad that they are well-adjusted and welcoming.  The are not ever going to protest, demean, or get their emotions knotted over who is the pack leader.  Neither cares a fig about politics, the economy, social media or extremes in the weather.

When my wife or I collapse in the doorway after a particularly brutal day at work and commute,  Dexter and Comet are excited. They know that a walk is forthcoming;  a walk that is good for Man and dog.   And they, like Thoreau know that leaving the world behind for a time is very good for the soul.

*Hamlet, Wm. Shakespeare,


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