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The Grounding Nature of Dogs

I was sitting in a restaurant last night, chatting with several animal lovers about the joy of sharing our lives with cats. I lost my dog, Jake, almost two years ago, and still have not been able to bring a new pup into my life. There are several excellent reasons for this, but perhaps the most important one is that I can now give my four 10-year old kitties all the attention they deserve. Trust me – they are LOVING this!

The feline lovers at the table spoke of the joy cats bring, how affectionate they are, and how few demands they make on their people. I talked about how magical cats are. They live in many dimensions, keep me on my toes, and are constantly surprising me.

“But,” I said, “dogs keep me grounded. They provide a stability to my life that I don’t seem to experience with my cats.”

And there it was – the piece I had been missing that explained the feeling of “floating” I had been living with since Jake left me. It’s not that Jake wasn’t magical – he was. He was also the rock I leaned on, something steady I could hold onto when the waters got rough. On those days when everything seemed awfully topsy- turvy, Jake would patiently stand there and just look at me. I could feel the joy that radiated from this wondrous creature – his pure pleasure at being alive. The love he felt for me flowed out of his heart and into mine…and I would feel safe, still and at peace.

I am wondering if this sense of feeling untethered will soften with time. It’s not that I mind being a balloon, but sometimes you need to tie up at a safe harbor and let your feet sink into the ground. I mean really feel your roots shooting out of the bottom of your feet and going deep into the earth.

I decided to ask my cats for their thoughts on this subject, but they were all asleep in their various resting spots, invisible “Do Not Disturb” signs posted nearby.

Perhaps we can have that talk another day.


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