Love Dogs
I have been fortunate to have known several wonderful dogs as pets in my life.
My first dog, Bozo, was the love of my life at 8 years old--a cocker spaniel.
He was so much fun! I was living in Africa at the time.
When Bozo was about two years old, he disappeared one night.
I had let it out at around 9 pm
in order for it to get its "job" done before going to bed.

We heard a sharp, Yelp! Twice! And then silence.
We never heard from him again.
A year later I was climbing around some boulders near our home in Tanzania
and found a pile of bones and his hair on the ground.
Evidently, a lion or leopard had been in the area that night
and had eaten my dear Bozo.

The other dog I vividly remember was the one my wife and I bought one night.
We had been on a date to the show
and were walking back to the car and we noticed a pet shop.
We went in and there he was....a brown cocker spaniel--little puppy.
Of course the store owner let us hold him...and I was a "goner." :))

We brought the dog home the next day to our two children
and he lived with us for 9 years--63 dog years, they say.
He eventually developed some serious illnesses that kept him in so much pain...
we finally decided to put him to sleep...
we all gathered in the vets office with our dear love-dog, Buffy.
It was a dear moment.--one that we all will never forget.

I remember hearing the moans of my dear dog for me.
He would whine at times, just to get attention.
He would always get to my heart.
He made me feel soooo gooood.
I only hope I made him feel half as good as he made me feel.
My two dogs were like love-dogs.
We were so close and affectionate....
it felt so good to be in each others presence.
Sometimes he would just lay at my feet--just so his body would touch my toes.
Oh, for just some connection of love.

Isn't that what we desire?
To be connected with on a deep affectionate level?
And just once a day is not enough :)) is as if we get enough touch for one day
and then, when we wake up the next day, we want it all over again--
Our hearts are empty again and filled with longing for that moan again,
that look, that touch or to hear words.
Whatever got filled up the day before is empty now
and our grief for another touch grows.

How precious a person can be to us!
I learned something about loving from my dear dogs.

Here is a poem about "Love Dogs" that Rumi writes about.
Although he is talking about God,
we can also put in the name of our lover,
or also a dear friend.

One night a man was crying, "Lord.... Lord.... Lord...."
His lips grew sweet with the praising, until a cynic said,

"So! I have heard you calling out, but have you ever gotten any response?"

The man had no answer to that.
He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.
And in a dream he saw Khida, the guide of souls, in a green thick bush.

"Why did you stop praising?" said the dream man.

"Because I've never heard anything back." the man said.

"This longing you express is the return message."

The grief you cry out from draws you toward union.
Your pure sadness that wants help is the secret cup.

Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.
There are love-dogs no one knows the names of.
Give your life to be one of them.


                                      I want to be like a love-dog...
                                      I don't want to grow old and stale
                                           and lose my moan for something deeper.
                                          I want the connection.
                                               And the grief I feel draws me to you....