“My efforts now turn from trying to outrun suffering to accepting love wherever I can find it.” Mark Nepo
Flash, our beloved Airedale, left this world two weeks ago.
Flash noticed that humans show affection by petting dogs. So, Flash showed his warmth by rubbing his head up against humans, “petting” them. Up until his last minute, he nuzzled and petted us, radiating the same unconditional love he exuded his entire life.
I felt my own love expand exponentially as we helped him transition. Even now, after his death, I am able to dip into that amazing reservoir of limitless affection he showered on me and everyone else. It’s my meditation and intention throughout the day to live that love.
For his transition, we set up a vigil. We moved the furniture to the edges of the living room and placed his bed in the center. The other animals gathered with us to form a semi-circle around Flash. We held vigil and loved on him, while he loved on us.
As soon as he took his last breath, our other pets knew. Immediately, our cats left the room, and Cowboy, our other dog, walked away and hopped on his favorite chair. They have a deeper knowing than we do.
Our friend Susan, an animal chaplain, also joined us for the vigil. A long-practicing Buddhist, she called Flash a “Doggie-Satva”. In the Buddhist tradition, a Bodhisattva is an enlightened being who has transcended this level of reality but nonetheless remains or returns to help others wake up.
Flash, was our “Doggie-Satva”, awakening us to a truly unconditional love. Even now, he somehow nudges us to love more, more, more. Thank you Flash. I will. And I love you too.
Who is your “Doggie-Satva” or “Kitty-Satva”?