“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”?

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7 Responses to Doggie-Satva

  1. Sarah Hales says:

    My dear Scott and Herb:

    I am deeply sorry for your loss. As a dog lover and whose primary relationship is with my Gilly, I hope to remember your words when I have to let him go. I can never return to the love of Hunter, my dalmatian of fourteen years before Gilly, without weeping in that space of love. It is so immense.

  2. Tom Vukits says:

    Well said my friend! May his love continue to live on in both you and Herb!

  3. Scott, just found you again in my emails. My heart goes out to you and Herb in this loss and know Flash will be running free now so watch for him over these days and weeks. Bless you.

  4. Sandra Martin says:

    Scott, thanks for sharing Flash’s passing. How beautiful that you were able to transition with him in such a loving and meaningful way. I still feel a pang of longing about our beloved Checkers’ loss of more than 8 years ago. These loving animals take residence in our hearts and never leave. May Flash rest in peace.
    Sandra Martin

  5. Claudia Schumann says:

    So sorry for your loss of a member of your family. i know you will miss him. The vigil and your words about it is an excellent way of sharing the life of a beautiful pet with others. My Kitty-Satva is Miss Pinkie Muffin – a beautiful little cat of 14 years. She sleeps in the bed with us and talks to us all day with her purrs, meows, and trills.

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