we share our home with a little dog with a gigantic heart. we've always been "cat people" but when our son moved away and could not take Parker with him, we adopted him. he's about seven years old now, we think. we can't be certain because our son took him in from an animal shelter which was uncertain of his age. he is the perfect dog for us.
when we talk to him, he looks at us with his big eyes and tilts his head from one side to the other as if he understands every word we say. he never demands to be allowed in our laps or on the furniture. most of the time he is quiet, only barking when he believes there is potential danger, such as when someone approaches the front door or when some wild animal such as an opossum or racoon invades our back yard, or when he has been outside and is ready to come back in the house. upon coming in the house, he invariably runs to his safe place, a bed with high sides and a comfy pillow that sits in front of the den fireplace.
he has a special language when he talks to one of our six cats, a whimper that indicates that he is not a threat and that he wants to be their friend. one of them, Lucy who was also inherited from our son, is his special friend. Lucy seems to regard Parker as her child, grooming him and crying when we take him across the street for a walk in the park. the other cats simply tolerate him, but he never gives up trying to be their friend and asking them to play with him.
looking at him, i often wonder why he is such a gentle soul. he makes few demands, only an occasional game of fetch with his much-loved cloth bone or his nightly treat. there is much that we could learn from him: he gives love with no expectation of reward; he never speaks without a reason; he is happy to be with us but is content to be alone; he is fully present for the person who is speaking to him. would that we all could exhibit these virtues!
may we all have such gentle souls. may we love unconditionally. may we not babble needlessly. may we be at peace with ourselves and with others. may we treat one another with respect and consideration. may we follow Parker's example. shalom.