Sometimes, on long unremarkable days, the only sanity in life can be found in the tickle of a dog’s tongue. Long after the escalators an elevators. Long after the lanes and lines. All you really have to do is sit on the edge of your bed, elbows on knees arms extended. This posture is a universal invitation to any caring canine. They ask for little, but belonging. A day’s debts can be paid for by the kindness of a beloved dog. The warmth and symmetry of a wagging tail so much like the rhythm of a metronome. The sheet music of life played out in the joy of a dog comforted by the companionship of their caretaker. But really, who is the real caretaker? The truth is that all the best listeners in the world are dogs. Their ears perked and ready to receive. A dog’s greatest gift, compassion, bestowed upon humans. A dog’s senses sensitively sensing sense. I trust a dog that licks me when I least expect it. Knowing this kind of dog in your lifetime is a gift. Troubles dissipate in the slow methodical cleanse a dog undertakes. Confession, absolution, and redemption all in the warm tickle of a dog’s tongue.
“Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead,” said Scrooge. “But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me!” – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
There is always hope, and we can always change who we are every minute of every day. Take solace in that. We aren’t who others think we are, but what we imagine ourselves to be. Go for it. Love each other, and cultivate compassion for others. We are a fellowship of humanity traveling from cradle to grave, and we really do get by with a little help from our friends.