Friday, May 25, 2012

Life Lessons from an unexpected teacher.

My new teacher has yellow hair, a sweet smile and a lot of patience. She also loves to go for long meditative walks in the woods and eat bird poop.

Meet my teacher, Jilly. She’s a yellow Labrador Retriever who came into my life as a Guide Dog Career Changer. Translation: She didn’t do what they wanted her to do. So, they found her a new home with me. Her new job was to be a normal, house dog. My new job was to teach her to come, heel and be a normal family dog. At least that’s what I thought.
Of course, I was wrong.

Jilly started lessons from day one. The only problem was she had a very slow student. Me.

As an expert teacher in the art of letting go, Jilly saw right away that I was going to be a very difficult student. She ran off, and I tried to control her. She ran off again and again until finally one day, I just sat down, with tears streaming down my face and let go. That’s when Jilly appeared and tapped me on the forehead with her muzzle.
Teaching the art of meditation and walking, Jilly meanders through the woods, stopping to take in the energy all around her. Knowing that I smell nothing, she pauses continuously, hoping that one day, I will catch a whiff of the wonders around me.

Teaching the art of acceptance, Jilly continues to walk the path of life rain and shine, snow and heat. She stops to look, listen and sniff. Again, she has patience with her student who groans in pouring rain, slathers herself in smelly sunscreen, layers herself against the softness of snow fall and complains in the heat. Jilly, forges on and models her lesson. No matter what the weather, Jilly finds ways to enjoy herself.

This week, as I slogged my way home in a drenching rain, all I could do was sigh and groan about my soggy jeans and shoes. I turned to Jilly and saw her walking next to me with calm dignity and a muzzle dripping with rain. She didn’t complain. Today, as my mind was whirling with to-do’s and worries; Jilly was sniffing the fresh, green grass.

I’ve learned quite a few life lessons from my dog, Jilly. But I think she’d agree, I still have a lot to learn.

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