Next Saturday, February 20, will be a memorable one in our household. It will be a day of joy and happiness.
Next Saturday Malka, the precious little Shih-Tzu-Dachshund who moved in with us almost a year ago and immediately assumed her rightful position as head of the household, will celebrate her first birthday.
In preparation for this day I have been trying, to teach her how to blow out candles. I haven’t met with much success. She prefers to eat them.
A profound Buddhist proverb informs us that “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear” and it seems I must have been in a state of advanced readiness for as soon as Malka arrived, the lessons began.
So I began reviewing the many lessons Malka has taught me and, in doing so I realized her wisdom represents a remarkably peaceful and stress-free philosophical approach to life that would benefit all of us greatly should we choose to adopt it.
Here then is a partial list of lessons from Malka.
- Be friendly. Greet everyone you meet with a huge welcoming smile. Or, if it’s easier, sniff them approvingly.
- Love should be unconditional and freely given. Give some to everyone you meet.
- Talk is cheap. Don’t tell people you love them. Show them. Lick their faces.
- Always make time for those you love. Even when you’re busy.
- Life is about learning. Be inquisitive about everything you come across and, whatever it is, if it can fit in your mouth, chew it a few times and then swallow it. Don’t be afraid of germs and all that other stuff. If it’s no good for you – no problem. Vomit. Then move on and don’t make a big deal of it.
- Don’t allow insecure people with low self esteem and high needs for control boss you around. Sit when you want to sit. Lie down when you want to lie down. And what kind of stupid request is “heel?”
- Treat your mind and body with respect. Get lots of rest. Sleep twenty hours a day.
- Be endlessly patient with little children. Understand that they mean you no harm even when they stick their dirty little fingers in your eye.
- Share your food with anyone who wants it and expect others to share theirs with you. Again, don’t worry about germs and all that other stuff. Previous generations survived, prospered and procreated long before they knew germs were germs.
- Peeing and pooping are natural, healthy functions. It’s when we stop either or both of these that the problems start. So just do it wherever and whenever you feel the urge. Then move on and don’t make a big deal of it.
- Don’t hoard your toys. Share them with everyone and encourage everyone to play with you. Playing is good.
- Learn patience. Impatience only makes you grumpy and the only person who gets upset is you. Stop doing this to yourself.
- When eating, make loud, disgusting sounds to signify how much you appreciate the food you have been given. When your water dish is empty, noisily bat it around the kitchen floor to alert folks that you would like some more. Now.
- Hierarchies are simply to satisfy the oversized egos of those who falsely believe that some are better than others or that some have privileges that are reserved for them to the exclusion of others. Furniture is a good example of this. Sit wherever you wish and ignore those who think otherwise. Be persistent. They’ll get it eventually.
- Don’t sweat it. It’s just stuff. It’ll pass.
- Treat everyone equally and shower them with love.
- Trust everyone completely. You’ll be right almost all the time.
- Be forgiving. After all you’re not without fault either.
- Hugs make everything better.
- Leave everyone feeling better off for having spent time with you.
Yes, it has been a remarkable year of learning. I have learned so much from this little, nine pound soul. She has enriched my life and made me a far better person.
Malka asked if we could have an open house next Saturday so that her many friends can drop in and join the celebration.
So if you’re in the area please come on by. She’s love to see you.
And please don’t go to the trouble of buying her a gift. She said the pleasure of your company is all she wants.
Till we read again.