My dog, Mukunda, is my greatest therapist. He teaches me how to love every waking moment. When I sleep, I dream about him, and he imparts his nonverbal messages of wisdom to me telepathically.
My life with Mukunda has become the central, most pivotal and joyous part of my life. I’ve decided he loves me more deeply than I’ve ever been loved before. This is no small realization. This love grows more profound every day.
My moment to moment perception of Mukunda has become more lucid and alive. As he romps and chases the ball in the pasture, I sometimes look at him and close my eyes, so as to capture him in a moment of beauty and magnificence.
It never fails that microsecond glimpse of the most handsome face I’ve ever seen does not cease to enrich my feelings of hope and happiness. Mukunda is the happiest soul I have ever met. And he, in turn, teaches others the lesson of what it means to be happy.
His antics are hilarious! and never to be forgotten, revered memories, making laughter an easy act of expression.
One day, he went to visit his dog/God-mother, who has a life sized monkey doll perched in the corner of one of the chairs in her living space. She had given Mukunda a tasmanian devil toy as a gift. We took turns throwing it for him. He sensed an end to the game after an hour of toss and retrieve, and he took the devil and placed it at the monkey’s feet looking back at us with a laugh.
He got the reaction he was looking for! It would have been great on camera.
Most recently, Tom was mowing the pasture by the meandering Conestoga. He moved Mukunda’s toys to an already mowed area so he could mow the tall grasses without obstacle. When he came around full circle, Mukunda had moved all of the toys back to the direct path of the tractor. He stood in front of the tractor coming towards him, pant/laughing, obstructing the flow, earning an award for perseverance!!
Three balls soared into the river in one week, recently, when the waters were still cold from the winter. Mukunda ran along the river bank, watching the current take them downstream, perhaps to be found again on our first canoe trip of the season.
Since that time, balls mysteriously materialize on our walks. Recently, we were walking through a development behind the hospital where I work and Mukunda hopped into a wooden area and emerged with a medium sized yellow ball, like a magician who materializes and manifests his/her desires effortlessly. There was a great ball throwing marathon for the rest of that day.
And he stares at me and has developed the ability to make eye contact at frequent intervals, often sidelong glances of devotion.
I love those moments of recognition.
I often think of people’s attitudes, in general about their dogs. There are two women at work with whom I congregate and we rave and swoon over our dogs. My one friend instructed me on how to lightly nibble on Mukunda’s ear. I have been doing it ever since.
I explained to one of our secretaries my dog theory in brief that dogs are enlightened beings. She stepped back and said something I will never forget: “You look like a worshiper of Dog.”
We saw the play, Sylvia, written by A. R. Gurney last Saturday. It was about a man named Greg, who found a dog called Sylvia in Central Park. He brought the dog home to live with he and his wife.
His wife hated the dog. Greg, meanwhile, experienced a renaissance. He walked the dog at all hours, watched the moon travel across the sky, saw maple tree leaves silhouetted against the Manhattan skies. He stopped going to work to be with the dog.
The audience loved the play. The theater was packed. At intermission, the man sitting next to me announced he was like Greg’s wife, and did not like his partner’s dog. He said: “Every night I put her in a crate. I would never allow her to sleep with us, that’s for sure.”
His wife sat quietly.
I thought, yes, this is how people think not only of dogs, but of the entire animal realm and also mother nature, which notoriously is out of human control.
Dogs are here to obey people.
Is the dog a good dog? Does the dog do tricks, fetch the newspaper to bring the bad news of the day to an already burned out master or mistress?
Do they return devotion to the magnificent beast, return the unconditionality of love the dog has for them?
Humans believe they are superior to animals. This is ingrained in spiritual and religious philosophies of our culture.
This is how dogs are viewed: as dumb animals. If a dog proves his/her brilliance, people laugh at themselves for even one moment seeing the greatness, the awesome power of the creature whom in reality, is superior to humans.
I am the only person in Mukunda’s life whom he considers to be a dog. He does not feel hurt if I scold him or mind if I get irritated when he nudges my writing arm, as I write these words. He thinks everything I do is funny.
Last night, while watching a home video, he sprawled himself across my chest and stared at me. Occasionally, he leaned over to lick my eye, or bite my nose. If I said words to him, he cocked his head.
Naturally, he was nagging me to go out, but in a charming way.
Being seen as a dog is the greatest compliment of my life, given me by Saint Mukunda, no less. All the compliments of the world are shallow, by comparison.
Mukunda sees me as being one with him. He moves where I move, I move where he moves. He lies on my feet with sun shining and illuminating this writer’s page.
I am like Greg in the play, Sylvia. I was not awake before Mukunda showed up. Now everyday thereafter is new and bright and simple.
The world continues to encroach with diversion and complexity, yet Mukunda stands as the guiding beacon getting back to balance, to writing on these pages, feeling the great creative life seethe inwardly and outwardly to be realized any moment I wish to remember the Free Zone.
That is where all the dogs I have ever known and all the others are now: in the Free Zone.
The Free Zone exists inwardly, as we meditate, and in the hazy afternoons doing creative projects away from clock time and deadlines.
We will bring the Free Zone more and more into our experience and reality and move about with the knowledge of this inspiring place in our cells and every day memory. The dogs are there and they know we are there, as well. We just do not know it, yet.
Mukunda knows The Free Zone.
We have to be electrocuted in the third eye before we come even close to knowing true freedom.
Yet it’s there and your dog will show it to you.