Spirituality of Dogs

imageCarly, my 3 1/2 year old golden retreiver, met her new vet this week. She wasn’t happy with the introduction. I could tell by the way she headed out the door when he called her name…

Actually, it’s quite easy to tell how Carly feels most of the time. The spiritual practice of mindfulness – paying attention to the present moment – is a difficult one for most of us humans. But for Carly, it’s simple. As far as I can tell, Carly doesn’t worry much about the past or the future. The present is all that she has on her mind – she practices mindfulness naturally.

Practicing mindfulness

When Carly is thirsty, she takes a drink.

When she has an itch, she scratches.

When she sees a toy, she shakes it, throws it up into the air and catches it with delight.

When she’s tired, she lies down – even if it happens to be in the middle of a “walk.”

When there’s food, Carly eats – singlemindedly.

If you come to the door (and you’re not a vet), she greets you with her full attention and she expects yours.

Carly doesn’t even try to multitask. She does one thing at a time and she gives it her all.

There’s something to be said for practicing mindfulness. It can be a very spiritual practice to pay attention – to look, listen, touch, taste and feel what is in front of us at the moment and put aside worries about the future or regrets about the past. God is present with us in the here and now and I don’t want to miss it. This week I’m learning from my dog.


In Christ,

Pastor Jen


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