My dog is a profound spiritual teacher.

We rescued her from the SPCA about six months ago; she’s been through a lot. Yet, every day I notice something so wise, so important, that I forget she was just some skinny, worm-infested stray at the pound. She is more like an enlightened sage, and people should make pilgrimages to see her for spiritual guidance. Seriously, there should be pilgrims lined up at my front door.

At meal times, she waits patiently, standing silently still at my feet and watching the preparation. I put down the bowl in front of her and she looks at it, tail wagging rhythmically and her tongue darting out to lick her lips. Regular dog stuff, right?

But then she does something odd.

She looks at me.

For a second of two, she locks eyes with me. She ignores the bounty I’ve laid before her and looks up into my face. She just looks. She stays stock still for those seconds, then plummets her face into the food.

She thanks me.

For those moments, she really sees me and I am flush with gratitude. It is one of the most genuine things I’ve ever felt. It’s not a huge, grand gesture, with jumping and barking and exuberance. It doesn’t get old or repetitive. It doesn’t need to be different or new. It’s a beautiful and deep moment of connection.

She knows that something simple and true is the best thing there is.

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