When I was in eighth grade, I remember sitting by my dog, waiting for my carpool, the McLaughlin’s in their giant van, to pick me up. I’d sit there on our ratty grey couch, so tired, so not enthused about going to school, petting my dog, Zoie and thinking,
“I wish I was a dog.”
How great it would feel to just relax on the couch all day. My dog then and my dog now, Lizzo, have the same daily agenda- Food, walk, snuggle, repeat. What a great day!
My dog knows something about peace that I don’t. She is trying to teach me every time she puts her chin in my lap.
There is a concept in yoga called the Ujjayi breath. It’s where you breathe deep into the back of your throat and nasal passage, making a sound like Darth Vader and exhale like you’re fogging up glass. Making the sound is supposed to help you stay grounded to your breath. You can hear it and come back to the sound/sensation throughout your practice with this breath consciousness.
Lizzo is a conscious breather. She snores when she is asleep and when she’s awake. It may be her age (three and a half) or the fact that she was a mother. I can only speculate. What came before I adopted her last April is a bit of a mystery, but she is remarkable. She is an exceptional creature in that she waits patiently, just breathing and observing as I try to get my act together, finding her leash and other incidentals to get out the door for our morning walk. She gazes from her spot, breathing deeply, completely in the moment, perfectly content.
When I bend down to put my shoes on, she slips her head under my arm so that I hug her. Looking at me with here adorable eyes asking, “Snugs?”
“Ah yes. Snugs. Always snugs. I can pet you and put my shoes on at the same time.”
I didn’t rescue her. She rescued me.
She rescued me from sleeping too much, from living too much in my head, from not getting outside enough, from not loving and appreciating enough. Your heart is a muscle that must be exercised and Lizzo is my personal trainer, readying me for more love to come.