Lessons from my Dog, Syrus

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Raúl A.

We have a relatively new addition to our pet family. His name is Syrus and he is a full-blooded German Shepherd who is young, high-spirited, and totally full-of-himself. Fortunately he is also smart, eager-to-please, and responsive or else there would be no containing him at all on our morning walks!

Our habit is to take our dogs on a morning walk to the bluff and back each day. Syrus is still on a training-halter/leash most of the way there and back since he's in training, and oh, you would think he was being tormented to watch him and hear him complain!

We get him ready to go and as soon as the gate opens, he leaps forward with a yelp, straining with all his might against his restraints. He continues to pull and complain vociferously for the first half of the way out.

(Not to say there has been no progress made. He is actually less adamant now than he was a few weeks ago; at least now he does eventually calm down. The first week or two he completely wore us out with his tireless effort to resist the reality of a leashed walk!)

This morning as I was holding him back with gentle reprimands and repetitive commands to “heel,” it suddenly occurred to me just exactly how much he reminds me of myself whenever I resist Reality.

Like Syrus, I too, during those times, pull hard against the reins of life, so eager to get somewhere even though I have no idea where that somewhere needs to be really. It is just the need to be in charge, I suppose, to be the one who's calling the shots, even though I lack the overall plan!

It's obvious that Syrus is not trying to get somewhere specific; it's not like he has a goal of a place he must get to or else! He's simply following his natural urges to rush ahead – to be first – to follow the many scents that present themselves along the way, dashing off hither and thither, letting his nose lead. Like me, in times when I have mad-dashed, head-first into life, he is not interested in following the direction of me, his master. Even though I have a plan that has his own best interests in mind, he is not interested in that, he just wants to do it his way!

I think about the times I too, have struggled against life, seeing the restraints I encounter as something that holds me back, following my inner urges and demands rather than relaxing into the hands of my Master.

I treasure those moments that are coming more often now with Syrus when he relaxes and allows me to lead; I so prefer them to the times when he insists on having it his way and pulling us into a confusing entanglement with one another!

Those moments when Syrus is relaxed and quietly obedient to my gentle nudges are so sweet; it is then that we suddenly seem to merge into one flowing instrument, rather than two opposing forces.

I think that's how it is with me and Source too. When I am relaxed enough to allow myself to be led by the gentle, knowing nudges of Source, when I surrender to the reins of life and trust that they are in place to restrain my impulsive demands and compulsive urges and guide me safely Home again, those are the times Source and I merge into oneness.

I see that, like Syrus, I am in training. I am learning how to let my Master lead; I am learning to trust that my Master has a plan, that Source knows the bigger picture of who I am and what is best for me, That not I, but Master Source knows where I need to go and what I need to do once I'm there.

I see clearly through Syrus' example that the more I surrender the more enjoyable the journey will be. Thank you, Syrus for being my way-shower today.

I hope you, my dear reader, get something from this lesson from Syrus too. 🙂

Blessings, Lynne

One Response

  1. Thanks for introducing your new family member. I continue to learn lessons from my meditative cats. As I read your post, what stuck out for me was that Source/Love knows our true purpose and potential…knows how and what we need to be trained in in order to be fully satisfied in a very deep way. Also your way of seeing and handling your dog is so loving even with all the kicking against the goad he must do when he just doesn’t get what all the training is about. Thanks so much for letting Syrus teach me.

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