Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Bao and Joey, the new guy in the neighborhood. Joey is just a puppy.

It seems only yesterday that Bao was a puppy, too. Chasing a ping pong ball (the tennis ball my neighbor gave us was bigger than he was, and frightened him) his proud excitement when he was finally able to navigate the back steps. His first bone. His little puppy teeth. It's hard to believe that in just a few weeks, Bao will be nine years old.

He was so tiny, at first! I remember I used to wake up at night and touch him, just to make sure he was still breathing. I found myself doing that again, last night. Touching him with the tips of my fingers as he slept, very gently. Just making sure he was okay.

I can't imagine life without Bao, so I try very hard not to think the unthinkable.

Dogs remember and anticipate, too. But mostly -- and unlike us -- they live in the present moment. It was cooler than usual this morning, and Bao bounced happily out the door for his morning walk, sniffing and exploring, enjoying his neighbors and his neighborhood. The Rainbow Bridge was the furthest thing from his mind. And rightly so. The past is gone and the future is uncertain. But the present is what we experience. And the present is now.

I guess we could all learn a thing or two from dogs.


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