Alexa Mergen on her old dog Sasha

A friend writes about the lessons she has learned listening to her old dog, Sasha. Here is a snippet:

““Obey” comes from the French “to hear.” An obedient dog hears commands and follows them. After fourteen years Sasha knows her commands so well it doesn’t matter that she is deaf. It’s my turn to listen. When I listen, sitting with the old dog by her brown pillow in the corner of the living room, I may experience the pure love of ahimsa. We have made so many mistakes with this dog, leaving her alone as a pup for hours, disciplining her too harshly, not training her enough, feeding her bad food, taking her on trips that were too far and too rough, and, way too often, losing patience. She watches me as I rant on about a work annoyance or perceived injustice and if I allow myself to catch her eyes I calm down. I can stop my violent thoughts and words right then if I choose, like she did when she was learning. Noticing and sitting with Sasha is an opportunity to allow for forgiveness a hundred times a month.”

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