You may find it a little bizarre—arrogant even—for a dog to write for elephant. But, hear me out first. Is it really fair that just because I’ve never had any formal educational training—well, aside from my agility class, which I passed with flying colors, I might add—I shouldn’t get the same opportunity for publication as everyone else?
So I convinced B, my “owner”—such a silly word, as we all know who runs things—to translate for me. Luckily, B understands me perfectly, as we communicate in the universal language of love.
B resisted at first, as most humans do, putting off the very things they long for most out of fear, doubt and worry. But I used my highly-refined persuasion technique of staring her down until she gave in. After all, if I’m to do what I came here to do, i.e., help her shine, I need to use all the tools at my disposal. And I am not too hard on the eyes, if I do say so myself.
Yes, you heard correctly. Dogs come here to help people. We crack open hearts. Bring them back to life. Help them keep the beat.
Some dogs, the most beautiful and brave of all, come not as members of particular families, but as friends of the entire human race, living in shelters and harsh conditions to remind people about the importance of opening their hearts to all beings on this planet.
I love my B. I came here on strict orders to help her out, and best believe I follow my instructions to the hilt.
Job number one: make sure B doesn’t take herself too seriously. Once I even had to grab her To-Do List from her hands and eat it so she would make time for the spontaneous moments that make life worthwhile. And they say dogs aren’t smarter than people?
I also help B live in the moment. Like many people, she wastes a lot of time in her head, focusing on a past long gone and a future yet to come to fruition. So, if need be, I grab an item I know she wants. Then, I get right up in her face with it, run away and wait for the chase to ensue. Stops the mind chatter in its tracks. Mission accomplished.
I also help B let go of expectations and stay open to whatever comes her way. For example, I may really want that ball in her hand. But should she offer me a delicious piece of chicken, I will completely forget my previous desire for the ball and accept what life is offering me instead. Am I enlightened or what?
Last year, I snatched B’s glasses off her face with my teeth for a fun chase. I accidentally crunched down and broke them, though, and B was so afraid I had swallowed some glass that she rushed me to the vet. I was fine, but I taught B a valuable lesson that day: Always cherish your time with your loved ones, for you never know when they may unexpectedly leave.
When my time comes, I will teach B not to fear death. I will greet my death just like I lived my life, and show my beloved B that what really matters is not the death we all inevitably face, but whether or not we have the courage to live while we’re here.
Jazz, my older (but not necessarily wiser) brother and partner-in-crime, helps in other ways. Jazz is the rock, the one B can count on to be there if she’s sick or feels sad.
Jazz also teaches B about healthy eating. Now, Jazz is my brother and I love him, but he used to be kind of a dud, lying around all the time. Turns out he had serious health problems from eating cheap dog food. Once B started to make our food, though, Jazz became a new dog. Now he even initiates our wrestling matches! (Part of our canine duties as well, since watching dogs play is a sight that feeds the human soul.)
I always hear people say, “Dogs have it made. I just want to be a dog and eat and lie around all day.” They clearly don’t understand what we do. It’s not just a walk in the park. (A highly underrated activity, by the way.)
I never regret for a minute what I signed up for. When B sings to me at night, or I save her from the vacuum, or I help her garden by digging up the plants, (Seriously, what would she do without me?), it’s the best feeling in the world.
That’s why we’re here. To teach by example. To offer a little help and support along the way. To show people how they deserve to be loved – completely and with wild abandon. Forever and always. Regardless.
Author: Bamboo & Brooke Betts
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Author’s Own