Things I Learned from a Poodle



Ernie Poodle

Do dogs laugh?

You bet they do!
But before you can hear the laughter, you must first learn to speak dog. And to do that, you must develop a deep rapport and find a point of mutual respect and understanding. You must learn to read his or her every emotion, and eventually to come to know well your dog’s heart. (To see rightly, one must see with the heart. – Chardin). Thus and only thus can you find that elusive point of balance that allows you to bring out the best in each other.
Rather like dealing with people in many ways, is it not?
So herein, a few samples of Ernie’s and my more mirthful and mindful times together presented in the spirit of a tribute to my little furry friend and the fourteen years of joy he brought into my life.
I hope you enjoy.

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Live in the moment: It didn’t much matter if he was coming or going, Ernie always took great delight in the ride. Herein lies one of the most important secrets of life: learn from the past, prepare as best you can for the uncertainty of the future but live, live in the moment…for that is where joy, happiness and self-fulfillment reside.

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Take a moment to meditate. Find a quiet place where no one can see or hear you. Relax, sit quietly and let it all go: just fade into the background and clear your mind of all its clutter. Moments of silence and emptiness often lead to a clarity of vision not achievable in any other way, for deep down, you know much more than you think you do. Sometimes, Ernie would sit and stare at the sky for a long time as if in a state of communion, just like a little Buddhist monk. Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom – Francis Bacon


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Be not afraid to be a little eccentric now and again: 
Cut loose and do a handstand. Or a cartwheel. Turn your creative side free and think openly and with exuberance. And share your glee with the world. Yes, you can do it. And it’s fun. Remember: “An eccentric is a sane (person) in an insane world.” – Henry David Thoreau

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Take the time to celebrate:
your friends, your accomplishments, or the little flowers at your feet: the stars, your dog or…the very fact, unlikely as it was, that you ever were born. Dogs sometimes for the sheer joy of it just wag their tails. Or they celebrate by running as fast as they can just for the sake of it. Ernie used to do that. But without the party hat.


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Be not afraid to tackle large projects, for each is but a collection of smaller projects. Live your life one day at a time, and do what you can on that day and in time you will accomplish much. The Chinese say (and they would know),“The longest journey begins with a single step.”


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Go Placidly amid the noise and haste: Here you see a wall hanging that Ernie chose to snooze on one day, and thus did he draw my attention once again to the wisdom held in Max Ehrman’s Desiderata. And what was the line that stood out for me in these troubled times? “With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams it is still a beautiful world.”


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Live in harmony with everyone you can: friends, family…even people you do not know. Dogs, some dogs especially, are good at this, for they have been gifted with the ability to love unconditionally, the highest and most beneficial level a heart can reach. To do so brings reward beyond measure.

Thanks Ernie Poodle, for twelve years of love, friendship and fun. From you I learned so much…

Thoughts Welcome: