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  • Ana Isabel

The Nature of Love

When Teddy first arrived at eight weeks old, he turned our lives upside down. This is a common story for those who bring a puppy into the house. As far as I was concerned, he was perfect... but also very challenging. At home he was an angel. He did the normal puppy things like biting and chewing, and he wasn’t toilet trained but he tried super hard to learn the rules fast. Outside, I may as well not have existed. The best treats were not enough to arouse his interest. His nose, love of running and other dogs took over. Puppy class was my ritual humiliation. While other puppies looked adoringly at their handlers, mine tried to dig his way to the other side of the world and did his best to play with other puppies at every opportunity. Our teacher understood him well. She patiently listened to my concerns and reassured me that Teddy would grow into a wonderful dog. On the last day of the third course we did with her, she praised me for my hard work and told me something that shocked me to the core. She said, “many people would have given up on Teddy”. She said it to praise me and I knew that she loved Teddy but she was right. I was shocked, because the thought had never crossed my mind. Teddy is perfect. Everything I worried about was normal for a highly intelligent puppy of his breed and I knew it.

It never crossed my mind to give up on Teddy because I love him. I could understand why he felt what he felt and did what he did. Understanding is the first thing we need in order to feel love and also to feel loved. To understand, we need to empathise.

Empathy gives us the ability to be patient. Patience is an antidote to judgement.

All of this brings to mind the beautiful deep meaning of the Hindu greeting, Namaste.

My soul honours your soul,

I honour the place where the entire world resides.

I honour the light, love, truth, beauty and peace within you because it is also within me.

In sharing these things, we are united, we are the same, we are one.

To know this, is to love.

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