I am convinced God put dogs and man together for a reason.
Earlier this week I visited a friend and his wife in their mountain home. Quiet, peaceful, serene. Trees so plentiful you can hardly see the sky. A place where you wish rules outlawed cell phones and Internet service.
There I met Amari, a short blonde dog long on energy, who would remind me how powerful our attitude is in determining happiness.
Years ago Amari had a terrible experience with a lawnmower resulting in the removal of a hind leg at the hip.
But to Amari, he still had three good legs and a tail that twitches like a hummingbird’s wings.
I first met Amari as he raced around the outside screened in porch of my friend’s place. Moving as if he’d recently lapped up several double espresso shots, a blonde blur might be a better description to his speed. He never stopped moving.
Stepping outside I immediately found two paws leaping up and a face begging for attention. Up, down, up, down, followed by tight circles at my feet. Dogs, as opposed to cats, are the greatest salespeople in the world. They simply will not let you ignore their pleas for attention.
Walking down the pea gravel pathway, Amari ran ahead of me, behind me, and up and over anything he could jump across or up onto. If I didn’t know my friend better I’d have thought Amari lacked human contact. Instead, Amari suffered from the opposite – he couldn’t help but spread joy with every waking moment.
In a rare moment, Amari stopped in front of me, rolling on his back for a petting session. Only then did I notice him having only three legs. At first, I did a double take, wondering if I was missing something. But as my expectations crossed over to reality, I realized I was experiencing something remarkable.
Moments later he became restless, rolled back over onto his legs and returned to the blonde blur.
I couldn’t help but feel inspired. Life can be hard. Someone ignores us or says something unkind. Or maybe we’re feeling sorry for ourselves because we’re caught up in the practice comparing our lives to others, failing to be thankful for what we have versus the never-ending list of desires.
Amri wants us to get over ourselves. Like others who’ve suffered an unexpected change in the circumstances or direction in life, Amari faced a new world after his terrible encounter with a lawnmower. But after getting up of the veterinarian’s table, he found a way around the unnatural path in front of him to live a happy life.
Some may pass this off as a simple analogy – a dog does not face the same challenges in life as humans. But I’d argue we can learn a great deal from how Amari adapted to his circumstances, not letting anything get in the way of him doing what him doing what he lives for in life – spreading love.