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What pets teach us.

October 27, 2013

The other day I was taking my little, white, furry dog named Duke for his daily walk. I alternate between several routes, and he knows them all very well. The route we took takes us into a neighborhood with five blocks that all connect and loop back to the main road leading in and out of the neighborhood. On some days I do the loop once, others twice. On this particular day, when we came to the corner of the fifth and main roads I decided to make the loop again. I continued walking, but Duke did what he always does whenever we come to that corner: stops and stares down the main road towards home.

At that moment, my Dukie taught me a lot about being human, at least the part of us that wants security, closure, routine, and predictability. The part that is happy doing the same thing over and over again, like paying the bills, cooking the meals, or visiting with friends. It’s a very necessary part of us, it’s GREAT at what it does, and we couldn’t survive in this dog eat dog world without it. But—it has its limits. You know, same thing, different day. It could be turkey or pork, but a sausage machine only puts out sausage. Duke reminded me, once again, that when we want to take a risk, venture into unchartered territory, or explore our creativity or spirituality, it’s best to leave that part of ourselves at home.

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