Soul Notes #3: A Dog’s Life

Seven years ago today, we lost Holly, our second dog. She was 16 1/2, which objectively, is a good long life, but when it’s your dog, it’s never long enough. She was about two in this picture. At that time, I’d get up around 5:30, do some stretches, and spend about 20 minutes in the meditation room before getting breakfast for myself and the dogs.

One morning I found Holly sitting in my chair, gazing at the altar. She looked over her shoulder at me, with a “Yes, may I help you?” expression before turning back to her object of contemplation. I thought of the incident this year, when a Tibetan lama mentioned an old saying that many dogs will be reborn as humans, and a lot of humans will be dogs in their next life. It all has to do with having a good heart…

One other notable thing about Holly was her love of water. One time Mary and I were walking her by a stream in Yosemite, talking as she stopped for a drink. After a splash we looked down to see her paddling about with delight.

On her first visit to the ocean, she insisted on playing tag with the waves and letting them win:

Mary and Holly, Bandon, OR, ca. 2000

In honor of Holly, here is an article I posted in 2013, called Dreaming With Animals. The pictures and text are just the barest glimpse of how deeply intwined with Soul the animals are, all the more so now that most of them have been banished from our lives.

7 thoughts on “Soul Notes #3: A Dog’s Life

    • After quite some time thinking about names and focus, one evening recently I registered a new domain as “Soul Notes.” Now I’m busy working my way through the graphic sophistication of WordPress themes, which has mushroomed since I first started blogging, and I am watching to see how much energy this current series generates. We shall see. So far ideas keep popping up.


  1. I can believe a dog would meditate. We are so limited in our understanding of nonverbal animals. But my husband and I have had dogs, and I have come to think of our dogs as our teachers. Right now we don’t have one. After our last one passed away, we decided that since we travel, we won’t get another until we are home all the time. We had a wonderful pet center, but it was still hard on the dog and hard on us. Once our travel days are over, though, first thing we will get a pet. Probably a dog.


      • Thanks Morgan for stopping by. Glad to hear you enjoyed reading the article. Louis is a Japanese Spitz pure breed. He is the most expressive dog I know you can literally see what he is thinking looking at the expression on his face!


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