My Dogs Have Retired

By: Venerable Jim Jiang-Wen Kearse 将稳

I always knew it would happen one day. I just didn’t expect it when it did happen. My two little guard dogs, sisters, are nine years old and their hearing is faltering. They still fiercely guard the house against mail carriers, strange dogs across the street, and stray,  blowing plastic bags and leaves, but more and more, they sleep through such events. 

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 They officially retired the other night when my wife came home, undetected, and walked into the room where the two sisters were sleeping, and woke them up. It happens to us all. After all, nine is pretty old for dogs. And so they take their place among the rest of us who are retired.

But life is about change. Change happens everywhere, all the time – including to us,  ourselves. We know that this is true, but still we cringe when we see the grey hair. Sometimes change is something that we have difficulty dealing with. But try as we may, we will not stop it.

As we get older, this is a fact that we simply reconcile with and so we stop trying to fix the world and people into place. We stop imagining that things are still an exact match to our memories of 20 years ago. We learn to be more fluid in our thinking and “go with the flow”. That way, it’s not so surprising when we find our childhood school replaced with condominiums.

It’s a practice.

Still, it would be nice to get out of bed in the morning and not to hurt for no reason in particular, just like it used to be!

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