The Dog Star: Beagle Lessons

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition)

On our second day after returning from Europe a couple of weeks ago, my wife wasn’t yet completely unpacked. When we returned from dinner, we found Koufax ensconced on his dog bed, and Buddy Beagle making a fuss for his own dinner, since he’s deathly afraid that, after eight years, we might still forget to feed him.

Maria prepared their meal and I went upstairs to the bedroom. Inside the door, I found small pieces of tin foil spread on the carpet. “Not good,” I thought, peering around floor. Sure enough, there was a one-pound Toblerone bar carton, meticulously opened on one end only, with no chocolate anywhere in sight.

This was clearly Buddy’s work. He had chewed off one end, careful not to disturb the chocolate, dumped out the contents, ripped off the foil covering, and devoured a pound of what he’s not supposed to eat (fortunately, it was light chocolate—the Great Dog Trotsky once ate a five-pound, dark chocolate Easter Bunny and was never the worse for the wear).

Maria arrived and deduced that Buddy had nosed open her zippered travel bag, opened the candy bar box, and devoured the contents. She wanted to know how he got into a zippered bag.

Buddy is highly industrious, he doesn’t easily become distracted or frustrated. Once he has his treat, or bone, or stolen food it’s very tough to get it away from him. Of course, he sometimes nabs something not very good for him, but so do we all.

The difference is that Buddy has tremendous discipline and focus. He never second-guesses himself or becomes depressed about not succeeding the first time. He simply keeps trying. His beagle self-worth remains intact.

And he learns. He used to lean on a mistakenly open dog treat drawer, thereby closing it, making it a “fail-safe” for me that he couldn’t get in there and devour everything. Then one day I found him cleaning out the drawer, having learned to lean against the side instead of the front.

Not bad for a beagle. In fact, not bad for any of us.

© Alan Weiss 2012. All rights reserved.

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