December 8, “Bodhi Day,” Celebrated as the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautauma, experienced enlightenment

This weekend Bodhi was an especially good reminder that sometimes the willing spirit can overcome the weak flesh. As I’ve written, DSC_5030Bodhi has a neurological condition that causes vertigo, difficulty with proprioception (knowing where his limbs are-a symptom I share), ataxic (off kilter) gait, and has a hard time with visual focus and depth perception. As a result, he has numerous falls–fortunately, there’s not much distance between his head and ground or floor. And he gets up and goes on.

Anyway, to give him a better grip on the hardwood floor, we got him some rubber dog pawz. They’re helpful but shouldn’t be left on too long. He also has an infected paw on which he’s wearing a sock as he takes his antibiotics (as I take mine again this week). When we took the rubber off his good front paw (where he actually has more sensitivity, strength, and control), he started licking it more than was good for him. As a distraction and his due for good cheer, we got a bone out of the freezer. It did the trick.

But not only that. After gnawing for a bit, he did what all dogs must. Get to the dirt, dig a hole, and bury it. You never know when a robber, or worse, a thief might show up. So there’s Bodhi, small dog, big bone clenched firmly in his jaw, a little disoriented with the ups and downs of ramps and a handyman in the backyard, circling around until he found the rich loam in Sheila’s garden, falling over, getting up, digging, covering, and eventually coming back in.

Day passes, Chanukah party, exhausted Bodhi makes his way to his bed. And what do we find there? And how did he get it there? His soil seasoned victory, his bone. As Seamus Heaney wrote,
“…Omnipresent, imperturbable
Is the life that death springs from.
And complaint is wrong, the slightest complaint at all,
Now that the rye crop waves beside the ruins.”

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