Rocky Road

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”                 ~Groucho Marx

I mentioned in an earlier post that I brought Rocky home to help bring some life back to my buddy, Ollie. Indeed, Rocky has brought so much more. As we continue to bond, we are faced with so many emotions – frustration, joy, sorrow, anger – but each is tempered by a good dose of laughter. There is no way to look at the little gremlin’s crooked face and wonky gait without cracking a smile. We are truly blessed with his presence, despite the challenges we face with him on an ongoing basis.

When Rocky came into our home, he was malnourished, emotionally and physically. Having been abused and abandoned, he had no prior training, to our knowledge, and wreaked havoc on our household, doing his business where he pleased, chewing shoes, undergarments and the like, and barked incessantly at the most inopportune of moments, among other naughty behaviors.

What does this have to do with yoga?

Rocky has progressed fantastically! Step by step, we have seen the little guy learn how to become a member of our household. We have seen him through potty training – no easy feat, to be sure, but well on our road to a nearly mess-free house. Rocky has learned to work for his food, sitting, lying down, and completing other tasks which he has learned from scratch. Our new addition also has an insatiable curiousity. He is forever getting into things he shouldn’t be getting into and has found ways to outwit us at every turn.

A born traveler, Rocky has romped on the beach in California and Oregon, played in the Sierra snow, wandered through vineyards in winter and spring. He is well on his way to air travel, as long as we can get that barking issue under control. And I believe we can.

Is Rocky the perfect dog? About as much as we are the perfect owners, I suppose. We still have a ways to go. But we keep plugging along.

That, my friends is where yoga comes into play. Through his many breakthroughs, Rocky reminds me that yoga needs my patience, my practice, and a nice, deep breath every now and again. His constant desire to search for new things to get into reminds me to maintain a sense of inquisitiveness, to seek out knowledge and to never accept the natural world at face value. Calm at times, cantankerous at others, he embodies the notion of living in the present moment. And – I almost forgot – he knows a treat every once in awhile doesn’t hurt either. Namaste, Rocky.