Our dog is old. She is an eleven-year-old greyhound, with a very gray face. No, she is not fast – not anymore. Valentina did race, but retired before age 2 because she wasn’t a winner. She just was not interested in racing. Running when she felt like it was enough.
But she did love to run. Now, she putters around the yard sniffing everything, then flops over on her side to soak in the sun. Not so long ago, our fenced-in backyard had a dirt path worn into the grass from her daily sprints – two minutes of 40 mile per hour tears around the yard, then back to the couch. A few minutes a day was enough.
We have always tried to feed her a good diet, with frequent chicken and rice supplements, and have never given her food from the dinner table to discourage begging and “theft” (greyhounds are tall – snoot level is table height!) When we sit down to eat, she goes to her bed to wait for her big biscuit. After, she gets a sip of water, then heads back to her bed without bothering anyone at the table. Her biscuit is enough.
Walks were once drawn out affairs circling the surrounding neighborhood for her daily territory sweep. At 50+lbs of solid muscle, it was a true wrangling during the first years before obedience training and leash practice made walking easy. The corns on the pads of her feet have slowed the pace, and shrank the territory, considerably. A trip up and down our street, staying on the soft grass, is now enough.
Valentina’s demands are minimal. She seems to be satisfied with however much or little attention, or indulgence, she gets. It is all enough.
I had the opportunity to hear a Rabbi speak last week after church as part of our “Faith Neighbors” series, which also included speakers from Mormon, Catholic and Muslim traditions, all from within our own town. More than the obvious “how we are different” aspects to each visit was the strong thread of how we are alike.
The Rabbi had this to say about trying to account for God’s intervention (or not) during the undeniable ups and downs of life:
No matter how much or how little we think God is “doing” for us, it’s always enough.
My old dog doesn’t expect the favor of yummy dinners, then curse her aging bones. She takes it all in, no matter what she gets.