Living in the Now with animals

Animals may experience separation stress or stress from loud noises, like thunder or fireworks, or even deliberate negative conditioning. But they are unlikely to be stressed by living in the past or future in their imagination. A cat sunning itself in the yard will react with lightning speed to a dog entering the area – climb a tree, climb in through a window etc. But after the dog has gone, and the cat resumes its place in the sun, it doesn’t lie there thinking, “What if that dog comes back…..What if it’s a bigger dog……. what if the window’s closed……what if next time there are two dogs and I don’t make it to the tree…..?

The cat lives in the now, in the present moment. If the dog comes back the cat will deal with it then – sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

How much happier and freer we humans would be if we could just get out of out our heads and be present now. All thoughts of past and future are fictions in the mind; the only reality is now.

So right now let your pets remind you of mindfulness and love.

When asked what kind of person he would like to be, a man answered: ‘the kind of person my dog thinks I am..’

Be kind and gentle with yourself.

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About Jill M Jacques

I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and have spent most of my life here doing the usual things - marrying, having children and caring for an array of pets ranging from dogs to silkworms and chameleons. I first became interested in philosphy and its practical application in everyday life in my early 20s and spent many years as part of a group that pursued this goal. Drawing on this experience, I have been running "How to live in the Now" programmes for over 10 years. I wrote this book in response to requests from group members for something "simple and practical". I tend to see the funny side of life situations and enjoy writing humorous back pages as well as short stories and some poetry. Some of these have been published. Being here now is what really matters.
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