I’m not a dog person. Which means quizzical-verging-on-contemptuous looks from the numerous dog owners in my neighborhood as I briskly walk past their adorable fur balls without comment or gushing. (“Sorry. I really don’t mean to offend you. I’m just not into your pet, okay?”) But, serendipitously, the same week an intriguing article on dog tail-wagging came out, which examines the long-term relationship between dogs and humans, a blue-eyed husky named Lumi reminded me that “dog” backwards is “God.”

This spiritual awakening happened like this: I was in New Hampshire visiting dog-owning family and offered the opportunity to try snowshoeing. Which I instantly loved! Although walking on snowshoes is a lot like wearing the heaviest, most mud-caked boots ever, snowshoes allow you to trudge on fresh, deep snow. (Duh.) So silence-lovin’ me immediately saw how eerily quiet and reverent such unsullied walks could be. And if, given global warming, it makes sense to buy me a pair, I’m in. (How do I even figure this out!)

Not that our Saturday trek was all that quiet. Two parents, one granddaughter, two dogs, plus me meant a less than worshipful stroll. Especially when Lumi would suddenly stop to frantically dig some piled-high snowbank. And have to be scolded, again and again, “Leave it!” Huh?

Under all that pristine, glistening snow were woodland creatures—and Lumi could hear them?! That stopped me in my tracks. (Which probably looked like Grammy catching her breath.) It wasn’t just the sudden gestalt when recognizing the symbiosis between ancient humans and dogs unearthing what’s for dinner tonight that earned my slack-jawed awe. I stared at Lumi as if seeing God made manifest: “You heard chipmunks or field mice or . . . under all that snow? What an amazing creature you are!”

And dog-owners get this, right? They get to have moments when their pets remind them: “Actually, creation is not anthropocentric. Humans just assume it is. If we’re incredibly lucky, we humans may be in a long-term relationship with lots of life forms. Dog willing.”

 

 

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