Saturday, August 1, 2015

Eli. Lesson One.


The 7 Teachings of Eli
Lesson One

Meet my new guru. Eli the Boston terrier.

Almost blind, Eli is a seer of many things. Thus begins my series of blog posts based on his sage teachings. Like any good life lesson, this one starts with a parable.

A few weeks ago, on my hour-long drive into town, I decided to stop at a fast food joint. (Don't get judgey--it turned out to be good for my health.) As I was leaving the drive-through lane, I noticed a tiny dog wandering among the cars in the parking lot--cars driven by starving people focusing more on Big Macs than tiny dogs. 

I pulled over, parked, and opened up my fish sandwich. Ahhh... that nauseating bait-like scent. It was time to put it to the test. 

Eli was nowhere to be seen, so I dodged among the automobiles, bent from the waist, waving the world's whitest bun in front of me calling, "Heeeere ya go, baby. Here ya go. Come and get it." 

I'm only now realizing that other patrons of the establishment have probably written their own blog posts about the kooky lady out in the parking lot. But I digress.

I finally located the pup--or he located me--and we came together in one of those beautiful special-sauce-laden moments you only read about. Once he finished eating he snuffled around in the palm of my hand, snorted, and turned to leave. 

My heartbeat quickened with that familiar wariness of the instant before touching a strange dog. Was he frightened enough to bite me? This is especially good thinking with a dog that doesn't see well; he's likely to be easily startled. I reached out like you're supposed to--under his chest, not over his head. He didn't bite, but he wasn't that interested in being petted by a stranger, either. He wanted to get on his way, walking under moving cars where he might find a french fry box or an abandoned ChickyNugget.

I reminded my nervous stomach that in all my years of helping dogs on the loose, I have never, ever been nipped. And today was no exception. The wise, gentle Eli allowed me to pick him up.

And this was the first of his 7 teachings for me: "Even if you're feeling troubled and alone, try not to react by lashing out. Stay peaceful, and good things will befall you."

Did Eli ever find his way home? All shall be revealed in future posts, Grasshopper. (Spoiler Alert: How else would I know his name was Eli?)

I'm going to take a few minutes today to remember an instance where I bit someone who was stressing me out, when a more peaceful response might have served me better.


  1. Easy to fall in love with these little guys. And Eli resonates. He's reminding me this morning to not control anything, but to not only let, but invite, others to help. Thank you, Carrie. I've missed your posts.

    1. To me, Phyllis, you seem like a *master* at letting go! Thanks for writing, and for the encouragement to post more. <3

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Be engaged, but be nice.