In Alan Cohen’s long list of great books is one of my all-time favorites, Are You As Happy As Your Dog?
For most of my life, I’ve owned a dog. Or maybe the truth is the dogs owned me.
Dogs, and all animals, can be great teachers for us humans. Even though humans are supposed to be the “superior” species, it’s often the other way around.
There’s a dog story—a deeply touching true story—Johnny loves. It’s about Shep, a shepherd dog who lost his master.
After his master died, Shep kept a 5-year vigil at a railroad station. It was where he’d last seen the coffin as a train pulled away, taking his master from him forever.
Shep’s story has become a legend in the US far western state of Montana where he and his master lived. To human eyes, Shep’s long, lonely vigil is a sad story.
Yet Shep was happy because, in his heart, he knew he and his beloved master would one day be reunited.
That obviously didn’t happen during Shep’s physical lifetime. Of course, after Shep died, he and his master were reunited for eternity.
So ultimately, this story has a happy ending.
But what about those 5 long years Shep spent day and night at the train station? Were they happy for Shep?
They were among the happiest years of Shep’s life. Shep, and all dogs, know how to live in the now, the present moment.
So Shep, even though he lost his beloved master, was happy those long years of his lonely vigil.
He was living in the moment, the only time there is. If you, dog or human, are fully present in the moment, you will always be happy—no matter what your circumstances are.
You can be happy only in the present moment. You’ll never find happiness in the past or future.
Happiness exists only here and now. If, like Shep, you are fully present in the moment, you will be happy.
P.S. If you’re also a dog lover, you might enjoy a book we wrote many years ago, Dogs: Heart-Warming, Soul-Stirring Stories of Our Canine Companions
Copyright © 2022 by John Cali and Berna Copray
Edited by Berna Copray
This is a short video about Shep’s legendary vigil.
Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Thank you for this post. I lost my sweet boy on Halloween on his 12th birthday. I had him for 11 of those years. It was just him and me. He was my everything. I doubt I will ever be happy again.
Thank you, Livia. I’ve been in your situation several times, and I understand your feelings.
Time will help you heal. As Spirit often says, we never lose those we love.