Kat and I have been talking about having kids for at least six months now, and while we are not there yet, our dog Coco is the closest we have to a little one. We have so much compassion for this more-than-human member of our family and being gone from her for a week and a half was pretty tough.
Yesterday evening, I came home looking forward to seeing my doggy and found four intestinal explosions (pick your end of choice) around the house. She is definitely sick. So we fed her and comforted her and later went to bed.
The night was a regular three hour wake-up as Coco needed to go outside to let something out one end or the other. Dinner didn’t stay down. Midnight, 3:00, 6:00. I remember that my dad was always the one to get up in the night. There must be some similarity there. It makes me so sad to see her weak and sickly. She curled up on my sweatshirt this morning.
I would expect that most people who have dogs and cats in their homes or places of work to give testimony to the spirituality the animals bring to their places and the soul that settles into a room that is home to an animal. Spiritual awareness begins when we get a glimpse of life going on in ways that transcend or are at least different from human ways, and in the habits of animals we see nature revealing itself intimately.
I am beginning to see, and agree with Moore, that spirituality starts with nature. Anything else is theology, philosophy, cosmology, church-ology, or some other -ology that may very well have more to do with our human ego than spirit itself. Nature is the realm that all these “schools of thought” have no place. There is no linear way to describe the difference between the flight pattern of a chickadee and a woodpecker. There is no scientific way that describes the emotion of a cat lounging in the sun. And there is no way but soulfully to describe the look on Coco’s face when she is “happy” to see us or when she is sick.