The Mindful Dog Owner: What Your Dog Is Teaching You about Living Enlightenment
While many books are published on how to train your dog and many explore the human-canine relationship, The Mindful Dog Owner focuses specifically on the human perspective and walks the reader to the path of mindful connection with dogs.
Before teaching a dog to sit or heel, the mindful dog owner asks the Big Picture questions: Do I really want a dog? Am I willing to commit to a “for-life” relationship with a dog? Do I have the patience? Can I accept this dog for what he is? The book helps readers to contemplate their beliefs about the joys and challenges of life with a dog.
The book frames dog ownership with Zen/Buddhist concepts taught by philosophers such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Alan Watts, and Lao Tzu. It guides readers in “emptying their cup” (opening the mind for learning), and it challenges them to assess a commitment that may be as enduring as a “’til death do we part” vow. When readers “study the dog bowl,” they learn how each daily activity with a dog—walking, eating, playing, or training—can be a meditation. By finding balance in each moment, as dogs do without effort, the mindful dog owner chooses The Middle Way espoused by the Buddha. In the delight of “scratching where it itches,” both dogs and humans infuse each day with joy.