The Spirituality of Dogs

I admit it. I’m hopelessly in love. The first time I laid eyes on her in a pet shop in Chile, Elizabeth, my bulldog puppy, stole my heart. She looked forlorn and desperately bored; the poor thing had been caged up in the store for four months; no-one would buy her because she was so small for her age. I was shocked to hear she had been living like that for so long, and although I was not planning on getting another dog (I already had seven!) it was impossible for me to resist.

Elizabeth is a wonderful example of surrender to life. She embraces her reality completely, as all dogs do. They don’t sit there wondering if their lives could be different; they have an innate ability to enjoy life without questioning. This is a gift that we humans could learn a lot from. With all the “what ifs” that cloud our days, inhibiting our ability to truly enjoy what is in front of us, our capacity to find true happiness is greatly diminished. It is this inability to embrace the beauty of our present reality that maintains us in discontent. But not for Elizabeth! She embraces everything with loving acceptance, and I secretly believe that it was this surrender that brought her into my life. Why? Because now she experiences the other extreme; she lives in the lap of luxury, adored and pampered to her hearts content. She is the most loving and affectionate dog I have ever had; she is quite happy to fall asleep on top of mummy, her slobbery chops resting on my shoulder.

We get what we give in life. If we face situations of injustice with resentment and aggression, we will surely be in for a long and disheartening battle. Yet if we can learn to embrace the hardships with surrender and trust, a trust that everything is bringing us toward a greater freedom that we cannot yet conceive in its entirety, maybe, just maybe, we can transform situations of suffering into opportunities for growth.

In our arrogance, we accept the idea of the superiority of humanity without question. But maybe we have much more to learn from our animal friends than we think. What wisdom have you learnt from your animal companions? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.

Isha Judd is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher and author; her latest book and movie, Why Walk When You Can Fly? explain her system for self-love and the expansion of consciousness. Learn more at


Mary-Kay P.
Mary-Kay P6 years ago

My beautiful shipoo Tina knows exactly how I feel. We have several rituals and she asks for them. she loves to meet people when we go walking - I am getting to know many people in my neighborhood now. Everyone tells me she has a beautiful "smile"! She brings so much love, joy, fun and energy into our lives. This is the first dog that my partner has ever had and he is crazy about her - always tells me how much he is learning from her and this is someone who once said there would never be a dog in our house! We both feel blessed with our wonderful little Tina!

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe6 years ago

I was never a 'dog' person, but I promised my son we would get one when we bought our house. Well, I guess you guessed it, I fell in love with her. Jazzy was so full of life and had so much fun chasing birds and following us every step just to see what we were doing or if she could 'help.'

The breeders we got her from had messed up her blood line, so she went blind in one eye by the time she was 2 years old, and completely blind by 3 1/2. Then she got arthritis in her hips. Oh, she still followed us around, but she moved slower and ran into our legs a lot.

By the time she was 8 years old, we could tell she was in a lot of pain and the vet said it was time to let her go. I had never seen my husband cry before, but I did the day he took her to let her go!!

She was loved while she was here and is greatly missed!! But, I will see her again when I get to the Rainbow Bridge to pick her up and kiss her all over again!!

Marianne F.
Marianne F.7 years ago

I was truly touched by your story, and I know exactly how you feel. I just lost my little Cocker, Mollie. She was ten and a half years old and was just diagnosed with kidney failure. Her death has left such a hole in my heart. I hope you will find some comfort and peace.

Edie C.
Edie C.7 years ago

I walk my dogs most every day in the woods...nature grounds me and my dogs give me pure joy. My 12 year old Labx has been chasing squirrels for 12 years...I think... give it up your not going to catch one!!!...but he shows me... that just doing it (in the moment) it just pure bliss, not worrying about the end now I am doing Isha's System....maybe he isn't trying to catch one...maybe he is just playing with them...or who knows? Does it matter?....I just want what he has :))

Christine Vasquez

My best friend and companion of 11 years, my beautiful cocker spaniel died two weeks ago. I am totally devastated as I miss her so very much. The void she has left in our home is so palpable and painful!
She was much much more to us than just our pet! She was a member of my family and she definitely considered herself as such and rivaled with my children for a place within the family in her own way! Her unconditional love and loyalty was a lesson to all of us.
I always felt very emotionally attached to her, maybe because she was like a child who never grew up or went away to uni ( as mine have done); always needing me to look after her. Yet whenever I became ill, she would lie beside me to the point that my husband would have to bring up her food and water or physically pick her up and take her out of the door to get her to go for a quick walk as she would not even go for a wee for hours. How can you not love that devotion?
She could read me like a book and knew when I was sad or when there was something bothering me and the fact is just having her close, made me feel much much better..very healing!
I miss her terribly and feel that a part of my heart has died with her...only someone who has experienced this connection with their pet could understand what I am feeling now. I find many people don;t and I cannot express myself as I would like with most people as they look at me as if I were "strange".
I know time will heal, but she was special and I miss her so so much!

Edie C.
Edie C.7 years ago

so true for me...

Latonya W.
Latonya W8 years ago

Unconditional LOVE...thanx for the loving story...

Nellie K A.
Nellie K Adaba8 years ago

That's telepathy

Jason R.
Jason C8 years ago

I never thought about dogs that way...

Grace B.
Grace B8 years ago

I love my pets. I've loved every one I ever had. Presently I am in love with my dog Chuckles. He's a rescue that I got at about 5-6 months of age. He's a border collie mix (newfie?). He's so sweet. One of my favorite things is sometimes when I come home he literally tries to put his arm around me. He takes his paw and wraps it around my lower leg. I melt everytime he does this. I love his joy at life. He's so loving to everyone and isn't ashamed to ask for affection. I try to learn to be like him and ask for love and affection from others.