“Haven’t you forgotten something?”

It had been a rough few days. I’d sent my stepbrother, Grant, an email with the sad news that my dear dog Jubi had passed away. He replied, “Jubi was a constant source of entertainment and joy and affection for so many…. It was a great give and take of love and caring….” I smiled, then dissolved into more tears.

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Making new friends.

Jubi, the white fluff ball, had been my close companion. She charmed scores of strangers I would’ve never otherwise met – timid children who brightened at the sight of Jubi, and irresistably reached out to run their fingers along her down-soft back; steely adults who involuntarily stopped in their tracks to bend down and caress her. “She’s like dandelion fuzz,” a stern-faced man said, cracking a smile.

I cried until the well was empty. Restless, and uncertain how to soothe the sorrow, I ricocheted from one task to another. Tried to read, started to organize my desk, contemplated a walk. Nothing stuck.

Then, I remembered!

Three years ago. Crack of dawn. As I tossed back the bed covers, a wave of anxiety washed over me. The writing deadline. Co-workers expecting a product. Days old to-do lists.

Where to start? Get dressed. No, boot up my computer. No, eat something. No, it’s cold, get dressed.

Didn’t notice Jubi until I tripped over her, planted on her haunches in the middle of my room. “What does she want?” I wondered, motioning her to jump up on the bed. She didn’t budge. “Hey, what is it?” I asked impatiently, skirting around her. She didn’t move a muscle, her eyes laser focused on me … just like on our walks, when I lost touch with her and she seemed to say, “Are we still connected?” It was a look that’s hard to resist.

I halted, cinched up my bathrobe and met Jubi’s gaze. A connection! She was saying something to me … like, “What are you doing! Haven’t you forgotten something?”

Oh! I get it! Entangled in the underbrush of the day’s demands I’d darted here and there, desperate to find a way out. Now, captivated by Jubi’s questioning look, I realized we hadn’t started the day as we always did, with moments of quiet prayer, preparing for the day’s activities.

So I scooped her up in my arms, slowly settled into my worn green leather chair, and welcomed stillness. A feeling of gratitude welled up in me for the abundance of qualities readily accessible to each of us – intelligence, creativity, compassion, and more. I’ve come to see these spiritual qualities as flowing from a loving and ever present divine source, and naturally expressed by each of us through our oneness with divinity. Meditating on these ideas, I began to trust that I’d be guided that very day.

It wasn’t long before I glimpsed a first step to take on the writing project, even felt inspired. I slid Jubi off my lap, dressed, ate, and sat down expectant and peaceful at my computer. Maybe Jubi sensed the shift, too, because she curled up nearby.

Now three years later, through tears, I felt once again the sweet urging Jubi awakened in me that morning: in the midst of uncertainty, pain and loss, stop and be still. I remembered her questioning eyes, “Haven’t you forgotten something?”

I slid into the same worn green leather chair and became quiet within. Gratitude for Jubi’s lasting gifts rose in my heart. The way forward would open up. I settled in to listen.