My Life as a Dog


My 7-year-old son believes in reincarnation, so I asked him what he would like to come back as in his next life.

“Probably a dog,”  he said nonchalantly. “Or Santa Claus.”

After a bit of contemplation, I realized how wise this response was. We often think that humans are at the top of the reincarnation ladder, but this isn’t necessarily true. Dog is God spelled backwards.

“If you can remain perfectly calm in traffic…

If you see others succeed without a tinge of jealousy,

If you can love everyone around you unconditionally,

If you can always be cheerful just where you are,

You are probably…

A Dog!”

I’m starting to think that dogs are far more enlightened than even high-vibration spiritual masters. Our two Shi Tzus are definitely the two most compassionate and equanimous members of our household.

When my sons are crying, both my dogs will start to moan and howl in unison with the cries. When I had a tumor, Skye and Jax would come lie on my belly when I was sleeping. They could sense my pain and would just be with me.

These dogs spend most of their day sitting in silence. One could argue that they meditate over 5 hours a day. They always welcome me with open paws when I return after a long day and never seem to hold any grudges, even when I forget to feed them.

I think my son was intuitively sensing into a higher consciousness. Even his answer about Santa Claus can be seen as refined.

Santa Clause spreads joy and gives generously without any expectation of getting anything in return. If he was a Buddhist, he would be what we call a Bodhisattva—a being that compassionately refrains from enlightenment in order to save others. Was my son saying that he wants to come back as a Bodhisattva?

A dog or a Bodhisattva, those are two noble intentions. Amazing how simple and wise young children can be.

What would you come back as in your next life if you had the opportunity?