There are times when the world -- humanitarian disasters, wars, presidential politics -- can make you just want to curl up with a warm dog and forget about everything else for a while. That's how I've felt lately.
There are some who believe that dogs are very spiritual animals. I'll leave that to others to decide, but I do know we can learn a lot from them. And the best canine teacher I ever had was my dog Winnie. She taught our family how to live, and she taught us how to die.
We named her Winnie the Pooh because even when we were first getting to know her, it was clear she was a bear of very little brain. But, like her literary namesake, she was loving and loyal. We adopted Winnie and her brother, Earl (named for the dog in the comic strip "Mutts"), from a no-kill shelter, where they had lived for the first four years of their lives. They were unsocialized and afraid of everything.
But the first thing they taught us was the healing power of love.