willie in malaga spain

Awoken through the eyes of a dog

We spent a winter away from home in a city named Malaga on the southern coast of Spain. We decided to go to the warmest area and for winter it was perfect. It was sunny every day except for one and we spent almost all of our time on the beach.

It was here that I had a revelation. I noticed something for the first time. Something ever present, but often overlooked. I had travelled with willie for almost 4 years and had never really taken much notice of this. I always felt he was different. He was a dog, but there was something inside him that was more human like or at least like the “human” that I feel we all have the capability of being. For the first time we weren’t around anyone we knew. No old friends, no family, no phone calls, no work…just the two of us. This allowed willie to be who he is and freed me to observe him without distraction.

On our first bright day in Malaga we ran to the beach to watch a spectacular Sun rise out of Africa and drench us with its golden kisses. A little time passed sweetly before an intoxicating aroma greeted our curious noses and growling bellies, luring us toward a most delightfully simple feast of BBQ sardines. Some delectable local lemon was squeezed on them, which made for an unexpected party experience in our mouths.

Willie spent the hour following our meal patiently waiting as I gave him a much needed haircut. He had been still all morning long. After this hour of grooming and coiffing, he was abounding with energy and in pursuit of an adventure. It was then that willie began a brand new LOVE affair with the world…or at least I began to take notice of it.

We would walk separately. I mean we were together, but on the beach we would walk apart from each other. He would sometimes gravitate closer to the water to cool off and then toward the trees to get some shade. I began to notice people looking at willie curiously, since he appeared to be on his own. Rather than lost, he looked just like any person strolling along enjoying the beach. Almost everyone that passed him would smile and say hello. Some even approached him and started a conversation. How strange that he could do this so effortlessly. Questions started presenting themselves in my mind. The main one being, if we already have the potential to be happy and share that with others, why can’t we do it with everyone we pass on the street? Why was he able to have 100% trust of a stranger, but someone like me would have to start from zero and gain it over time? The immediate answer was simple…willie was innocent and cute. He could not take anything from anyone and this made him very approachable. But what about who he was inside?

I thought about it more and came to the realization that almost all of us are good inside and have good intentions. I would go as far as to say that all of us have a core of love that is good. It is in our nature. We are born with it. Some of us have just had opposing non-love life experience to hide it in some way.  So why is it that most of us cannot trust a stranger? Were we all burned at some point? Has media influenced us in this way of fear? Why can’t we live life initially trusting everyone 100% rather than have it be built up over time? Is it not worth the risk to be open and loving this way? How different this world could be if that were the case! Pretty soon I realized that in a short amount of time, free from the push and pull of western life, a floodgate of questions had opened up. So many that I had to sit down.

So we sat, for about an hour, looking out over the sea. The beach started to fill with more people and then willie did something that I had never seen him do. He got up and began visiting with the groups of people sitting on the beach.

His visits were the most magical thing I had ever seen. He would go over and sit right next to one person in a group. When I say “next to” I mean he would always make a point of slightly touching them when he sat down. Often the people would not even notice him there until they turned. He would often sit behind them for shade. Once his presence was revealed I would see a joy come from people. There would be jubilant love talk, hugs, and sometimes even kisses. On occasion there was no verbal communication as maybe words could not effectively express the joy. To my surprise this energy also came from people who admitted to not liking animals. There was something very normal yet spiritual happening here. I witnessed an interaction as if old friends had been reunited after years apart. I witnessed an unexpected love. This was the point that I saw the love that was willie. Just sitting and being, he was ever Present. He had neither pride nor ego. He was content without attention or offerings from others. It was like I was learning from a child. From a pure, innocent and simple mind. He was reminding me of the way we all once were before we learned to worry and fear. It was at that point that I realized that I was not the master of willie. Abiding with him, I had in fact been living with my guru, my teacher, for all these years.

From that point onward willie continued to open doors which would have been very difficult for me to open on my own. On several occasions I was shocked when approached by strangers who wanted to offer food and money if we needed it! In all of my 42 years, I had never experienced such a level of unexpected generosity. This was particularly remarkable as unemployment was higher here than in all of Europe…about 35%.

We met so many loving and beautiful souls in our short time in Malaga. This was a turning point for us. I  realized that regardless of where we come from, we are all able to speak the language of love. It’s natural in all of us. Having awakened through the eyes of a dog, I began to look for more answers within. We were now on a new journey of love, with willie leading the way.

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1 Comment
  1. Reply

    Chelsea Rae

    April 29, 2016

    It was an absolute pleasure meeting Willie and his travel companions during their visit to southern Wisconsin. I look forward to seeing them again and enjoying their company in another destination and venture. Cheers to you, Willie, and all the love you bring with you.
    Kenosha, WI


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