One of my neighbors has a dog (Rover) that acts like every walk is the best walk ever. His head’s swiveling side-to-side, nose in the air, then down to the ground as if he’s saying, “What’s that? That’s new! A flying thing! Look at it go!” You can see Rover’s bounding joy as he walks with his humans. Yet he’s a very well behaved dog and sometimes has to sit patiently while the humans chat. But once they start back up walking, Rover’s elation returns. Rover is an example of a pet that makes a great mentor. He’s not even my pet, but he’s a great example of joie de vivre, and I smile whenever I see him.
I used to have a cat, Delilah, that would chase a shiny light reflection for ages: cellophane, light reflected in the glass of a door, the laser pointer…. I believe she would have gone on for hours, but I’d get tired. Delilah’s favorite game was a very simple thing, and she never tired of playing “chase the light.”
On our Hero’s Journey, mentors teach us new skills, give us magic tools, and prepare us for the hardest parts of the Journey. Your pet can be a powerful mentor if you stop and listen to what they are telling (well, showing) you. Like most mentor-hero relationships, the hero initially dismisses the mentor’s advice.
Now that you know the roles of people while on your Journey, you should be looking at those around you with an enlightened perspective. Sadly, often friends and family don’t support your Journey. They’re Guardians of the Threshold or the cause of many Tests and Trials. Maybe they way you’re changing makes them frightened. Friends and family are rarely mentors.
Your pet, though, they’re up for whatever makes you happy. What can your pet teach you? When a cat or dog hears a sound at night, they’re not afraid, they jump to attention, ready to check it out. They don’t react in fear until they know for sure it’s something to be afraid of. Like Delilah, they enjoy the shiny, but simple things and know when to take a nap. Like Rover, they are highly aware and full of joy at every discovery, even if though it’s usually just somebody else’s pee.