By Harry Burrus
Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets. Well . . . yes and no. Like her namesake Lola Montez, the Irish-born Spanish dancer who got what she aimed for, three-year-old Lola is dazzling on her feet, truly acrobatic, possessing magnificent agility maneuvers.
My philosophy professor brother-in-law is big on meditation. He recently sent me a primer on how to meditate: Sit still. Relax. Pay attention. After Lola and I work on reinforcing a few commands, we sit. Lola places her two front paws across my legs. There is an outer stillness that leads us to an inner stillness. We’re relaxed. Her warm tongue licks my hand. We surrender without effort to this special time. We are alert. We pay attention to our moment, nothing else. She licks my other hand. We are in each other’s space and time. Thirteen minutes pass.
I cherish being with her when she is like this—so dissimilar to the Lola that people see when she encounters pedestrians on a walk. Lola is keenly mistrustful of those she doesn’t know. Intensely so. She will bark and spring towards them—not to give them a kiss. Perhaps, in part, she is protecting me. Lola is a handful and one must be vigilant on an outing. She is a work in progress.
Out of the corner of my eye, something moves to our left. I see a large white butterfly—a flying servilleta—do a slow motion flap behind a dark green pepper tree. Lola barks. She notices the movement as well. It is not a butterfly or a white napkin. It’s a synecdoche happening—you see a portion and your mind fills in the whole—it’s the tail of a horse! Yes, a horse. I won’t say that we reached a high level of awareness, but Lola clearly demonstrated she was relaxed and totally aware. She darts to the water trough and drinks. She puts her paw in. I put my hand in next to her paw and we sign our names in water for anyone to read.
Unlike Blanche DuBois, Lola doesn’t depend upon the kindness of strangers, nor does she expect it. However, she has shown she will accept compassion when it comes her way. Allow me to introduce you to Lola at the SPA, any day Monday–Saturday, 11am–2pm. 152 6124.