German Shepherd Next to Me

“Imagine you wake up in the morning and find somebody lying next to you.  What do you want to see?” my therapist asked.

“A German Shepherd” I said.

My therapist looked as if he were suspended in the mid air.  He didn’t expect the answer.  We were working on my relationship issue and he was trying to prime me for a new relationship.

“What do you expect from a German Shepherd?” he asked.

“He sees me as I am.  No more, no less,” I said.

My therapist seemed to be searching for words, and then said, “I was touched by your strong desire to be seen.”

Almost 10 years has passed since, and now I wake up every morning to find a 12 year old 80lb mutt lying next to me.  I adopted him about 2 years ago.  He is no German Shepherd and not a particularly affectionate type.  He does have a physical presence.  Warmth radiates from his body and I can touch his warmth without actually touching him.  Sometime I wake up in the middle of night and quietly listen to his steady breathing, hear him talk in his dream, feel his paws moving when he runs in his dream, and smell his stinky fart!  His whole physical presence make me feel safe and comforted.

Have you ever felt alone when your loved one is lying next to you?  I have.  That was one of the worst loneliness I had ever felt.  With my dog, I am safe.


For the most of my life I tried to fit the expectations of others. For the most of my life I tried to make others fit my expectations. My Teacher said, “Remember, not all people operate in the same way you do. ” It has freed me from the misery endless expectations create. I can’t change how you respond. But I can let you know how I am affected by your response. The rest is up to you.


This is how I am. Deal with it. Or if not, leave me where you found me, and walk away.

This is how you are. I deal with it. Or if not, I’ll leave you where I found you, and walk away.

It’s not your fault.

It’s not my fault.

It’s just that this is how I am.

And this is how you are.

That’s how we all should be.

And some of us still keep on feeling our way for a sliver of connection in the treacherous territory between how I am and how you are. Continue reading