This is the time of year, these few days between Rosh Hashana, our new year, and Yom Kippur, our day of atonement, that we are supposed to think over what we have done with our lives during the past year, and to ask for forgiveness from all those we may have caused injury to, including God. I am not a great believer, but being fallible at times, I do believe in the value of asking for forgiveness.
Habibi doesn’t think about asking for forgiveness. He acts according to what seems to him to be the correct thing to do at that moment, in order to achieve whatever goal he may have in mind – reminding me that I owe him a treat, warning off the neighbor’s pesky golden retriever, throwing a toy at me to get me to play, digging after a particularly fascinating scent in the garden, warning the approaching stranger that this is OUR territory. Whatever results are achieved from his behavior, they are accepted, either as positive or as negative, and then it is on to the next activity of the day. If his actions have resulted in what he wants, Habibi is satisfied, and if they have not, he shrugs and next time he will try something else – but he never sits around and broods about what he has done, if he could have done it differently, and what would have happened if he had, and could he be excused for his mistake, and has he hurt someone’s feelings…..
There is an “Oops! Sorry!!!” moment, a sideways look, and then it is over and forgotten.
Dogs have no need for repentance or asking forgiveness. Whatever has been done is in the past, and life continues on. Only we sit and brood about the things we have done and how we might have changed them. Habibi may have done something that annoys me, even seriously, but he does not sit and worry about the fact that I have scolded him; the next minute he is occupied with doing something else, which is intended to bring a more positive reaction and almost always has the desired result of making me move on from whatever he did. He does not atone for what he did has done, life simply goes on and we move forward, not backward.
Sometimes I do wish that life for me was as easy as it is for a dog, without all the worries and bad conscience and ”what ifs”….But since it isn’t, – sorry!!! For the things I have done intentionally, the things I have done unintentionally, the things I have brooded about, worried, and analysed about what would happened if I had done something else, for the words, and for the deeds, and for all those things that I have no idea that I have done and that they had any effect on anyone - Sorry!!!
I ask for the forgiveness of anyone I may have caused grief to over the past year, and hope that I will be wise enough not to do such things again….or to invent new ones…and that I have the wisdom of a dog, to move forward…