It was some kind of magic. Jasmine was staying close to home, not roaming far and wide in her instinctive wild dog ways. Whenever I checked on her, she was somewhere in sight, resting under a tree or in the warmth of the sun, and offering a tail-wagging greeting. Jasmine seemed content and I was delighted not to be fencing her in.

When wintertime came, we changed our daily walks from the snow-packed hills behind the house to the shoveled roads in our rural neighborhood. I began meeting my neighbors, some for the first time, and sharing more than drive-by waves and hellos. Much to my surprise, everybody knew Jasmine. They adored her. They were filled with story after story to tell. I was wide-eyed as I listened. Completely unbeknownst to me, Jasmine had woven a rich web of relationships and close circle of friends.

She had been given many names, including Sweetie New Dog.

She was known as the Queen of the Pack, the unquestioned leader of the neighborhood dogs. Hazel, the energetic beagle, and Sancho, the tiny chihuahua, were her faithful companions. They trotted along beside Jasmine as she made her daily rounds.

She was a regular visitor to the home of an elder dog who was deaf and blind. Jasmine walked right up to the outdoor kennel, meeting the Old Wise One nose to nose through the wire. Jasmine would stay awhile, standing shoulder to shoulder, side by side, talking Canine with her friend.

Following in Jasmine’s footsteps, we can explore what it is like when we simply are being who we naturally are. Freeing up our curiosity and creative wildness. Weaving connection across borderlines and walls. Untangling from the bindings that hold back our hearts.

In our daily wanderings, we too can leave joy and tender care in our wake. Seeking and sharing companionship. Giving and receiving Love. There’s more than enough to go around.