What Do You Get When the Body is Broken but the Heart is Whole? This.

As some of you know, I had to say goodbye to my big dog last week. It was unexpected and it was heartbreaking.

Among the many reasons Tiger held my heart was the grace with which he lived his life.

We believe his early years were spent as a ‘bait dog’ for fighting. 

Tiger came to us with 3 legs, having had his ears cut off, and filled with the buckshot fired at him to incite him to fight. 

Despite this, Tiger’s heart remained whole.

No dog was quicker to meet me at the door. No dog ‘sang’ more loudly with excitement when it was time to go for a walk. No dog more enjoyed making me laugh. 

Watching Tiger’s daily stoicism, bravery, and joy always brought to mind the story of the Indian sage, Astavakra who—despite having his body curved or ‘bent’ in eight places—became the spiritual guru of a king. 

(This is me in Astavakrasana, 8 angled pose, so named because the body is ‘broken’ in 8 places.) 

Astavakra’s wisdom and devotion superseded the limits of his physical body—so did my big dog’s.

Looking at Tiger, many people would comment on what was ‘missing’.

Living with him I learned that nothing was. 

Every animal—every person—has the power to enlarge your heart if you look beyond what appears to be ‘missing’ to what is whole.  

I am holding tight to this as Tiger’s legacy. 

I hope you will, too. 


Animals have so much to teach us. Intrigued? Take a look at, “What to Do With Others’ Resource Guarding Issues” or “Maybe it’s Not About You. (Maybe He Ate an Entire Chicken.”)