I’m grateful to my dog for making me walk every day. I was grateful to him yesterday for our walk in the woods. Of course, he doesn’t make me do anything. It’s through my respect for our relationship that I uphold my responsibility to get him exercise. He enjoys walking in the woods and so do I, but it’s unlikely that I would take the time to do it as often as I do if it weren’t for him. Walking in the woods is good for me, body, mind and soul, so the relationship serves me.
The other day I was listening to an interview with a fellow who goes by the name of Dan Suelo, who renounced the use of money in 2000. I heard him say that he seeks to emulate the way nature operates. Fruit trees give their fruit freely, without demanding reward, living in the faith that their needs will be provided for. I feel that my relationship with my dog is an example of this kind of symbiosis.
It’s more complicated, of course.