Five months ago we learned that our beloved three year old Golden Retriever is dying of lymphoma. Because he’s so young and luminous, it was hard to believe at first. He’s always been this angel in a dog’s disguise who attracts and amuses everyone. Lately though, the signs of disease remind us that we are fighting a losing battle. I know, he’s a dog, not a person, yet the way he nobly suffers while consistently showing signs of ecstatic joy have given me a deeper understanding of the cycle of death, resurrection, and ascension. The sweetness of this life that comes to us in simple forms (like the delight of knowing such a beautiful dog, however short the time) are precious gifts from God that can never be destroyed. Opportunities to live in the present moment while letting go of the past, trusting in the many risings and ascendings, surround each of us every day. The choice to love, in whatever circumstance, remains the most meaningful of all human acts.