Nonay the wonder dog was the original Buddhist,

not the elaborate ritual performed under the watchful eyes of golden graven images, but the real thing, giving much, taking little, thinking nothing of self. Nonay was living proof that dogs have feelings. Even though she wasn’t even mine, just the neighborhood rent-a-dog, she’d be at the door every morning, ready for another day of fellowship. She never even took food, until she got pregnant. Things changed when we got a cat, and instinct created an ugly scene. But she learned, actually learned, to subdue her instincts in deference to the public good. No matter how much she wanted to chase that cat, she’d detour to the other side of the room to avoid its gaze and any potential conflict. She could control herself, but she couldn’t control events. Her catholic eating habits lead her astray when she tasted the rat poison, the free dog’s hemlock, extra sweet to attract them. The last thing she saw in the emergency room was my face assuring her that this was simply the way it was, not cruel, but not forgiving, either.