Lest anyone begin to think that Rudy’s four little legs are too firmly rooted in the material (thinking back on those New Year’s Resolutions), he is quick to point out that he spends a fair amount of time looking up.
His thoughts during these times are mostly private…
Not one to brag, he has been known to stare into space for entire minutes at a time. Sometimes there is a squirrel involved, but often there is nothing discernible.
This behavior had led some of us to conclude that Rudy is equally at ease with the seen and the unseen. How else can you explain such close scrutiny of the sidewalk when there’s nothing there?
Nothing visible, anyway.
If that’s not a spiritual practice, it would be hard to know what is.
Like most of his kind, Rudy can do a graceful downward dog practically in his sleep, but he is not content to stop there. Lately he has begun mastering more advanced yoga moves that involve both balance and manipulation (of a fairly unspiritual kind, it should be noted). When the weather is especially cold, he will often swing along on three legs, and on one occasion, actually managed to spring around on two, like a weird little pogo stick.
This, he has discovered, unleashes sympathy tinged with both admiration and suspicion, and a free ride in the arms of the semi-disgusted.
“It’s not about manipulation,” Rudy says sagely. “But a dog’s gotta do the right thing.” Clearly that makes almost no sense at all, but since the outcome has been so successful, Rudy seems to feel he’s onto something.
In summary, apart from:
1. Deep contemplation
2. Advanced yoga moves
3. Perceptions of the unseen
there is a soulful look that comes into Rudy’s eyes, often, and without warning. It is a soft brown stare that feels like he’s patting us with his eyes, a look that could change the world.
There is, however, one thing that Rudy will never ever do, nor will he even entertain the notion. “I will not fast, nor will I make any pretense of it,” he says curtly, eyeing the empty dog dish with disdain.
Quite the opposite. Lately, Rudy has focused his laser-beam will on breaking all previous records. The stopwatch reveals an almost Olympic mastery of the dog dish, start to finish:
Once again, with barely the twitch of a lip, Sensei Rudy has imparted a lesson of supreme simplicity and truth: it is important to feed body as well as soul.