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wisdom of dogs, Issue #081-- Year of Equanimity
November 30, 2022

Impossible Situations

Lately, I’ve been thinking about impossible situations and how to face them with equanimity.

You know the sort of situation I’m talking about.

Falling in love with someone who is already in love with someone else

A loved one who needs, but rejects your help.

A medical diagnosis that requires a choice, but offers no promise of success.

There are times in life when your options are between failure 1 and failure 2. You really want victory A, but victory is not an option.

Sandy vs Squirrel

So what does Sandy do when faced with the impossible? Here’s an example.

She chases and successfully trees a squirrel.

But she you can’t climb the tree. She tries, but of course, she fails.

She jumps. But she can’t jump high enough, which is why she tried to climb.

She jumps against the tree, hoping to knock the squirrel off its perch. That doesn’t work, either. The squirrel chose a sturdy branch on a solid tree.

She barks, to let the squirrel know she is serious. Or maybe to alert nearby humans at the prospect of a shared squirrel dinner if they come help. They don’t.

She circles the tree looking for a better spot to climb it, but there isn’t one. She already checked.

The squirrel chitters at her, mocking. Out of reach.

She moves away – not far – just to the sunny spot in the yard. She watches the squirrel, maybe with a tiny hope that it will come down. But she knows it won’t.

Eventually the sun makes her sleepy and she naps. When she wakes, the squirrel and her hope of catching it is gone.

Dog Wisdom

But – Sandy has dog wisdom.

She knows it might be dinner time or at least snack time.

Perhaps Suzanne will reward her with treats for her efforts to rid the yard of squirrels.

Time to go inside and claim her reward.


You can’t change the impossible situation, no matter how long you stare at it. No matter how high you jump. No matter how hard you try to climb that tree.

The squirrel is an impossibility.

So you might as well enjoy a nap in the sunshine. That, my friends is equanimity.

That is dog wisdom.

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