My dog died about a month ago. I've been mourning. He was old and had lived a full, happy, but intensely arduous life chasing wild cattle in the mountains with me when he was young, and then herding cattle on the ranch later. He lived well and died well, free and in his element. Still, it hurts.
In some ways I saw, or felt, the world through him. He was a dog, he had fleas, and did gross dog things. Still he had a fine mind and spirit. In his last days, in the midst of many trips to the vet to try and keep him here, he showed me something very beautiful. He showed me how to sit and listen to the world. He did this with great intensity, almost as if he were hunting but different, and I could feel his mind out there in the wind and the grasses waving, the distant sounds of the ocean and the cattle bellowing, the light on the mountains and the hours of the night. It was different than a hunting mind though, it was letting it all in, in all its fathomlessness. He showed me the simplest possible happiness.