by Gabe Berman – the author of Live Like a Fruit Fly

Archive for the category “dogs”

Paralyze The Mother Fucker

“Hey, your dog is looking pretty tired,” I said loud enough for this guy to hear through his headphones.

He was riding a bike on the boardwalk and his leashed dog was doing his best to keep up.

Looking down at the dog he yelled back to me, “He’s fine. He can go twenty miles without breaking a sweat.”

That may be true, but the dog might have been on his last legs.

Might have been.

I wasn’t exactly sure.

And that’s the only reason I didn’t deliver karma.

My first thought, really, was to rip him from the bike like a samurai would dismount an opponent from a horse. Then, chain him to my car and drag him around town for a few miles.

But I know me. And by the time I found a chain and figured out how to actually chain it to my bumper, I would have forgiven him.

So, I quickly replaced that idea with a more immediate one: ripping him from the bike, samurai style, and breaking his spine over my knee. Really.


Just wait.

Gabe, didn’t you just put out a book called Love Looks Like This? Don’t you always say that we’re all connected?

Yes and yes.

This is love. Tough love. Very tough love.

And, yes, we are in fact all connected. This world, this universe, is one giant organism. And sometimes I’m a brutal white blood cell. Removing cancers from our body. Taking names.

Someone has to stand up for that dog.

If not me, who?

Right, there’s you. Thank God for you. Really.

justice is ours,

Love Looks Like This


For Dog Lovers Only

A very old lady, as cute as a kitten, was on a collision course with me on the boardwalk today.

She was walking a silver miniature schnauzer who looked exactly as if someone forgot to add the fabric softener. Clean but messy = perfect.

Excitedly I asked, “Is that a miniature schnauzer? They’re my favorite dogs ever!”

She said, “Yep! They’re my favorite too.”

When I bent down to look the little guy in his eyes and rub his head, she added, “This is Rudy. He’s fifteen.”

I stood up and Rudy pranced onward.

“Fifteen! Look at the pep in his step. He’s like a newborn puppy,” I told her.

She shielded her mouth with the backside of her hand and with a universe of life and light in her expression she whispered, “He doesn’t know he’s old.”

buy my goddamn books here:


One Week Tevaless

I knew he wouldn’t be there.

Of course I knew.

But I slept at my sister’s house last night and right before I went to bed, I peeked into Teva’s little nook in the dining room.

Until very recently, I’d find him there, pretending to sleep.

I’d plead with him to come down to the basement with me, but he’d totally give me the cold shoulder.

I had to plead with him because he’d start crying like a little Mary the SECOND I got under the covers and then I’d have to get up from the warm bed to open the basement door for him.

Sometimes, to eliminate that step, I’d drag his punk ass across the kitchen floor to the basement door, all the while defending myself, kung-fu style, against him trying to bite my hands off in rabid anger.

Rabid anger he’d let go of like a Buddhist as soon as he rushed down stairs to meet me by the edge of the bed with a rigorously wagging tail. Waiting for ear scratchies and kisses.

Well, I don’t know if he really dug my kisses but nevertheless, he must have gotten thirty-five million billion from me. Per week.

Which brings me to this: I’ve been asked how I’ve been doing since we had to put him to sleep.

Here’s the deal – the gratefulness I feel for having been able to give him so much love, especially when he got sick, overshadows the sadness. By far.

And I swear that’s not some spiritual, new age bullshit I’m trying to lay on you.

It’s solid truth. From the gut.

Maybe it’s just me, but loving unconditionally feels as good, if not better, than being loved.

thank you, as always, for reading these words I have chosen for you,

If you liked this post, please share it with your friends. It just might be exactly what someone needed to hear. If they knew it or not. Thank you.


The First Law Of Thermodynamics

Teva, my sister’s golden retriever, is gone.

We had to put him to sleep.

About an hour before he took his last breath, I picked him up and put him in the back of the car. We stared into each other’s eyes for a few final moments and then my sister and brother-in-law drove him to the vet.

My nephews and I sat home in silence and sniffles.

I thought the three of us could all use some candy and on the way out to the car I said, “Guys, this just shows us, once again, that just about everything we worry about isn’t worth worrying about. Love is the only thing that matters.”

You’d think this would be lost on eleven year olds, but gratefully, it wasn’t.

I wrote similar words, in my head, as rushed I to my sister’s house this afternoon:

There is love and there is consciousness, and then there is the consciousness of love. All else is an illusion, albeit, as Einstein said, a very persistent one.

Thank you, to all of you around the world, who loved my boy as well,



What does a miracle sound like?

A dog breathing.

A dog breathing calmly. Unrestrictedly.

Specifically, Teva. My sister’s golden retriever.

I woke up up this morning to the sound of him breathing beautifully but three days ago, I found him faced down in the carpet, swollen and panting, with blood dripping from his nose.

The vet said it’s probably a cancerous tumor in his head. Like with my dad.

I called my sister as soon as I opened my eyes the next day.

She was crying.

Teva was barely moving and his left eye was now swollen shut.

I drove an hour and a half through a snow storm to get back there.

It was Sunday, and I knew he would have to be carried into the vet’s office to be put to sleep on Monday.

He’s almost a hundred pounds and I knew I’d have carry him, but only if a miracle didn’t unfold first.

During the drive, I experienced all sorts of thoughts: I’m just going to give him as much love as I can on his last day because chemo and radiation are too brutal for a dog. Why is life so awful? This is too much for me to take now. I don’t think I’ll be able to handle this so soon. Maybe I’ll just surrender all of my hopes for him because the universe is acting at as it must and maybe this is his best case scenario. How can there be a god? What’s the point of life?

But with about twenty minutes to go in the car, I sat up straight and had a change of heart:
Fuck this. I’m not going to be dictated to. Not even by divinity. He’s going to live. I don’t care how he looks or feels. I don’t care what the vet says. I don’t care what’s posted on the Internet about pure breed goldens of his age. He’s going to be okay. Miraculously. And that’s the end of it.

I turned off the depressing classical station I was listening to and allowed myself to jam out to some Zeppelin.

My sister, along with Teva whose tail was wagging, greeted me at the door.

“I don’t know what happened but his eye is less swollen and he’s been running around,” my sister reported to me.

His nose stopped bleeding by nightfall.

The vet was perplexed on Monday morning and instead of just the two of us walking out of the office after the appointment, we were accompanied by Teva and he sniffed around in the snow before hopping back in the car.

I’m looking at him now as I type to you and it’s fair to say he’s 95% better.

And I am so grateful.

So very grateful.

Now listen, I’m not prepared to say anything about this in either direction. Maybe it was a miracle. And if so, maybe it would have unfolded regardless of my “fuck this prayer” in the car. Maybe this was all fated. Predetermined. Or maybe it was a combination of chaos and dumb luck.

But I will say this: where there’s life, there’s hope.

And as tempting as it is to give up hope to soften the blow of the a worst case scenario, we mustn’t let ourselves.

Throughout history, the world has depended on the bravery of heroes.

And maybe we can expect more miracles by choosing to act more miraculously.

may god bless you,


Used By The Force

The universe moves through us all, as we move through it.

Admittedly, I’ve been reading a lot of Rumi lately, but these words came to me when I was lying on the floor with Teva, my sister’s golden retriever.

We were nose to nose, breathing the same air, as I pet his Haagen-Dazs smooth head.

His eyes shut tightly when my hand approached his pupils. It was the universe protecting his precious vision.


Without thought and without hesitation, the universe moved through him.

And when I stopped petting him for a moment, when I found myself needing to stare at him in silent, motionless awe, he’d eventually swat at me with his polar bear sized paw. Nudging me to get back to the business at hand.

A deliberate, calculated choice. Movement through the universe.

Hundreds of years ago, Rumi said that life is a balance of holding on and letting go.

Action and surrender.

A surrendering to unseen forces moving through us all.

The force that closes Teva’s eyes for him. The force that solves problems for us in unforeseeable ways which make all of our worrying seem wasteful.

Maybe it’s finally time to heed Rumi’s words. We’ve got the “holding on” part of the equation down pat, but ’tis the season to master “letting go”.

In Live Like a Fruit Fly, Gabe Berman shares his recipe for living a more joyful, worthwhile, and abundant life in every way. A witty, entertaining, and insightful read.” — Deepak Chopra, Author, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success


Vengeance Isn’t Mine (this time)

“I’m Catholic And I Vote!”

Aside from Bush/Cheney and Romney/Ryan, this is officially the dumbest bumper sticker I’ve ever seen.

So, you’re Catholic and you vote. I’m Jewish and a little bloated right now, but you don’t see me broadcasting that on my car, do you?

What message are you trying to get across to us? Your good Catholic values are guiding your ballots?


But let me ask you this, asshole, what about the dog you leave out in your backyard in nineteen degree weather? What’s that equate to, only thirteen degrees below freezing?

I drive by your house often. At different times. And I always see your dog out there.

You’re a good Catholic? I think not.

FACT: if you feel the need to let the world know about your religion, especially with a bumper sticker, you’re covering something up.

Since I’m not known for turning the other cheek, I’d like to put your poor dog out of its misery. But now that I think about it, I’d rather put you out of your misery.

How dare you treat one of God’s creatures like that?

Nevertheless, I’ll do no such thing.

I’ll just humbly ask the universe for both of your best case scenarios.

And then it will all unfold as it must.

“How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, His precepts!” – Benjamin Franklin

In Live Like a Fruit Fly, Gabe Berman shares his recipe for living a more joyful, worthwhile, and abundant life in every way. A witty, entertaining, and insightful read.” — Deepak Chopra, Author, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success


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