Friday, January 17, 2014

How I Became Shamzi

          Have you ever wondered how I came to be named Shamzi, and not Fido or Larry or Bob?  Gather around, boys and girls, and let me tell you the story, which started long before I was even born, way back in the days of B.S. ---Before Shamzi.
          In 2006, as my mother was driving home on a rainy day, she found a dog running in the road.  The poor thing was cold and scared and too smart to be caught easily.  So my mother called her brother, my Uncle Faz, who cornered the dog and grabbed him with his big brave hands.  They took him to the animal shelter and tried to find his person.  No one claimed the little guy so my mother adopted him.  She named him Rumi, after one of her favorite Persian Sufi poets from the 13th century. 
Even after he left the shelter, Rumi the dog was still very scared, like maybe his life before my mother was not so pleasant.  In addition to love and care, Rumi also needed a lot of time and attention, which would have been hard for my mother to give at the time.  Instead, she found Rumi the perfect home with her lovely friend, Margaret.  In his new home, Rumi transformed from being a trembling little scaredy-cat to the happiest dog in the whole world.  He is always smiling.  Little did he know, as he ran into the street on that cold, rainy day, he was running into the arms of his new life.  As Rumi the poet (not the dog) wrote, “What you seek is seeking you.”
          Fast forward to January 13, 2010.  My mother, completely on a whim, went to the animal shelter to check out dogs, with no expectation of finding The One.  I’ve already shared with you the story of that magical, mystical day, about how our eyes met and we felt an instant connection.  My mother said she wasn’t sure about adopting me, but I know she was sure.  Look at me!  How could you not love this face?  As for my name, my mother thought since there was already a Rumi in the family, why not name me after Rumi’s closest friend and spiritual guide, Shams of Tabriz? My formal name is Shams, or Shamz, but my everyday name is Shamzi.  Thank goodness Rumi’s best friend wasn’t named Mortimer.
The name “Shams” is a big name for such a little guy, but I do my best to live up to it and be a spiritual guide to my mother and others.   As Rumi the poet (not the dog) wrote, “Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”