One time we had guests at our house and they asked, “Does your rabbit save his favorite vegetables for last when he eats dinner?” And of course, the answer is “no way!” Rabbits understand that the present moment is the only moment. They eat their favorite food first, because anything could happen in the future so they enjoy the “now”. To be clear: rabbits don’t sit and contemplate what might happen in the future, they just accept that anything could happen, allowing themselves pure enjoyment and total alertness.
Animals are more focused on the current moment than any other thought or feeling. They do think about the past and future, but far less than humans. It is amazing how much emotional ease living in the moment can provide. In particular, I am always amazed at how peacefully animals react to physical injury and illness.
The animal view of terminal illness is so very different than most of their human counterparts. When an animal has cancer, they do not become emotionally involved in the potential debilitation of the disease. They understand that only the moment they are currently living is important. Humans sometimes follow their minds into the future, contemplating impending pain and suffering, or look longingly at the past, thinking of the activities they used to do with ease. Animals don’t think like that. Their emotional ease is considerably more than most humans, because they only live one moment of the illness at a time, rather than processing the entire gravity of the disease all at once.