"If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience."
Our dog, Boss, is a wonderful measure of my level of spiritual fitness. If I feel irritated with him, if my anger flashes when he comes up for attention, then I know that something is amiss. Maybe I need to eat, or sleep, or process some upset from my day. Or maybe I just need to shift my perspective from self-pity to gratitude.
Sometimes I don't even know that anything is wrong when I approach him. I think that I feel generally ok. And then he becomes my mirror, and I realize that I am actually way off center, and in fairly immediate need of a strong internal shift.
The way I feel toward my pet at any given moment is an excellent indication of my state of mind.