At the risk of sounding like a complete whack-a-doodle, I am most content when I am hanging out with our animals. Our newest Yorkie joined our family three weeks ago and is a delight beyond measure. Anyone who thinks animals, and specifically dogs, don’t have personalities haven’t had a dog. Each of ours is different, approaches life, other animals, and the humans in their world differently. Pay attention; if an animal or a child doesn’t like someone in your life, steer clear. Their dislike of an individual is instinctual, their spirits have done a quick read of the individual’s spirit and the animal or child has hit the reject button. Conversely, if an animal or child accepts others, do likewise. Animals and children are in tune with their spirits and the spirits of others, no one has told them not to be.
It seems like the colder and more callous our world becomes the more people are dependent upon their pets. Maybe I am just more acutely aware, but I see a lot of stories on the news about people and their pets, good and bad. There is more outrage when decent people hear stories about cruelty toward animals, and children, of course, but I am talking about animals here. And, it seems the stories about cruelty toward animals are getting, well, crueler. Where do people come up with the insane things they do to other living beings? More importantly, why?
Service dogs have been around for a while now. Emotional support animals are becoming more commonplace from companionship for the elderly to help and hope for veterans and those in prison. When we allow them, animals bring out our nurturing instincts, the softer side of our humanity, teach us tolerance, unconditional love, forgiveness, and to just plain take a moment to stop and smell the roses. How often do we take a moment to enjoy the blessing of simply being alive, to breathe the air, notice the nuances of nature, and shut out the cacophony of the electronic world? Animals help us do these things.
When I take one of our dogs for a walk I sometimes need to remind myself the walk isn’t a race, it is a moment to relax from the stresses of life, listen to the sounds of nature, and appreciate the simplicity and complexities of the created world. Tasia, one of our Yorkies, is my travel and walking buddy. She loves to go as many places with me as will allow dogs, and as often as we can, we go for a walk along the walking path around the small lake in our neighborhood. She loves to track the smells of other dogs, watch the geese floating on the calm water, stop and turn her little head this way and that when other dogs behind fences are barking their greetings. I love to watch her prance alongside me, Yorkies prance. Tasia is never bored with the same route, and I let her lead the way; the same route offers new experiences and new smells. And, as we walk the stresses of life melt away, I see and experience the creation with fresh eyes.
The new little one? Her name is Kaiah, Native American for little but wise, and in Greek, pure. She is little and pure; she hasn’t adapted the wise part yet taking great delight pestering the others. Kaiah has brought her own blend of sugar and spice to our lives and the lives of the other dogs. I am not certain they are as impressed with her exuberance and non-stop action as we are, but all are adjusting. They are gentle and tolerant of her, and the oldest female Yorkie exercises a degree of motherly discipline although Kaiah remains unfazed.
Our dogs have brought so much joy and light to our lives I am willing to sound like a certified whack-a-doodle…..