Pet Rescue Squad Inc.

Why do we have dogs? September 25 2013, 0 Comments

 

                

Ask any owner why they have dogs, you’ll find that the response is usually because they provide us with unconditional love. Other reasons too, such as protection, companionship, a service animal. Yet still, it all ultimately comes down to the love that they bring us.
Millions of us know, upon opening our front door we are greeted with boundless love and enthusiasm time and time again. You can leave for five minutes or be gone a week, the greeting is always the same. I love you, no matter what, I love you. Countless endearing, funny, adorable behaviors that we never tire of.
Dogs don’t judge us, they don’t criticize us, they forgive us when we make mistakes. They see the good in everyone and they know when someone wants to do us wrong. They protect us, they are loyal to us, they trust us. They have gratitude. They will put their life on the line to save us. They provide us comfort when we are feeling down. They ground us when we feel angry. They grieve when they lose a friend and they grieve when they lose their owner. They sense and understand things that humans are incapable of, detecting disease, seizures, blood sugar levels, earthquakes, tsunamis. They find bodies in search and rescue, they detect drugs and explosives. They do everything selflessly. They do everything without expecting anything in return. They work together in packs, each one offering a special skill set to their survival, understanding each others needs and working together, fairly, to make sure that those needs are met. Watch a dog do it’s job, you will see it doing so fearlessly. Every part of it’s being is put into the task at hand. Focused and living only in the present, no fear or emotion impeding it from completing that what it has set out to accomplish.
The only time a dog is mistrustful, aggressive, anxious or nervous is when it, at some point has been abused. Yet, take the dog and put it into a loving and caring home, that same dog will learn how to forgive, how to trust and how to love again.


So why do we really have dogs? Is it because we don’t think that we can find these qualities in humans? and if so, why? Let us not think that, because we are human, that we cannot learn from an animal. Animals can actually be our best teachers should we choose to learn from them.
For many of us, at some point in our lives, perhaps, we have felt unloved. It could either be that we have not received any love at all or that the love we got was “conditional”. Conditional being the kind of love that requires something in return, not just for the love of someone, but that that someone must do something to feel worthy of the love. This can become manipulative and also come from obligation. Just being told “I love you” can give a person a sense of obligation to do something in return. Why should that be? Should we not just love someone for who they are without any expectation? Without wanting to change them? Without wanting something in return? Why is it that we feel the need to put conditions into any relationship?
When we go back to our childhood, we may well find the answers, if we are brave enough to look. Somewhere, imprinted upon us, is the very thing that we spend the rest of our lives reliving, over and over we try to fix that something. Caught on a cyclical imbalance, this imprint will stay with us until we have the courage to break free. Do you find yourself always wondering why the same things keep happening to you? Do you blame others and point the finger? At what point can we realize that we are the common denominator? I believe, that it is at the moment in time when we realize we have just had enough that we can stop and choose to make different decisions.
Many find their “love” and validation through external things whether it be materialistic things, conditional relationships, outward appearance, pets, food, work, drugs, alcohol…the list goes on and on.

                                                     

What stops us from escaping our past and truly living our true life’s destiny? Fear. Fear is an obstacle. Fear stops us in our tracks. Most will not admit to having an iota of fear. That would be cowardly and sissy. But fear is not just being afraid of the Dark, it is fear of stepping into the Light. Truly showing our vulnerability is not a sign of weakness, but that of strength and courage. How many of us are doing what we love to do and making a living from it? How many of us are tapped into our inner creativity? How many of us feel stuck? How many of us truly hate our jobs, our relationships? And why do we stay where we are? What do we need to break free?
We need love. We need unconditional love. We need people to believe in us and our dreams. We cannot do this alone. However big or small they are, our dreams are attainable. We need to feel like we are a part of something, something bigger than ourselves. A collection of higher energy, a place where we can connect and feel stronger. A place where we feel united in one common thing. That thing is love.
When people judge and criticize you, it is because they see a strength in you that they lack. Stay away from these people, especially when you are not feeling strong. Seek those that see your gifts and want to help you shine. Those that want to lift you up not put you or keep you down. Those people exist and they will come to you when you believe in yourself. The very energy that you put out is the energy that you get back. If we learn to believe that love is all around us, it will be, but the journey starts within. Be kind to others and you will receive kindness. Be generous to others and you will receive generosity. Every moment of your life is an opportunity to choose differently. Believe in humanity, no matter how bleak the World is looking, you can counteract hate with love. Humans all have one thing in common, regardless of race, color, sex, sexuality or religion, we all want to love and be loved, we all deserve this, it is our birthright.
Here is where we can look to the dog, and what the dog is able to do. Go back to the top of the page, re-read all the qualities of the dog and apply that to the human being. We can do all of those things (well, not the sniffing out disease, bombs and natural disasters). Start with forgiveness, first of yourself and then with others. Allow people the opportunity to love you and allow yourself the opportunity to love back. Look for the good in people and you will find it. Remember that others may not be where you are today, but neither were you until this moment. Be kind, be patient, be encouraging, be aware of your surroundings, live in the moment. Do what you are truly destined to do, take a leap of Faith and trust that the Universe will catch you.
Dog has been Man’s best friend for hundreds of years, isn’t it time we learned from them?

                                      


Life with dogs in Manhattan - How three dogs are my best teachers. September 18 2013, 1 Comment

                       

I own three dogs, Bunny, Chippy and Oopla. Living in New York this usually warrants people to ask me "how do I do it?" This question doesn't really make sense to me, it infers that dog ownership is work. Perhaps to them, but quite the contrary to me. I have such appreciation for the unconditional love that I get from my three, that it is my honor to care for them. Work no, love yes.

More often than not, I get mistaken for being a dog walker. My response is "No, they're all mine, I'm one shy of being a hoarder." Truthfully, I'd really like another, there's so much to learn from them. Sometimes our best teachers are not human...

Chippy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel teaches me eternal optimism and forgiveness. The latter being the hardest for me given my prior stance of "off with your head" should I have been wronged.

Upon meeting another dog, Chippy always wags his tail enthusiastically, eyes wide in anticipation of a friendly exchange. Waiting patiently to be approached, Chippy is not one to force the issue, he lets the other dog initiate. When successful, his tail helicopters. On the occasion that he is ignored, his gaze follows the dog leaving, tail still wagging, albeit slower. I can almost hear him thinking "next time...."

His ability for forgiveness amazes and inspires me. Unfortunately he had to suffer terribly for me to learn this.

                

Before Oopla had come into my life, I was out with Bunny and Chippy down by the Hudson River. There's a strip there that I fondly refer to as "the beach". When the tide is low, an area of sand becomes available for frolic, fetch and surf chasing. It was there, one day, that a young woman and her off leash Pit Bull stopped by. I asked if her dog was friendly, to which she responded indeed he was. I chose to believe her. In moments, her dog violently attacked Chippy with clear intent to kill. As the owner started to kick her dog, inciting it further, I didn't hesitate. Crouching down to eye level, my face inches from the Pit, I tried desperately and unsuccessfully to pry its jaws from Chippy's throat. Everything was happening so quickly, but there was a moment when, because of loose skin, fur and an ear, the Pit loosened it's bite to get a better grip. It was this fraction of a second that I shoved my hand into its mouth, freeing Chippy. I changed my open hand into a fist and pushed hard against the dog's throat. This caused it to gag and I pulled my unscathed hand to safety. The owner leashed her dog and was speaking, but I could not hear her words over the sound of my beating heart. I looked down at Chippy, still laying flat on the ground, blood all over his neck and ears. He looked at me, eyes so wide, it broke my heart to see him suffer. I was filled with rage and resentment to the owner, her dog and the breed. The dog was still standing over us, Chippy raised his eyes to it and wagged his tail.

                                 

Bunny, a Miniature Dachshund, brings many things, but what stands out the most is her passion and persistence and both of them combined. I can only aspire to have her immense determination and pride in what she does. Whether it be a hole in the ground (and what lurks within), a dot on the wall, a pebble in a pool of water, a blade of grass in the wind or a squirrel in a tree. Bunny's ability to focus on the goal at hand and truly believe that whatever it is, it will be accomplished. Nothing will sway her, her passion and desire are evident, as well as her ability to truly live in the moment. An unending example of how to focus and to act, no matter what, you can always get what you work hard for, all you have to do, is believe. A quote by the Dalai Lama comes to mind "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito."

Oopla is a stray from Panama. When I got her, she was malnourished, mistrustful and afraid. A healthy diet transformed her skin and her coat to a healthy shine along with a significant weight gain.

Because she knows where she came from, and that she knows what suffering is, her gratitude and joy for life is unceasing. She prefers to be off leash, I believe because she feels that she could escape if in a threatening situation. I live in New York and must abide by the leash laws. When the opportunity arises and she can run free, her joy is palpable. One also to take risks, Oopla will never second guess herself. Pouring her heart into any challenge as if her life depended upon it. In the moment that others might pause, Oopla throws herself into the unknown without so much as a thought of how things could go wrong. Because, in her heart, she knows that they won't.

Watching her leap off the ground and pause in mid air like a deer, reminds me of Tigger. This always puts a huge smile on my face and in my heart. She'll do this, it seems, for no apparent reason other than that of for the sheer joy of being alive.

When we all curl up together to go to sleep (yes , they sleep in my bed) I look at them and thank them for all that they are teaching me. How lucky I am to be in their World.