I’m so happy to have Myrna Rosa (Mom to two boxers, Daisy and Leroy) posting here today. When you read this, you will know why Corinne (and I) think Myrna is such a special lady. Read her blog here.
In her book, Mystical Dogs (highly recommended), Jean Houston describes how her human and spiritual growth was enhanced by the dogs in her life. She found that some had such special gifts to share, that even other people felt and achieved much progress by simply being in their presence.
I’ve lived with many dogs. Each has left his or her own indelible mark on my soul. Not just because I loved them, but because they seemed to bring me something that I needed, something that went way beyond the concept of owning a mindless animal as a pet for the sporadic delight of the owner.
My first dog, Snoopy, kept me company while my husband was in the military. He taught me about self-reliance, confidence and patience. When we were together, I never felt alone and knew I was capable of taking care of us both. Other dogs have been silent partners in my professional exploits. They shared their tranquil energy as I confronted the daily challenges of work. Some exuded wisdom and gave me guidance with more personal issues. And still others have stood by in silence enriching my spiritual growth, like little gurus observing and assisting me look within.
My two canine family members now are Daisy and Leroy. Although they are both boxers,they are as different as a flower and a storm.
Daisy is my flower. I saw her picture on the internet and fell in love instantly. The next day my husband and I went to pick her up at the boxer rescue shelter. Gentle energy radiates from her with the sweetness of candy. She is blind in one eye and I refer to her as my one eyed Buddha. She has a little heart imprinted on her neck. I think it symbolizes her loving nature, her quiet spirit, and soft flowing energy, which is like a little blessing.
She has taught me that no matter how kind, loving, compassionate, good we are, we all have a dark side and most flowers conceal thorns. When she meets other dogs out in the street, she wants to aggressively attack any unsuspecting canine, no matter what size. She’s stronger than one expects and restraining her is not easy, just as it’s not easy to restrain the dark, impulsive, negative emotions and reactions that are hidden beneath my usually composed, quiet, easy-going self. Daisy reminds me that I must practice honest self-awareness and acknowledge those parts of me that are less desirable. Then perhaps, I can change.
Leroy is my storm. My husband found Leroy running in the desert. Once we brought him home, I could not let him go to a shelter, though Ihad misgivings about keeping him. At the time, I was caring for my mother and mother-in-law, my time was not my own and Leroy was a hurricane. He bounced from the walls, he ran incessantly atop furniture, beds, the floor, and people. But, he wanted to be ours.
He has been full of lessons. Because of his hyper-activity, I quickly realized the only thing that sedated him was frequent walks. I found the time and found myself enjoying nature and the exercise I so much needed. He also needed strong discipline. I had to learn to be strong, to rely on what I knew was best, and to remain relentless in that knowledge. He taught me how to fight and win because if I let him win, he would assume he was my leader. And I am learning to lead. On a deeper level, Leroy has been my reflection. He’s helped me see my own inner storms brewing. And I learned to recognize them, to protect myself so I can predict and confront them.
Both Daisy and Leroy know that I’m a work in progress, so Daisy continues to sporadically pounce on other dogs, and Leroy, who has calmed down considerably, now likes to eat anything in sight – like food, toys, his bed, etc. I keep searching for the lessons, while the dogs continue to guide me.
I hope we all appreciate our dogs for what they bring us, fetched perhaps from an unseen void that knows what we need at the moment. Our dogs picked us for a reason – to teach us. They have secret lesson plans for us to learn in this earthly university, before they earn their tenure and leave.
- MYSTICAL DOGS: Animals as Guides to Our Inner Life ~ Jean Houston (evolutionarymystic.wordpress.com)
- Boxer Dogs (dogster.com)