How Animals Open Our Hearts

April 13, 2016 cats Animal Connections

How Animals Open Our Hearts (4.14.16)

Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. Albert Einstein

Sitting on the green grass, watching the birds and doing nothing in the warm sun are now my favorite things to do with Tobi. Everything has changed since his injury. The long off-leash walks into the mountains are now short 10-15 minute walks on a leash.

Four weeks ago, Tobi tore the ACL ligament in his knee while chasing a stick down a hill. Two weeks later he had surgery on his left knee. The recovery time for this kind of injury and surgery is 2-6 months. Rest, short walk, breakfast, more rest, another short walk and so on is our new daily routine. We are re-writing our relationship and finding new ways of being and having fun together.

Every animal has a role in our lives that goes beyond being a companion, guardian or having a job . I have found human animal relationships rest on an unspoken heart agreement. Sometimes it takes the extraordinary events (and you know what they are) to know why that particular animal has chosen you or you have chosen them. The recent events and changes have got me thinking about what Tobi is here to teach me about love.

  • Tobi is helping me slow down and trust those intuitive nudges.
  • I am learning the importance of animal communication when a dog is in a strange place undergoing anesthesia, surgery and recovery.
  • I’m learning about anti-inflammatory diets, herbal compresses, when to apply healing touch,and how to give great doggie massages.
  • I am learning how to continue the SAY YES training to allow for low impact fun activities.
  • Tobi is helping me to be with my emotions, surrender and let my heart grow from this experience.

Not all of these teachings are easy, but what better teacher could I possibly have.

I was in a writing workshop last weekend and a poem came forth about Tobi. There was so much emotion wrapped around the words I could barely get them out of my mouth as I recited to a small group of seasoned and emerging creative writers. I am including the poem in this email for YOU. Enjoy!

Dog Tears

Do dogs have tears?
Do they grieve in the same way I grieved when my sister died of cancer
or the more quiet grief I feel when mundane chores
take priority over my creative urge to play in the dirt
sinking my toes into the soft warm earth
wondering what might sprout
from me if I dig in?

Tobi has dug a hole in my heart.
It is here with the dog I find my grief.
Buried heart bones
of a thousand animals
known and unknown.

The subtle signs of lameness
then surgery to repair the tear in the left knee.
A metal plate screwed
into those still growing
one year old bones.
Inflammation that started before he reached the 12 month milestone
of puppy to dog.

A tear that started in the fabric of veterinary medicine
and animal humane relationships.
Weaned from a mother to early
neutered at 6 weeks
A tear that started before birth
when his mother was taken to a kill shelter days before he was born.
A tear now knitted together with a plate of steel.

My tears for Tobi melt
into my own God tears
for all animals.
Here in my heart I bring my heart bones home.
4.9.16 Writing with Ana, Portland Oregon


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