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OUR ANIMALS, OURSELVES: Use me, don’t abuse me

July 27, 2017
By ANNOEL KRIDER , Lake Placid News

A little over a year ago, I was rather forced into signing up to Facebook because videos of some newly born puppies I was considering were being posted there each week.

I, of course, was curious to watch the progress of their growth and to see these beautiful babies play and interact. Unfortunately, it was clear that other posts on Facebook began distracting me from my immediate purpose, and, before I knew it, I was seduced.

It wasn't long before I began seeing those images of animal abuse appearing suddenly before my eyes. Even after scrolling by as quickly as possible, I couldn't get those images out of my head. I just didn't want to see those tragic pictures reaching out to me first thing in the morning. Like everyone else in the world, they are images I never want to see and attempt to forget, however futile.

Article Photos

Passle and her service dog Fenway
(Photo provided)

Nonetheless, as much as I want to avoid this reality, it is absolutely my obligation to confront this unthinkable cruelty. We all have to. We have to absorb it, feel it and believe it and do whatever we can to stop it from ever happening!

Unfortunately, those people who really need these reminders are probably too heartless to even acknowledge the cruel part they play. I know I'm repeating myself when I say that these same people who are willing to abuse animals will do the same to people.

In his book "Guardians of Being: Spiritual Teachings From Our Dogs and Cats," Eckhart Tolle reminds us of our connections to our pets:

"When you pet a dog or listen to a cat purring, thinking may subside for a moment and a space of stillness arises within you, a doorway into being."

Alas, gratefully there is also an abundance of videos and images on Facebook that represent the beauty, sensitivity, humor, intelligence and importance of animals. Videos and images that make us laugh and cry and touch our souls because there is something there, in the animals that is deeper than just fun and adorable creatures. Something that is innately a part of us. Shared energy. Shared life force. Most of us know this, and thankfully there are more of those heart filled videos than the bad.

This past spring, my friend Passle lost her service dog from old age. This dog, for the past 12 years, was Passle's eyes, helping her to maneuver through the day and alerting her to every possible danger that might be present in her daily life. I was thrilled then to see on Facebook the happy photo of Passle with her new service dog, Fenway, someone she will literally be trusting with her life.

Then there was the posting of the soldier who had returned from a war zone, and like so many others traumatized by the brutalities of war, he ended up with PTSD. His life was a series of blackouts that led to falling over and potential injury. Dog to the rescue. This man's remarkable dog was able to detect when these blackouts were going to occur, and the dog would stand on his hind legs, front paws on the man's chest, letting him know he needs to sit down before he falls down. If you think animals are "just" animals, think again.

Eckhart Tolle: "Every being is a spark of the Divine or God. Look into the eyes of the dog and sense that innermost core."

We've all heard the stories. A cat howls in the middle of the night waking his family when a house was on fire. Dogs used to find people lost in the wilderness or under debris of a bombed-out building. The stories involving the lives saved by animals are endless.

Eckhart Tolle: "The vital function that pets fulfill in this world hasn't been fully recognized. They keep millions of people sane."

I've seen how my own animals respond to my moods. My cat Willow always shows up to sit and listen when I play the piano. The other day my golden wouldn't stop licking my face when I wasn't feeling well. A past dog of mine, Laddie, who was usually all work and no doggie kisses, showed a rare sign of affection when my mother was in pain from a knee replacement. He jumped up on her bed and laid his paw gently on her painful leg. She couldn't help but smile. This same dog used to sit down at the bottom of the driveway on the day I was returning home from a vacation waiting for my arrival.

We have to remind ourselves that there is something deeper in the animals than time has held to be true. An intuitiveness that allows them to know and feel beyond the obvious. A gift that we all have but so many of us have lost.

The animals haven't lost this special sense. It's a powerful awareness of caring, yet they continue to be abused.

Eckhart Tolle: "We are ultimately not separate, not from one another nor from any living thing - the flower, the tree, the cat, the dog. You can sense yourself in them, the essence of who you are. You could say God. There is a term, a Christian term which is beautiful ... loving the creator in the creature."

I believe people who abuse animals have deviated from the evolutionary chain into another kind of life form. One that doesn't have a soul and a connection to what's important and real and that's a strong and dynamic life force whose energy is derived from love, respect and reverence. My senses are torched when I think about the animals that are being abused, even as I write these words. Animals who could otherwise contribute love, joy, companionship and healing to so many human lives.

What can you do? I've said this before. Continue to support all animal organizations. Not just the dog and cats but the polar bears, elephants and wolves. All of them. Continue to support your local shelters as well because they play a part in assisting with local animal abuse. They also do their best at matching the shelter animals with the right families giving the animal a home to thrive in and giving the family an animal who will bring to their lives an abundance of gifts.

Eckhart Tolle: "Love is a deep empathy with the other's Beingness. You recognized yourself, your essence in the other. And so you can no longer inflict suffering on the other."

 
 

 

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