Well yesterday’s Animals & the Other Side webinar was a super cool thing. Even when I woke up this morning, I was still feeling the “afterglow” I always get after teaching a big class!
I love how many people in the world truly, wholeheartedly love the animals in their life. These are people (like you and me) who grieve just as hard for our dog/cat/fish who just crossed over as we do for our mother or brother.
It’s because we’ve experienced the unconditional love that animals have to offer!
But this gets me thinking about those animals who don’t outright offer unconditional love: abused animals, animals that are eaten, animals that are aggressive…
How do we experience their unconditional love – because it must be in there, right?
Well, it IS in there. And my own dog, Tuukka, is an example.
We rescued Tuukka from some place in Kentucky. By the time she got to us she’d already been with two different rescue organizations, three different families, and made the trek up to New England from down south. And she was only four months old.
Her early challenges created some interesting personality quirks. Like, no- huge. She does not want to be hugged. Does not want to cuddle up in a ball with us on the bed. Does not want to get in our laps.
But she’s full of love and we know it. So what to do?
Well, first, we don’t care about her past. In fact, I don’t think (even in my own head), I’d ever listed out her early challenges so clearly as I just did here in this email before. It’s just not a thing. It’s not that we are ignoring it, we just choose to look at her as who she is.
Which is a kind of weird dog whom we totally love.
And we found our own little ways around her personality quirks (as that’s what we call them.)
My husband wants nothing more than to hug her and she wants nothing less, but they found a happy medium. She’ll do the head nuzzle where Kevin rubs his head all over hers and she rubs his head back. It’s their thing.
I, on the other hand, love petting Tuukka because I’m not allergic to her. Plus, she’s so soft! But she’s finicky about her boundaries. She doesn’t want to be pet all the time, only when she wants to – so I taught her to gently put a paw on my hand or arm when she wants to be pet. And now that she can ask for her needs to be met, it all works out very well!
If we had, instead, started telling the story of a scared dog who had a hard life before coming to us, we’d be the ones preventing Tuukka from living a full life because we, as the humans in the relationship, have the power to set that energy.
Instead, by living in the present moment with our animals, (which is one of the biggest things animals want us to do!), we’re able to give her everything she deserves and loves.
Have you found a way to do this with the animals in your life? Meet them where they are? Tell me about it