Empathy for animals and plants will give us the real information we need to care for ourselves and our environment. What is happening to them is happening to us.
I'm reviewing my journal, starting from February 2012 and finding snippets to share.
Twenty months ago my dog, Treya, was seven months old and enrolled in Part II of her Puppy Manners Class. I had to miss a Saturday class so my friend took her for me and went through the lessons with Treya and the other dogs and dog owners.
Picture is as they were then. Winston on left. Treya on right.
When we met up later in the day my friend said, “Treya is so self confident. She handled herself well and wasn't intimidated or shy.”
I said, “That's because she gets a lot of love.”
But that was the short hand explanation. I mused about Treya's self confidence in my journal, and now share it with you.
Treya has a secure home, constant companionship – human and dog (my then 12 year old terrier corgi, Winston) with a little cat (Jack and Bodhi, two cats who keep their distance but still are an every day living presence in my home).
She gets plenty of stimulation: garden life, that includes plants, birds, possums, rats, racoons, maybe lizards, plenty of squirrels. She has two windows cut into my carport door so both dogs get a clear view of the sidewalk and street action. She has toys. (Her toys and toys she didn't know at the time were not hers, like pillows, tablecloths, unattended shoes and leather purses.)
She gets intellectual stimulation from my instructions and Winston too. She has her crate "cave" for night time sleeping where she feels secure. She can't do anything wrong there. And nothing bad can happen to her there. She is in peace, secure and can sleep deeply - just what a puppy needs.
She's tolerant of a variety of sounds because she is exposed to sounds from the street, home appliances, computer sounds which she has learned are all okay.
She has clean food and water delivered on a reliable schedule, cuddles, play with me and Winston, and a caring response to her communications. She has developed a tolerance for my leaving and returning. Her world is healthy, considerate and secure. She gets to go on adventures. We walk in the neighborhood, go to the park plus she travels with me in the car on various errands when the weather is cool.
I went on to say: We all need that. Maybe it’s too much for everyone to get. But we humans need to recognize what these components are so we can go for what we lack plus preserve and protect what we have. Education, clean food and shelter, caring environment, responses to our communications, adequate room to move – body and mind – and healthy stimulation in appropriate quantities.
We need all of this, and we need it infused with love.
end of journal entry
Do you have in your life what made Treya a self confident puppy? What's missing? How can you put it in your life?
Please let me know if you found value in this article. It's going to take me some time to plough through this journal. Shall I post other mini essays I find?