Blog 34: "Lessons from the Life of Dogs"
Blog 34: “Lessons from the Life of Dogs”
June 5, 2019
Original Painting: Pool Deck
Sunday as I was planning to write my blog, I was interrupted by a serious commotion at my front door. My yellow lab, Myo, has pushed the front door open and he was mingling with two wet dogs on my front steps. Myo has never pushed the front door open! The gods were in my favor because Myo listened to me and came right back in the house without letting the other dogs in. I stepped out to meet my guests. They were very friendly and very wet! With their tongues hanging down to the pavement and the heavy panting, I surmised that they must have been out all night. We had had a heavy rain storm the night before. These dogs were stressed, wet, and a little nervous. I went inside to get them water. I grabbed my phone to post a picture on social media, in case they didn’t have tags. The dogs were sniffing around the yard ready to depart, and I called them back, giving them the bowl of water. They returned to me with wagging tails and obviously had some training. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with these two additional dogs in the short term. One of the dogs didn’t have a tag on its collar, luckily the other dog did. I wrangled him close enough to get the number and made the early Sunday morning call to let the owner know I had his dogs. He was surprised by the call, not realizing that his dogs had gone missing. As I waited for the dogs’ owner, my neighbor dogs across the street started to venture over. I hollered over to my neighbor that I was holding two “stray” dogs. I also told my neighbor’s dog to stay… and to my surprise, she did. A few minutes later, there was a joyous reunion of owner and dogs. The owner said he had some teenagers that had some explaining to do. I thought, “can’t you see these dogs have been out all night?” They were stressed, tired and wetter than what morning dew could cover! DUH! Then I heard my inner voice, he doesn’t need you to tell him, or shame him or explain it to him. Let them be on their way. So, I did just that, I kept it to myself.
Learning and understanding happens when you are ready, and only then. Think of the expression, “it‘s just like riding a bike.” Well, when learning to ride a bike, there are a few (or many) falls before the balance happens. There is a parent’s steadying hand, words of encouragement (hopefully) and the point that the lesson transitions into knowing. The knowing already exists inside, the learning is the key that opens the door to the knowledge.
Science tells us that we have something called “non-essential DNA.” What exactly are they? Well, essential DNA or genes are required for our survival. So, non-essential aren’t? What if these are the record keepers of our ancestral line? What if this is our own personal library of all the things we could and maybe will learn in this lifetime? We already have it inside. In many religious traditions, folklore and even fairytales, there are the stories of the transmission of knowledge or the hunting for it. The Christian tradition tells the story of the Tree of Knowledge. If all humans are the descendants of Adam and Eve, where did that knowledge go? They weren’t stripped of the knowledge upon leaving the garden. You cannot unknow something, once known. (There have been times in my life I wished I could unknow something!!!) In the Irish Lore there is the hunt for the Salmon of Knowledge, catching and eating this fish would make a person wise beyond measure. People want to know. It is in our DNA, essential or not!
So, what about the guy, his dogs and teenagers? Was he not ready to see the condition of his dogs? What does blaming the teenagers serve? There is a Chinese Proverb that says, “When the student is ready, the Master (Teacher) arrives.” It has taken me many years to accept that people, even myself, don’t know what we don’t know. And, that we know more than we care to admit sometimes. These last two statements seem to contradict, and they are both true. Learning is a lifelong process. Letting go of ideas, beliefs and even teachings is part of the process. We can’t unlearn something, but we can learn another way, see a different perspective, keep our opinions quiet to let someone else learn at his/her own pace. It is a constant balancing act of accepting, releasing, learning, growing and so much more. Part of the practice is trusting that the knowing and wisdom is inside. It’s like the old Progresso Soup commercial, “It’s in there!” Take a moment and tap into that place, inside, that place of knowing…see what emerges.
The painting I share with you today is that of the menial task of painting my pool deck. Myo, my yellow lab, is enjoying the cool deck.
Blessings and peace on your journey.
Beth is a seasoned and experienced bodywork, somatic coach and wellness professional. She is available to present on wellness, bodywork and somatic topics; or individual bodywork and coaching sessions. Bring Beth to your area for workshops, speaking events or team building projects. Personal and business coaching are also services that Beth provides. Consider coaching for individual or small groups/teams. Contact Beth for more information and rates.