We have all heard the expression "Love conquers all" and most of us have probably done a combination of smile and eye-roll everytime we hear the expression. Well, at least I do. I mean, I believe Love is so powerful it can change a bad situation into a good, make a grumpy person happy, give encouragement to the discouraged. These are the things that evoke the smile. The eye-roll comes depending on where I am spiritually and emotionally at the moment I hear it. If I am feeling negative or sad or upset, the eye-roll comes. If I am positive and hopeful and calm, then I smile a big cheesy smile. The thing is, Love does conquer all, but not always in the ways that we expect it.
Animals have an incredible resiliency about them. They can go through the most traumatizing things and with love they bounce back as if nothing bad every crossed their paths. They do have memories of the bad or not-so-good things, but animals are more present that humans. They base their actions mainly on the current situation. That's not to say that similar behaviors, smells, textures, and sounds won't trigger a negative response because it is so similar to the negative memory. Of course it can. They still have the memory, but choose to live in the present. Humans can learn alot from this behavior.
I had the pleasure of speaking with a lovely boy named Charlie. He has been shuffled around a bit; the current owner knows of at least 3 homes prior to hers. Before I get into Charlie's story, I do want to say that having an animal companion is a life-long committment. I encourage anyone who wants to have an animal companion to think of them as they would a human child. If you move, get a new job, have financial struggles, get sick....you would never give your human child away nor would you "put them down". Adopting an animal companion implies the same level of love and committment for the animal. Okay, on to Charlie!
Charlie was very aware and concerned about a bad habit he had. He would nip at strangers and was not at ease with young children. They moved to quickly and were loud and rough .Some dogs, like Charlie, do not like their ears and tail tugged. I don't blame him. As an individual being, they have the right to request certain behaviors and shun others. Because we (humans) don't speak their language, and don't pay attention to their body language, we don't get hear their request. They have no alternative than to nip. THAT gets humans' attention. Unfortunately, it becomes a "go-to" response for some and it is not a good one. Charlie was also shuffled about, as mentioned earlier, and he also heard his prior human talk about euthanizing him. Imagine being spoken to so harshly, not shown love, and then threatened with death. How would you react?
Thankfully, Charlie was rescued by his current human family. Their dedication to him is so beautiful. At 9 years old, Charlie was never given consistent training. This was confusing to him. How was he supposed to settle into the human world whenn rules and regulations were inconsistent? His current family is starting from scratch and teaching him how to be a member of a family. That right there. A. Member. of. A Family. i get choked up when I think about Charlie interrupting his human to ask "If I make a mistake, will I be sent away?". It was hard for me to keep it together to rely this question to my client. She gave an exuberant and love-filled "NO! You are stuck with us forever! We love you!".
It was at that moment that I felt Charlie's energy change. He relaxed. He began to feel hopeful. He was encouraged to do better because they were giving him the chance to learn and grow. The structure they provide is all within the confines of a loving home, no harshness. As with human children, boundaries are helpfull. Without boundaries kids can easily become overwhelmed with things not in their abilities. Same with animals. The deep release of breath from Charlie let me know that he was letting go of so much tension and anxiety. The love his humans give him on a daily basis, in their every action, in their every thought certaily is conquering all!