Sunday, December 16, 2012

My Christmas Wish

"I can't think of anything that brings me closer to tears than when my old dog—completely exhausted after a hard day in the field—limps away from her nice spot in front of the fire and comes over to where I'm sitting and puts her head in my lap, a paw over my knee, and closes her eyes, and goes back to sleep. I don't know what I've done to deserve that kind of friend."

~Gene Hill

Somehow I stumbled across this video on Youtube last night. And I cried. I've cried every time I've watched it since. I would challenge anyone to watch it and to not cry. It is both heartbreakingly sad, and beautiful at the same time. Sad to think that there are so many heartless, clueless, soulless, disconnected people out there - here in Australia, every bit as much as in the US, or anywhere else in the world for that matter - who could do something like this to another being. It's disgraceful. It's disgusting. And it's inexcusable.

Sometimes, of course, it can happen because an elderly owner may have passed away, or perhaps become homeless themselves, or for one of a hundred other legitimate reasons, and there's simply no one else to care for the animal, and so it ends up being discarded, left to it's own defences, out on the streets - and when something like that happens its heartbreaking. But when it's intentional, outright abuse and neglect, where an animal is mistreated appallingly, then dumped and discarded like it's a disposable commodity, well that is unjustifiably shameful. And I honestly don't know how those kinds of people can live with themselves. Or others can accept having them in their lives. I know that I certainly couldn't. It's genuinely difficult to imagine that they even have souls. It makes me furious thinking about it.

I ended up spending more than an hour watching the other videos on the 'Hope for Paws' channel after I watched this one. And every one of them made me cry. I've been thinking a lot about it ever since, hence the reason for this post. I wanted to vent. And if even just one person happens to find themselves reading this, and then goes on to adopt a rescue animal, or help these guys in some other way, then so much the better.

Audrey and Eldad Hagar are such special, special souls. The work they and their many helpers do in rescuing and re-homing stray animals is extremely admirable, and more than a little heartwarming. Having 72,000+ followers on their Facebook Page is testimony to that. They have my utmost respect. If only there were more people in the world like them. And far less of those heartless beings who cause such suffering in the first place.

Animals really are sentient beings. They have souls, they feel, they sense, they suffer, they experience their own emotional issues, their up and downs, just as we do. They take on our crap, and they love us unconditionally, anyway. You don't have to study the work of people like Penelope Smith, Trisha McCagh, or Leta Worthington to know that. You just need to pay a little closer attention. Listen a little more intently. Look a little deeper, into those eyes. Their feelings, emotions, needs are every bit as valid, real and important as are ours.

To anyone responsible for mistreating an animal, I would say just one thing - well actually, I don't think I could say it any better than Florence Scovel Shinn, "The game of life is a game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy." I've seen it happen time and again.

They are not less than us, and we are certainly not more than them. We are equals, we just come in different forms is all. Our animal companions have so much to love to give, so much wisdom, and so much to teach us. If we are only willing to open our hearts and our minds. To listen. And appreciate.

Love & light

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