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News & Article Archives > Grab Bag Articles > Dogs Take What They Get ...

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Dogs Take What They Get ...
Posted by on 13 May, 2008

Ever wonder just what it is the world is telling you? Sometimes it takes some doing to figure it out. Most of the time you simply have to pay attention and put some consideration into what´s going on in your life.

Dogs take what they get Ö

One very important lesson I learned came from the animals in my life. Some people will identify with this, and some wonít. People can take it or leave it, but this is what I observed:

Dogs take what they get. Horses give what they get. Cats give and take as they please. I have one dog, three horses, and five cats, presently.

During the middle of my bottom-of-the-barrel, mid-life-crisis experience, I had eleven different stray cats (Iím not joking) coming and going around my property. What on earth did that mean? Well, Iíll tell you what it eventually meant to me.

The dog represented where I was in my life. I was giving too much and didnít know how to replace my dwindling energy supply. Maybe youíve noticed: Dogs give endlessly for next to no return and still stay true. Thatís a wonderful trait, but certainly not fair for the dog, let alone a human being. So, being a fair person, I limited myself to only one endlessly giving dog.

The horses represented what I needed in my life. And evidently what I needed was blatant honesty and a lesson in personal space issues. Again, I was giving a lot to the people around me, and feeling like I was not getting much in return (a glimpse into a dogís life), so I turned to my horses who, for the most part, give back exactly what they get.

Now, understand, horses work mostly on an intuitive plane, rather than physical or material. If you walk up to them with a plastered on smile but are feeling madder than hell at someone, they know it and snub you or run for the hills.

Anyway, the horses let me stand next to them in return for my feeding them, and gave me enough nuzzles, in return for scratching hard to reach spots, that I was able to maintain the energy level to give and take equally with the three of them. Plus, they are herd animals, so it is much easier for them to put up with our ridiculousness when they have constant equine companions, not just a two hour a week human.

The cats, they represented where I wanted to be in life. Thatís why the message came loud and clear in the form of eleven strays. I wanted to be able to give and take with everything in my life freely without conscious effort or guilt or worry. If I called to my own cats they came when they wanted, or not. The strays came within sight, but kept out of reach if I got too near. If I left for the weekend, none of them cared because they can take care of themselves. They are free.

I didnít want all those strays around, but I also didnít want them shot dead to get rid of them. Subsequently, in talking to a very wise friend, she asked me if I had asked them to leave.

Excuse me?

She said to tell them thank you for pointing out what needed to be brought to my attention, then kindly tell them they could go back to their homes.

Feeling a bit ridiculous and a lot skeptical, I tried it the next time I went out to feed. Now, I kid you not, darned if they all didnít disappear within days. Shrug or scoff if you will, but you have to allow that my frame of mind was such that I couldnít see any other way out of the situation. I had tried everything else, so I was willing to try anything out of the ordinary.

Afterward, I thought about it and realized many things. Take rejection, for instance. Reject a dog and (s)he will leave you forlorn yet loyal. Reject a horse and (s)he will mirror your rejection and leave you with fear, anger, or whatever you sent them away with. Reject a cat and (s)he will leave you with indifference, for they take nothing personally.

~J.D. Rhodes

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