Dogs as a mirror for you and your life
Have you ever wondered how certain animals, in my case dogs (or humans), come into your life and what they are here to teach you? It was, as I sat eyes half closed staring up at the hills that the thought struck me that each of my three dogs act as a mirror for me in some way.
Let’s explore dogs as a mirror for you and your life
Let’s start with Ferdy Dog
Ferdy came into my life when an ex-husband decided that he wanted a dog. Looking back, I can see that the ex had a habit of rescuing strays (I include myself in that); but at the time, it didn’t strike me. All I saw was this irritating man going on and on about a dog. I was a cat woman, and dogs were, at this time, just dogs.
After a short search, he chose his breed, a Hungarian Vizsla. He found Ferdy at a rescue kennels in Grantham where he was going to do his two weeks of TA training. By this time, I was rather excited.
Meeting Ferdy was an anti-climax; he was off-hand and quiet. His story was that he had been owned by a family who has teased him with food until he bit his owner. They put him with a dog psychologist for a month who concluded that this dog needed rehoming, and so Ferdy came home to Wales.
Alpha male (the husband) had ideas about how to treat the dog, and he was left to sleep on the lower floor of our three story house, crying. On day two he savaged the bin (the dog, not the husband) and I in my innocence reached down to grab the food off him. In a flash, his jaws were around my face. It was a fraction of a second and at that moment, I stood quietly and contemplated this animal. I decided that to make this relationship work; I needed to modify my behaviour. Good old NLP and coaching to the rescue eh?
It wasn’t hard to spot that Ferdy dog needed and yearned for love. Destroying his expensive dog bed looked to me like a cry for love, so I dragged it to me. The husband wanted the dog to take his commands and be a dog. My suggestion was that he could issue orders, and I would provide love. A deal was struck.
Like Ferdy, I was a rescue project and like Ferdy I yearned to be loved, so we poured our love into each other.
Later when we got Marley Moo, I was to discover that Ferdy was a bully. He, afraid that he would lose some of my love attacked her relentlessly. I held her in my arms and cuddled her so many times. He did the same thing to Angel. He continues to try and bully them for space on the sofa or bed and certainly for food.
He is handsome and has a gentle soul, yet has this streak that I dislike immensely. His mirror and lesson for me is that I have attracted bullies. They, like him, have needed support, and being a softie, I offer myself up as a supportive friend. However, when the chips are down, and they cannot hide their true nature, their instinctual bullying becomes apparent. I deal with him in an assertive and loving way, and I tell him every day how much I love him. As for human bullies, I have no time for them.
Poor old Ferds now has arthritis and has lost lots of weight. Various blood tests have not revealed what is wrong. His next mirror and lesson for me is how to manage and control his unknown illnesses nutritionally. Nutrition is a fascination of mine, and while I look after me, I consider how I can also look after him so that the quality of his life improves. Ferdy my first born and my strength.
Meet Marley Moo
Out walking one day while on holiday in Spain, we passed the local kennels where I was invited to look at the rescue dogs. Being madly in love with Ferdy it was not part of my plan to have any more, although him indoors wanted to rescue more.
Persuaded to look, I took out a smaller version of Ferdy. Within seconds, I knew that this dog was not for me. His energy was wrong. I hesitated and then went back to look at Marley. Still not convinced, I leaded her up and off we went. I was in love the moment she looked into my eyes properly. There was wisdom beyond her eight months. Later that day we walked her home.
Ferdy, as you know, was not delighted and set about attacking her at every opportunity. This poor dog rolled over and weed herself whenever people came close and certainly as he approached. I couldn’t imagine what she had been through. Two years after she came to live with me, someone shared some stories of her treatment; I was disgusted.
When Marley came to meet my mum she promptly weed on her best rug, which had me in fits of laughter, but only went to highlight poor old Marley’s fear. There was nothing to fear I told her and continued to pour my love into her. Both she and Ferdy received Reiki from me and every day were told how much I loved them.
One day I asked Marley what it felt like to be rescued, and I swear she turned around and said ‘I think I did the rescuing.’ Cheeky bitch.
Marley is a licky dog and no I didn’t learn to lick humans from her. I believe it is partly anxiety and wanting to please and her way of showing love. She is invariably by my side and if I am cuddling one of the others her eyes say it all ‘you are mine mummy!’
I have suffered from anxiety, and she is my mirror when I start to worry about the future. When I reassure her that I am going nowhere, and we will always have our precious moments together, this reminds me to live in the now and to appreciate what we have.
What she remembers from being a puppy I do not know, but I know from the weeing and submissiveness that something was not right. Today she is very adventurous, maybe not as confident as she could be, but a beautiful soul, none the less. This mirror for me recognises that I too have lived with memories from childhood that have affected my self-worth and value. She reminds me that with love this can be overcome.
I have no idea what breed she is, it doesn’t matter, she is soulful, beautiful, brave and my twin flame.
One March evening in 2014 I was walking in the rambla with Ferdy and Marley when a skinny pup with big ears appeared. She was chasing a car, and the driver claimed that it wasn’t his dog. As soon as she began playing with mine, he drove off. I, convinced that a local charity would rehome her, had no hesitation in bringing her home.
Apart from being a bit thin, she had gorgeous fur, looked and behaved as if she was someone’s pet. Surely someone would come forward soon?
The charities could not take her, and I was stuck. A cage helped with the Ferdy situation and Pete a friend came to support me with some dog training and my overwrought emotional state. I was in pieces, how would I cope with three dogs?
I found her on a Sunday and I was due to go to the Sierra Nevada the following day to meet friends. With no other choice, I cancelled and set about finding out who she was. Without a chip it was impossible. I launched a world wide campaign on social media to get her a home. No one wanted her, and so she stayed.
I had grown fed up of people telling me what I should do and that strangely made me determined to ensure that she would find a home like mine. She did, my home, she stayed. I spent my holiday money on doing all of the necessary things, spay, rabies, passport, etc. I believe she knew that she would be staying, and I was certainly pre-selected.
What a delight. She reminds me to smile, and that laughter is the best medicine.
I called her Angel because I felt that she was sent as a message to me. I see her in meditations; she is my power animal, strong and keeps me grounded.
She has a vibrant positive energy, every day is a joy, she explores and plays and reminds me to do the same.
The other thing that makes me smile is her finicky eating. I buy her different food to the other two; she is very discerning about what passes her lips, unlike Ferdy, who will scoff almost anything.
These three fantastic companions bring such joy to my life, they teach me something every day and create a space for me to be a loving mother and friend.