Today I was doing the washing up, just thinking about life and then my mind fell upon what I was going to talk with you about today. I looked over at my sleeping hound dog and I thought about how perfect he is for my family and as I looked at him more, I remembered the process I went through to find a dog in the first place. I had a specific set of parameters I wanted in a dog. I had boys, so I needed a dog that could handle the rough and tumble of life with brothers; I was alone at the time, so I needed a dog that would protect me and my home. I was also a single mother, so that meant I couldn’t afford vet fees, so I needed a dog that was a cross breed, who thrived on very little medical care and rarely got sick. I wanted a dog that would be loyal and loving, a dog that wouldn’t bark unless there was a good reasons and a dog that was smart enough to be trained with both vocal commands and hand signals. I searched the net for ages and then I searched the pounds for a suitable puppy. I needed a puppy because I had cats and birds and I couldn’t trust an older dog in my home, I needed a young one who could happily grow up around these other animals and not eat them.
After a while of searching, I let it go. I’d had enough of looking and other things struck my attention as being more important. Then, one day, I on the way home from my son’s drumming lessons I got this strong urge to call into a particular pet store. I thought I would be buying some bottom feeder fish for my aquarium, but, instead there was a little waggy tailed puppy. My son fell in love and I ummed and ahhed. They said he was a cross between a Labrador and a Golden Retriever. Both very similar breeds, one is short haired and one long. I though, ok, this dog won’t get too big, I don’t want a horse of a dog…Well we took him home and called him Jasper. Jasper grew and grew and grew…pretty soon it was clear he was not a Labrador crossed with a retriever, he was crossed with either a ridge back or a mastiff. He is now 3 yrs old and 40 kg or 88 pounds! Yep, he’s a big boy.
He is everything I asked for in a dog and more. But the point of this Spiritual Comment is not that I got what i asked Mother Earth for, it’s that the animal came to me. It’s that the dog was a true friend waiting for him family. He is a brother to my sons and a child to me. Yet he is a dog.
As I was thinking about all of this during the mundane task of washing up, I began to think back to a time when I was 18, when I was friends with a lady who was into exploring all aspects of spirituality. She was a bit older than me and she owned a spiritual shop. She gave Readings and she had many spiritual experiences along side of me. She understood me. We found a clearing out near a manmade lake, in the outback of Queensland and there we would do very earthy rituals and commune with mother earth. She got into shamanism and we went out there one time to do a shamanistic ritual for beginners. We had to sort of stomp and dance in a circle and chant. We had lit a fire in the middle and we were getting right into it, when suddenly a rush of energy came over me and I heard every voice of every animal that existed on the planet at that time. It was a totally spiritual experience. It was better than any human intimacy I had ever experienced. It was like my mind was filled with the luminosity of gold. My friend got spooked, I don’t know what she experienced, but she broke the connection for me and then I didn’t hear it anymore. But I was left this knowing sense that Humans are the sum of all the creatures on the planet. Our bodies are made up of all the most efficient workings of all the other bodies and our personalities can reflect all the aspects of each and every one of those animals that walk this planet with us. With that knowledge firmly implanted in my mind, I hear the sound of wings above my head and I looked, only to see nothing. It was a spirit bird I could hear. I hear the beating wings maybe three times and then a song. I didn’t know the language at the time, but i knew it was sacred. I have since sung it to a few trusted people, who have told me it sounds very Native American. I don’t know if some of the words are real or not, I don’t know what the words mean…I just know that when I sing this song, I feel so much closer to my soul and so much closer to Mother Earth. I can only write it phonetically so here it is…
OOsha balah hayo
Oosha bala heya a
Oosha bala heyo
Monai o haro haya
Oosha bala heyo
Oosha bala heya a
Oosha bala heyo
Monai o haro heya
I call this song my ‘sacred blessing’ because it came to me in such a way.
I have had many wonderful experiences with animals, both wild and domestic. I think it’s important to recognise that they do represent aspects of ourselves if they come to you, because they are reflecting themselves in you. Just as we mirror ourselves onto other humans. Animals are our teachers as much as we are teachers to each other. I personally never use terms like ‘you filthy animal’ because I don’t think of myself as above animals. I am at the top of my pack as far as my dog, jasper is concerned, but that is because he has a huge mouth and if he thought he was top dog we’d all get bitten and my cats would be his lunch.
This brings me back to Jasper, he is my loyal companion. I realised that I am a loyal friend too. I realised that I stick around for quite a while and I turn the other cheek allot before I choose to walk away from a friend. I still love them though, even if the time together has run it’s course. Just like a loving loyal dog would with a human who chose not to love it back. During the time that I adopted jasper, I had been betrayed by three people and I was healing from that hurt. He reminded me that I was a good person and that I was loving and loyal, even if I had suffered this set back.
Animals come to us for many reasons. They usually come to us to teach us something about ourselves, because we are the sum of all the animals here on the planet and as such, we have the most to learn about who we are. We are the Human Animal. We must take responsibility for that.