Kindness to Animals

” . . . And indeed ye do worse to harm an animal, for man hath a language, he can lodge a complaint, he can cry out and moan; if injured he can have recourse to the authorities and these will protect him from his aggressor. But the hapless beast is mute, able neither to express its hurt nor take its case to the authorities … Therefore it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. Train your children from their earliest days to be infinitely tender and loving to animals. If an animal be sick, let them try to heal it, if it be hungry, let them feed it, if thirsty, let them quench its thirst, if weary, let them see that it rests.” ‘Abdu’l-Baha

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated.” Mahatma Gandhi

Thanks Carolyn!

Spirituality According to Max, A work in progress

“Therefore I say that man must travel in the way of God. Day by day he must endeavor to become better . . .”*

When I drive my car into the garage to park I align my right headlight on Max’s right paw.  That leaves just enough room for me to get out on the right side and my husband’s car to get in on the left side. But  I’m ahead of myself . . .

We live in a small 3 bedroom home – The bedroom I use for my home office  has glass french doors that open to the hall way.

I looked everywhere for a screen to put up blocking the view into the room for when guests stayed.  It had to be 4 panels wide and extra high for privacy.  My father would tackle anything.  So years before we adopted Max, Dad made the screen to my specifications (with the exception of  the frame’s legs not being quite the same height and needing a bit of propping.

The screen’s frame stayed folded up in the garage for many years until I decided to cover it with canvas.  It stayed folded up in the garage for several more  years until I decided to paint Max’s picture on it.

It stayed folded up in the garage for several more years until I lightly penciled in (which you can’t see in the pictures) some corrections to his anatomy, his fluffy facial hair, and planned to create some interest around the outside edge.  There it stayed folded up in the garage.

A few months ago I drive in to find the unfinished screen blocking the view of  garage “stuff”.  My husband had been decorating.  At first, I’m disturbed. Max lost all his fluffy facial & body hair before he passed.  The picture I’d not finished was a reminder of the last painful month of Max’s life.

Now it turns out my husband is a great decorator, who knew.  When I drive in or drive out I can smile at the silly picture I started years ago.

I’ve decided not to “finish” the screen painting – It will remain a work in progress, just like Max, to remind me every time I travel, driving in and driving out, we are all eternal works in progress.

*The full Baha’i quote:

“Therefore I say that man must travel in the way of God. Day by day he must endeavor to become better, his belief must increase and become firmer, his good qualities and his turning to God must be greater, the fire of his love must flame more brightly; then day by day he will make progress, for to stop advancing is the means of going back. The bird when he flies soars ever higher and higher, for as soon as he stops flying he will come down. Every day, in the morning”. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá on the Journey of the Soul

If you missed the chapters I’ve written to date about Max here are the links (they need to be read in order):

Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has No Bounds
 

Every Day is a New Year

DSCN0831As days pass it seems to have gotten harder, not having Max.  I try to hold tight to what he showed me every minute of every day and live my life just as he did:

Breathe it in right now

every day is a new year

 Gratitude and love

Spirituality According to Max, Chapter 7 – LOVE Has No Bounds

“Be not content in showing friendship in words alone.
Let your heart burn with loving-kindness for all who cross your path.”
Baha’u’llah, Baha’i
Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it:
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39 

If you missed previous chapters here are the links (they do need to be read in sequence to understand the thread):

Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has No Bounds

Dad is grinning, despite himself, as Max licks him on any and every part of his body that is accessible. All this is happening ON the couch

My Dad never comfortable with outward displays of loving emotion, even from a dog, starts a wrestling match.  Max is more than up for the challenge.  Jumping on Dad over and over as  Dad pushes him back over and over.  With every jump and every push Max’s eyes grow bigger and bigger . . . a wild look that I can’t describe.  “Dad, Stop it!”  Max  gets wilder and wilder . . . his eyes get bigger and bigger.   “You’re riling him up”.  My sweet little angel looks possessed.  I will only see this look in Max’s eyes as long as my Dad is alive.  They have a primitive bond, a bit unnerving, but a special bond.

Dad finally stops, he’s 92 and no match for Max, “You picked a good one.”

Outwardly I smile. Inwardly I feel triumphant.

My Max loves his new family.  My brother Rick visits. Max’s very first “encounter” with Rick he jumps on the couch smothering Rick’s ear, inside and out, with licks of love.  Rick tries to dodge,  unsuccessfully, Max’s attentions  laughing so hard it brings tears . . . which of course, eggs Max on even more.

Max flagrantly disregards generations of controlled outward displays of affection.  He disregards etiquette and throws pretence away.  He licks my husband, he licks my Dad, he licks my brother, he licks me with unbridled loving passion. I’m sad that Mom, having passed on 4 years prior, didn’t get her share of all this public display of affection.  Max would have licked and loved her too.

Max’s first outing since coming home from the shelter is taking Dad to the grocery market.  Dad never spends much time shopping so this is a perfect opportunity for a short car ride.  Max is more than eager to go. When the car starts he begins squealing, and I do mean squealing, with delight. Non-stop squealing in delight.

I attempt to wait with Max in the car while Dad shops. Max has other ideas.  In self-defense, we take a little spin in the parking lot.  Max in the lead, sniffing, zig-zagging, choking  while I, hang on for dear life.  Abruptly he comes to a dead stop in front of the supermarket clerk who’s  corralling shopping carts.  “What a cute dog, what is he?”, the clerk bends down to pet Max, who without hesitation  exuberantly licks him on his face, his arms, his neck.  The clerk breaks out in delighted laughter.

My world simultaneously crashes and soars.   It not just me, not just my family . . . MAX LOVES EVERYONE.

This is a dog who now has a proper name that reflects his personality – distinct but cute, short but sweet, unique, memorable, independent,  a gourmand not a gourmet  . . .  I add indiscriminate lover to the list.

 

Spirituality According to Max, chapter 5 – Our Little Angel

“The meaning of ‘angels’ is the confirmations of God and His celestial powers. Likewise angels are blessed beings who have severed all ties with this nether world, have been released from the chains of self and the desires of the flesh, and anchored their hearts to the heavenly realms of the Lord. These are of the Kingdom, heavenly; these are of God, spiritual; these are revealers of God’s abounding grace; these are dawning-points of His spiritual bestowals.”

(Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha – Baha’i)

max3

If you missed previous chapters here are the links (which need to be read in order to follow the story line):

Prologue & Epilogue

Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule

Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick

Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven

Chapter 4 – Unleashed

“We are truly blessed” I tell my Husband.  He hasn’t peed in the house once.  He has a great appetite and look how cute he is!”  Our little angel adoringly looks up at me  with big brown eyes. My husband is examining the gouged edge of the cover protecting the couch from doggie hair.  “There are no scraps of material anywhere.  Can you believe he swallowed it?.  Maybe we should take him to the vet?”

I look up at my husband trying to appear not the least bit concerned, ” He’s just a bit anxious. OF COURSE he would chew it up.  If you were the one who was rescued an hour before you were to die only to be imprisoned in a horrible enclosure without any companionship and now find yourself in strange surroundings, you would do the same.”  My husband looks at me like I’m nuts. Homer looks at me lovingly, nudging my hand for more petting.  (It’s obvious that human men just don’t get it).

The bigger more pressing issue is doing something about that name.  HOMER!  It’s stressing me out to think he has a name that simply doesn’t fit his personality.  This is my priority right now, NOT an old throw cover.

“Call him Butchie”, suggests my Dad. “That was the name of my first dog.”  “Dad, that has been the name of every dog you have ever had. We’re not calling him Butchie. Look at that sweet little angelic face.  Butchie is for a bulldog.”  My Dad looks at me like I’m nuts.

This is a dog who deserves a proper name that reflects his personality – distinct but cute, short but sweet, unique but memorable, independent but loving – a doggie name?  a human name?

I get a baby book of names.  I read the dictionary of names.  I poll friends, family, colleagues.  I ask strangers on the street what their dog’s name is.  I call out different names to see what he might respond to.  He tilts his head and looks angelically at me with big brown eyes at every name I try.  He’s so cute.

“Take a look at this,” my husband waves the gouged edges of our bed comforter at me.  “There are no scraps of material anywhere.  Can you believe he’s eaten it?”

Just remember that we are so blessed.  He hasn’t peed in the house once.  He has a great appetite and look how cute he is!”  My little angel proceeds to lick my face, my arms my neck in a display of doggie love.

 (Maybe Dad is right. There has been a lot of fabric “butchered” in his first week home.)

 

Spirituality According to Max – Prologue & Epilogue and a haiku

Max stormed into life!

Then silently passing on

leaf drifting in air

 *     *     *

To all my haiku friends who may not know of Max’s passing

at the bottom are the posts of Max’s story.

*   *   *

Max, Prologue & Epilogue

” . . . it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. “ Bahá’í World Faith—Selected Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 

Max, 1968 – 2012

I mourn the passing from my life of this incredible lively, quirky and wonderful spirit.  Max was a love – stubborn, incredibly stubborn, but a love.

This December 2012,  he would have been 14 years old.  He was about 10 months old when he adopted us 1998. In his last week in both appearance and behaviour he wasn’t “Max”.

Before our eyes Max lost his hair, his pep, energy, stubbornness and his bearings.  He stopped greeting us at the door, giving hundreds of loving licks, he became completely disoriented, standing in space, staring at some unknowable sight, unable to move forward, backward or lie down.  Max’s body was here, his spirit was lost.

We knew without question it was time,  on November 26, 2012,  to release him

I have turned even more to the Baha’i spiritual teachings and prayer to stay as graceful and loving as possible through my tears  and  rely on Max’s loving, quirky spirit to help me keep perspective.

I began writing a series of remembrances days before we euthanized him, unconsciously knowing he had not many days to live here on earth.   I want to share a bit of Max and my journey  together.  If you choose to accompany us on this spiritual path Max & I will be honored.

Here are the links to the chapters I have posted to date.  They are a bit wacky,  just like Max!  Stay tuned for more . . .

Links (they do need to be read in order to follow the story thread):
Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has no Bounds
 

 

 

Spirituality According to Max, Chapter 4 – Unleashed

“Happiness or sorrow – whatever befalls you, walk on untouched, unattached.” Buddha (563 – 483 BC)

Max, 1998 – 2012

If you missed any parts here are the links:

Prologue & Epilogue

Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule

Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick

Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven

The ride home took a needed detour to the pet store.  Dog food – only the best, doggie treats – only the tastiest and a walking halter so as not to hurt his precious neck when in his exuberance he powerfully strains forward on the collar producing rather unsettling choking sounds.  Choking doesn’t seem to bother Homer  in the least (we’ve got to do something about that name) but my uproarious laughter is disappearing in concern that we’ll end up with a dog with brain damage from lack of oxygen due to choking.  I’m no longer worried about the shelter-lady taking him back.  Now I’m worried animal control will jail us for cruelty to animals.

In the pet store, it’s Homer who is now in heaven.  Careening down the aisles, with me in tow, he’s a sniffing snorting, choking blur of dog.  Ah, finally find the halters.  Red, green, black.  I choose blue as it nicely sets off the color of his coat.  Halter size is a bit harder.  The length of his body puts him in the big dog size, his weight and girth put him in medium and his short legs put him in the small dog category. A fitting is required. Bending over to try a halter on for size  he exuberantly licks my face, my neck, my arms, setting me off, once again, into laughing ecstasy.  When the halter comes anywhere near his head he ducks and lurches away surprising me with his determination not to put on anything that isn’t his idea.

“Here’s the plan,” I tell my husband, “I’ll get down on the floor and restrain him while you slip the halter on”.  What sounds like a totally sensible plan turns into a wrestling match with all three of us on the floor.  Bursting into even more laughter, signals Homer we’re here to play.  And now that we’re at his level it’s even more fun for him as he jumps on both of us, over and over and over. and over and over and . . .  it’s a battle to the finish, everyone trying to establish alpha status, on the floor, arms, legs and paws flailing wildly in the middle of the leash and halter aisle.

Homer wins. With our tails between our legs my husband pays for all of Homer’s loot (minus a halter) while I, hanging on for dear life,  zig-zagging, sniffing and choking go back to the car.  Round #2 of the fight for alpha status begins again, as we cram all squirming, lurching and licking 29 pounds of dog into the back seat.

My husband now joins my Dad, “Why did you pick this dog?”.  I throw him a darted look while trying to control Homer from jumping from the back seat into the front to lick me. This dog really loves me.

Stay tuned . . .for More of Max’s Most Marvelous Adventure

Links to all the current chapters (they do need to be read in order to follow the story thread):
Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has no Bounds
 

Spirituality According to Max, Chapter 3 – Heavenly Chewsing

“Jesus said: If your leaders say to you “Look! The Kingdom is in the sky!” Then the birds will be there before you are. If they say that the Kingdom is in the sea, then the fish will be there before you are. Rather, the Kingdom is within you and it is outside of you.” The Gospel of Thomas

Prologue & Epilogue

Chapter 1 – Instinct Rules

Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick

 Next time back I bring my Dad, a dog lover to the max. We are not allowed to take Homer into the play enclosure.  Does this mean another family is getting him?  A family with more money, more education, a better zip code?

More barks and humps. Dad’s not the least bit impressed.

I ask the shelter lady, trying to sound very nonchalant (so she can’t detect any desperation),  if they’ve made a decision about my adopting Homer.

“We’ll CALL to let you know if you’ve been chosen, MIZ Westerfield”.  She’s annoyed.  “Thank you”, I feebly respond,  steeling myself against the pain of ultimate rejection,  “WHY are you picking this dog?” Dad asks, clearly puzzled by my choice.

Ten (do you hear 10!) full days after falling in love I get the call, Homer is mine. I yank my husband into the car and tear down to the shelter before they change their minds.

Homer is, as always, DELIGHTED to see me, licking my hands, my arms, my neck, my face as I bend down to leash him.  I’m half-listening to the shelter lady, “Homer’s very friendly but not quite disciplined on walks.” Homer and I are already half way out the door, neither of us taking any chances that the shelter lady changes her mind. AAAAAAAAAnd Homer’s in the lead,  zig-zagging all over the place at full throttle.  Drowning in delight, I laugh louder and louder  which signals Homer to run faster and faster.

My husband finds us careening all over the front parking lot, both of us with tongues hanging out.

“I asked the shelter volunteer if there was anything else to know about him that would be helpful”, my husband says, as we cram all squirming, lurching and licking 29 pounds of dog into the back seat. “She really hesitated when I asked and said they put a wicker chair in his enclosure to see how he’d respond – he chewed it up”

“OF COURSE he would chew it up, rescued an hour before he was to die only to be imprisoned in that horrible enclosure without any companionship!  I would do the same.”, I snap, while trying to control Homer from jumping from the back seat to the front to lick me. This dog really loves me. I AM IN HEAVEN.

Links to all the current chapters (they do need to be read in order to follow the story thread):
Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has no Bounds
 

 

A Love Letter to M.M.

“Do not exalt yourselves above others, but consider all as your equals, recognizing them as the servants of one God.”  Abdu’l-Baha,  Bahai quotes        

 Years ago you named me “judyJudith” bridging in one word the essence of my being – the serious and the silly, the public and the private, the secular and the spiritual.  I intuitively embraced the name you gave me as part of my cyber-space identity, half tongue in cheek, and half knowing you had identified the truth.

Yesterday morning, before my husband and I put Max to rest, there you are in my office and there you are, again, helping bring clarity to who I am and what I do.

It’s no one’s business what specific issues we were addressing.  But I found myself saying . . .amidst ALL the things I say (for the few billions of you who have never been a client of mine, I “tend” to talk a lot and give my opinion a lot – violating all the therapist training I’ve had – another story) . . . amidst all the things I said was what I needed to hear undoubtedly more than you.

We talked about a dream. – where a once beautiful and symbolic piece of jewelry broke into pieces and trying, trying, trying  to glue them back together and all attempts failed . . . in the dream.
I vaguely and clearly remember (yesterday was a vague haze of total clarity) saying to you that for all of us, when we stop struggling to put back together what once was we can submit to what is.  This the now moment where we can detach from the fantasy, the futile dream of what “SHOULD be, COULD be.  This  is the moment where detachment opens us up freeing our mind, freeing our spirit.  This is the moment, embracing the truth of what is and experiencing the pain of grief, we move on.  This is the fleeting moment we can embrace God.
In that very moment I hear my  truth –  Max’s little body was broken and his spirit needed to be set free.
A LONG time ago another client gave me a moment of truth. I no longer remember details of the session.  I DO remember thinking I was brilliant, on the mark with lazer like focus on exactly what that client needed to hear.
The following week she came in with a huge smile announcing that our last session together was a turning point for her and what I said had stayed with her all week.  Beaming inwardly  (I was trained that a “professional” therapist never outwardly shares their own feelings, experiences or reactions – keep a blank slate at all times), I reply, “Yes, tell me about it” (that’s another thing I learned in training).
My brain turning to a pile of ego-less mush as she recounted something I didn’t remember saying, some throw away words that were insignificant to what I thought was important.
My wonderful M.M., whatever it is that puts the smile on your face are your jewels.  I have no idea what those look like.  I only know that they are yours and yours alone, I’ve not given them to you.
I also know yesterday you gave me a priceless gem.  Thank you.
with eternal love,
judyJudith
P.S. I’m still charging for the session.  Max would want that . . .
 

Spirituality According to Max, Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick.

“Love is the one means that ensureth true felicity both in this world and the next.”

`Abdu’l-Bahá (Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre, 1982), p. 27.

Max, 1989 -2012

Missed the beginning?  Click here:

Prologue & Epilogue

Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule

I haven’t a clue why I decided he was mine.   I just remember turning around, pointing to his enclosure –  “I want that one.”

“You sure?”  My husband’s a bit stunned.

(Small decisions, like what color to paint the wall, incubate in my mind for a long time.  Whereas, buying my first new car, purchasing a house, picking a dog  – these kind of decisions are generally impetuous, emotional  with no basis in logic or fact.)  

“Yes, That one.”  There was no turning back.

The shelter was closing.  If I wanted to adopt I had to return and take him into the play yard to see IF HE LIKED ME  . . . or not.   IF he responded positively THEN  I could then fill out an application to adopt which they would THEN review.

Now I’m getting nervousWhat if he doesn’t like me? What if the shelter volunteers don’t think I am a fit dog owner?  What if someone better comes along and gets him?

The next day he and I have our first face to face.  Literally.  To enter the  large fenced in play yard there’s a very high steep step.  He has very short legs.  I’m told to lift him up the step.  Eyeball to eyeball , he licks  my face and I laugh in delight.  The more I laugh the more he licks.  This dog LOVES me!

In the play yard it’s a variation of “the pillow or me” –  He runs to the fence, barking at something unseen (at least to me)  that needs to be barked at,  runs back to me, licks whatever part of my body he can reach before dashing back to the fence for more barking.  Back and forth, back and forth, he’s as possessed with barking at the fence as he was humping the pillow. I can’t stop laughing and he can’t stop running back and forth, barking and licking, licking and barking.  I was in love.

Apparently the shelter volunteer decided I passed the “likeably test”.  I was allowed to fill out an application to adopt. Now I’m nervous again. Answering questions like:

  • Do I allow pets to sleep with me?” – if I answer “No” they’ll think I’m not a cuddly person.  “Yes”, I don’t care about hygiene.
  • Are there other pets in the household?  No – he’ll be lonely.  Yes – he won’t  get as much attention as he needs.
  • How many hours a day am I at home?  If I’m always at home I’m not interesting enough person to merit adopting such a wonderful dog –  If I work, he’ll be neglected.   If I don’t work I have no means to support him . . . . .

Suddenly truth doesn’t matter. What matters is figuring out what they are looking for so they won’t give MY dog to someone else. Takes me forever to answer the application.  Finally I go with the truth.  I don’t like myself if I lie.  But the truth is I am more  fearful they’ll make home visits, find I lied and take him away.  My mind was crazed with love.

My heart sinks when they announce my application will be REVIEWED. (This is no “APPLICATION”.  This is a life review for top-level security clearance)    He’s scheduled for neutering at the end of the week.  Nothing will  be decided until then.

Would you tell me a bit about him?”  I ask hesitatingly not wanting them to think I’m nosey.

  • About 10 months old.
  • Picked up by Animal Control roaming the streets in a far away city.
  • No identification.
  • Put in a kill-shelter.
  • Rescued the day before he was to be euthanized.
  • Shelter volunteers  named  him Homer.

HOMER! ! !  Trying to keep a blank expression on my face so as not to upset the shelter volunteer,  my mind races.  (I can’t call him HOMER!  He doesn’t look like a Homer, act like a Homer.  Homer is a loser name.  No Homer I’m aware of has ever made it big, except Homer of the Illiad and the Oddysey – ay yi yi – painful flashbacks to struggling with the classics in college.  Homer isn’t quirky, lively and no respectable Homer would EVER hump a pillow.)

Little did I know then how classic  “Homer” really was.

Coming! Homer and the Wicker chair – the plot thickens

Links to all the current chapters (they do need to be read in order to follow the story thread):
Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has no Bounds
 
 

Spirituality According to Max, Chapter 1, Our First Meeting – Instinct Rules

“Whatever its [animal]  impulses and proclivities may be it has the liberty to gratify them; yet it is a captive of nature. It cannot deviate in the least degree from the road nature has established.”

Here is the link to the beginning:

Prologue & Epilogue

Instincts Rule

Looking to adopt a small dog, my husband and I went to every kill-shelter in and out of our area. Most dogs were large or super-sized (except those who barked incessantly, growled or snapped as I approached).

Giving in we went to a no-kill shelter.

He’s alone in his own large caged enclosure near the shelter’s entrance. Hard not to notice his unmatched pairs  – stubby short front legs, normal-sized back legs; raked down from back to front.

        Quirky little fellow, I think, bending down to get a better look. He has exactly the same idea running to the front bars to get a look at me. And then quickly running to the back of his pen where there’s a wicker chair and a pillow. I have a fleeting question of why he has a wicker chair in his enclosure. (Remember this wicker chair, the plot will unfold)  The pillow is more obvious as he vigorously humps it before running back to me. Back and forth, back and forth he goes, torn between the curiosity of who I am and the self-sacrificing pillow.

Finding this a bit amusing, a bit unsettling and not a compliment to be on a par with the pillow I move on to look at the other dogs.

Overwhelmed by all the furry creatures with the imploring eyes I have to leave. And on the way out there he is again running back and forth between mere possibility and immediate pleasure.

“The pathway of nature is the pathway of the animal realm. The animal acts in accordance with the requirements of nature,  follows its own instincts and desires. Whatever its impulses and proclivities may be it has the liberty to gratify them; yet it is a captive of nature. It cannot deviate in the least degree from the road nature has established.  It is utterly minus spiritual susceptibilities, ignorant of divine religion and without knowledge of the kingdom of God. The animal possesses no power of ideation or conscious intelligence; it is a captive of the senses and deprived of that which lies beyond them. It is subject to what the eye sees, the ear hears, the nostrils sense, the taste detects and touch reveals.”

MAN AND NATURE  Bahá’í World Faith—Selected Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 

Stay tuned for solving the puzzle of the wicker chair . . .

Links to all the current chapters:
Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has no Bounds
 

 

Max, Prologue & Epilogue

” . . . it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. 

Max, 1968 – 2012

I mourn the passing from my life of this incredible lively, quirky and wonderful spirit.  Max was a love – stubborn, incredibly stubborn, but a love.

December 2012,  he would have been 14 years old.  He was about 10 months old when he adopted us 1998. In his last week in both appearance and behaviour he wasn’t “Max”.

Before our eyes Max lost his hair, his pep, energy, stubbornness and his bearings.  He stopped greeting us at the door, giving hundreds of loving licks, he became completely disoriented, standing in space, starring at some unknowable sight, unable to move forward, backward or lie down.  Max’s body was here, his spirit was lost.  

We knew without question it was time,  on November 26, 2012,  to release him

I have turned even more to the Baha’i spiritual teachings and prayer to stay as graceful and loving as possible through my tears  and  rely on Max’s spirit to help me keep perspective.

I began writing this series of remembrances days before we euthanized him, unconsciously knowing he had not many days to live here on earth.   I want to share a bit of Max and my journey  together.  If you choose to accompany us on this spiritual path Max & I will be honored.

MAN’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANIMALS

 

“It is not only their fellow human beings that the beloved of God must treat with mercy and compassion, rather must they show forth the utmost loving-kindness to every living creature. For in all physical respects, and where the animal spirit is concerned, the selfsame feelings are shared by animal and man The feelings are one and the same, whether ye inflict pain on man or on beast. There is no difference here whatever. And indeed ye do worse to harm an animal, for man hath a language, he can lodge a complaint, he can cry out and moan; if injured he can have recourse to the authorities and these will protect him from his aggressor. But the hapless beast is mute, able neither to express its hurt nor take its case to the authorities … Therefore it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. Train your children from their earliest days to be infinitely tender and loving to animals. If an animal be sick, let them try to heal it, if it be hungry, let them feed it, if thirsty, let them quench its thirst, if weary, let them see that it rests.” 

Bahá’í World Faith—Selected Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 

Next, Chapter 1 – 

How Max picked me for adoption

 

Cough it up

Dear All my best friends,

My Human is too tired to write a post tonight.  She stayed up with me all last night because I have a terrible cough.  She tried to sleep next to me on the floor but ended on the couch.  I sleep on the floor all the time so I don’t know what the big deal is with you humans needing all these cushy beds.

Me, sleeping on the floor

Me, sleeping on the floor

I only sleep on the bed so my Humans don’t think that I’m snobby and reject their lifestyle.  Humans are very sensitive.

Now I have to swallow these horse-pills before I get to eat.  I wonder if they give horses dog-pills?

Lickingly yours,

LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

Max