In the second rescue story, Kathy Powelson shares the love and lessons she has learned from her two Australian shepherds, Jazzy and Blue.
I feel like I have spent my entire life searching. Searching for what, I do not know. If I knew, I may have an idea of where to look. If I knew, there might be some goal, some direction for which I knew the path to follow. But when you are lost, the paths are not visible. Not even visible enough to see any road blocks or detours. They simply, are not there.
My search fills my dreams. Dreams of hopeless and endless efforts to complete a task, to reach someone close to me, to try to explain my feelings.
My body often feels like it’s weighed down, as if I were immersed in lead and I am unable to reach a door, pick up a telephone in time. My mind is clouded in water, challenging me to articulate the feelings I so intently need to express. In these dreams, those I love the most mock me, they are impatient and sometimes callous to the torment I feel. There is no reprieve and I awake daunted and alone.
My existence feels like a continuous negotiation of trying to make sense of all the pain and suffering humans are responsible for and understanding my place amongst it all. My emotions so often exposed, there is no suit of armour that can protect me. My skin is but an illusion, it does not keep away the cries and sorrow. But rather, they become absorbed into my being, transcending the burden to become a part of me and leaving me feeling vulnerable and exposed.
I have often been told I am too intense, but how can I be anything else when it feels like the weight of the world has been placed on my shoulders? How can I be light hearted, when I ache for those that suffer? How can I relax, when I know that at this very moment, someone or something is in unimaginable pain? And most importantly, how do I even begin to make a difference? Thus, the search continues and I do my best to find moments of peace and serenity.
I have found peace in the companionship of dogs, for they see all that is good in you and they return your love with an unwavering loyalty. If you want to know what kind of person you are, raise a dog. They look to you for direction, for love, for guidance and they will mirror your energy and state of mind. Dogs have a direct line into our souls. For they do not care what we look like, what we do for a living or how much money we make. They are attracted to (or repelled by) the very essence of our being, the core of our nature. W
While it is true, some dogs have unexplained fears, such as people wearing hats or men with beards, these idiosyncrasies should not detract from the fact that dogs are better judges of character than we. And because of this, I know that I am a good person for I had the privilege of sharing two years of my life with Jazzy and Blue.
In those two years, my two crazy Australian Shepherds taught me more about myself than years of therapy ever would have accomplished. They forced me to be present in every moment I spent with them. They challenged and loved me, they reminded me when I was too stressed, they rewarded me when I was calm and they let me know each and every day that I was necessary, I had a purpose in this world. They forced me off the couch when I was feeling sorry for myself.
Most importantly, Jazzy and Blue taught me that sometimes loving meant letting go and that doing the right thing doesn’t always feel good and can be painful. They taught me that some bonds cannot be broken, no matter the time or the distance. And although they no longer live with me, they visit me in my dreams and those are the dreams I look forward to.
If we would learn from dogs, the world would be a much better place. If we were to trust and protect each other like Blue and Jazzy trusted trusted in and protected me, no one would ever feel alone and would always feel safe. If we were as loyal to one another like Blue and Jazzy were to me, no one would every be betrayed.
And finally, if we sniffed each others butts to greet one another, then we’d never have to worry about doing our hair!