let the dog decide

We’ve been pondering getting a dog and I was asking the Partner about dog baths.  For some reason or maybe because it seems to me like another Thing To Do That Might Have Disastrous Results. The horse next door, for example, routinely grabs the hose from me and sprays me down thoroughly when I’m trying to fill up their (leaky) water tub.  You see the potential here, don’t you? Anyway.  He said, in his usual judicious way, that it was “best to let the dog decide which they prefer”, in terms of indoor or outdoor sudsing, and that further, they seem to generally prefer a gentle shower such as one might find in a hand held apparatus in a well-appointed bathroom.  My goodness.  I think I WAS a dog in my last life after all.

I thought about allowing such a level of communication to develop in ANY setting, and about how, really, all of us benefit from being given a little space in which to decide which way our actual needs would best be met.  Trial and error is the general mode of the day for humans, however,  and probably what keeps people from thinking all this through on a more regular basis- it’s too scary, we think.  Too time consuming.

In the meantime, while balancing the calm rationality of administering potential dog baths with the raging chaos in my little brain, I had occasion to observe that as usual, it wasn’t only me going off the deep end.  Admittedly, the Hospital Experience from Hell has left a mark on my equanimity and it has taken me what seems like a very long time (a month!) to move through the resultant post traumatic stress- which only gets worse the more I find out about what actually happened, but that’s another episode.  Anyway, I had finally pulled myself together enough to cook and when I turned around to face the TV with a pan of chocolate chip bars in my paws, what did I see but what verged on an outright riot on a soccer field in Mexico.  Guadalajara vs Atlas.  The melee appeared to be set off by an astounding Guadalajara goal and the Atlas fans losing their tiny minds and attempting to rush onto the field.  The Atlas team itself was standing on the pitch, very still, and blenching, and the Policia were immediately present, bagging and tagging.  This is Guadalajara, Mexico, people, and that is not a place anyone wants to just get arrested.  So I had to wonder why all these young men were tempting grisly fate over something like the inadequacy of their team.  The rage boiling up in both the deranged fans and the combat fatigue garbed police was palpable and frightening.  It was transfixing and horrifying.  Was the match fixed? Was it just the last straw in corrupted soccer play? Was everyone on bad drugs? Why didn’t they seem to care at all about what happened to them? Then we went on to the biker brawl in Waco, Texas (and just what is it about THAT place?), and ISIS, and….and…….it seemed as though the entire planet shared my lack of inner peace.

It always helps to put things in a broader perspective as often as one is able.  In truth, there really isn’t an absolute concrete reality and there are always a lot of ways to look at things. (Except, say, methamphetamines, Arctic drilling, Monsanto, child labor, water pollution….) If, as it seems, we’re a planet at the boiling point and it isn’t only flying in planes, driving on bridges and attending soccer matches that place us in mortal peril, then each of us has to acknowledge that and sit with it in order to, well, let our inner dog decide.  We live in a world where I think it isn’t too much to say that Evil is ascendant.  The push of the political is toward the crushing of joy and true human feeling and this manifests throughout society, everywhere.  We’re constantly presented with things we know on a deep level are untrue (how do you feel upon hearing the words “there’s no danger to public health”, or “people don’t have a right to clean drinking water”?).  But those things are also presented as being factual reality, to which we have to conform.

Non-violence takes a long time.  It’s hard to resist the impulse to call someone an idiot or think about decking them.  But it’s also hard to avoid the awareness that in the end this accomplishes precisely nothing.  This uncomfortable place is where we all get to begin again, and as a tribal elder up here said, it is always about peace and equity, this process we must engage in vis-a-vis ourselves and the world.  Sometimes those things seem a long way off, as a proper bath may sometimes seem to be for a dog.  The quest for peace in one’s own heart may be the hardest thing any of us ever does, is what I’m finding these days.  But every once in a while the right shower head comes along.  We live in hope.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by wanda Brenni on May 29, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    i definitely like the idea of a dog although I have to admit that nothing is harder than giving my dog a bath. Somehow over 11 years, she still doesn’t realize how much she likes them until it is over and I’m inundated


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