A person has this idea in their head, usually something some expert or person of import has told them or it is just the way it’s always been and then they find out they just had no clue.
Well, OK, that could be the story of my life so I’ll narrow the parameters a bit. It was the very first time I realized I had woefully underestimated the life of a dog. A person gets little clues here and there, a peek at what lies beneath but it takes a while to get the whole picture.
It was almost a year after I had bred a litter and suddenly mama became very despondent, depressed even. So I took her to the vet and we did some tests, everything looked great but she still moped around the house, not interested in much. We just couldn’t find an answer. I went through the usual listing of self- diagnosing questions such as did we change floor cleaners, is her daughter not feeling well (her daughter was living with her), is she getting too much or not enough play time, is the new paint bothering her? After two weeks we still could not put our finger on what was upsetting her. In desperation, I called a animal communicator, as I was not trusting I was getting the information I should be because what mama was telling me seemed ‘far-fetched’ for lack of a better term. But the communicator came up with the same as I.
The ‘abridged’ version was that mama’s baby boy, who was now a year old and living in Canada, apparently wasn’t talking to her as often as he had been and she was missing him. I had to explain to her that babies grow up and don’t have as many questions as when they are babies leaving for a new place, don’t need the guidance they do when they are young. So, just like when she left her mom, her son was simply growing up. I told her his new life was so filled with love, he could let go of her a little bit, he was feeling safe and complete in his new home. She perked right up after that and went back to being her energetic, fun loving self.
But I was a surprised. For whatever reason, I never thought of how long the bond between mother and pup would last. When they are babies and nursing and dependant on mom well, yes, I would have had to have been an idiot not to see the bond. But I never thought of it in terms of their entire lives. Their lives, I thought, are just like ours. They stay connected, they talk to each other and check in then and again. It was something I had never thought of, that completeness of family. We see the grief when a housemate or a guardian transitions but then they are together, sharing a life as one experience. To be upset because a son is not ‘calling’ his mother is tradition in human society, but it hadn’t occurred to me that my DOG would have this same issue. We can expand the thought that if it happens in our emotional lives and dogs’ emotional lives, then it can and probably does happen in all life, at least in some degree.
It makes me wonder what else I didn’t see, which is why I spend a lot of time observing and sometimes ‘zoning out’ when people are talking to me. (I really have to work at that ‘being present’ more…) It helps me keep my eyes open to not what someone has told me is possible, but to what is. To know that every life is multi-faceted when it comes to emotions, family and other things we have yet to discover.
We think we have a grasp on how things work in the world, but every once in a while we witness some event and stand around scratching our heads in wonder.
What else have we missed?