I feel there is a sense of calm amidst the strange, but necessary event that we are all faced with. A sense of peacefulness, stillness, and silence surrounds us all, if we just stop to breathe. It’s like humankind is experiencing a re-birth, and we’re in the few short moments just before the arrival of a new beginning.
It’s like the universe exclaimed “enough!” And, because we couldn’t do it on our own, she hit the reset button for us.
And, if we turn to the planet and look at the natural landscape that we know of as Earth, we can feel its immense beauty, magnified like never before.
The skies are full of birds. Their sounds echo between our houses every morning. The clouds no longer look subdued, and the sun’s rays penetrate our windows with rays that leave a fog-like look on the tips of all my house plants, which are lined up right under a long window sill.
At Doglando, the energy is astoundingly clear. The dogs are so much more active in a different kind of way. Rocket played fetch for 20 minutes today. Roux went for a swim in the pool on her own. Ella insisted we play frisbee. Their energy seems to be unobstructed. It’s a different kind of freedom we’re bearing witness to.
With an unusual sight of the many residents who live in the apartment complexes that surround our property, our dogs have “ignored” their presence, continuing to engage with each other; without any re-direction or facilitation.
Our team has described the energy on and surrounding our campus as “calmer and at ease.”
In my conversation with Amber this week, I asked her, “What concerns you or our team?”
To which she responded, “I think the only thing our team is concerned about is potential lockdown.“
So I asked her, “What is so concerning about a potential lockdown?“
And she said, “Well, just the uncertainty of how long it would be.”
I responded with: “What does it matter how long? I’m still not sure I understand the true concern. If we practice being in the moment, like we do during all other times at Doglando, then why would it be any different now? What does it matter how long, if we don’t consume
ourselves with that? How different could this experience be for you? Haven’t there been many times when we didn’t know what would happen, or how things would change? And, by staying present in the moment the answers came to us, and we didn’t really have to worry about those things we thought we needed to worry about?”
I don’t believe there is anything we aren’t prepared to handle, no matter how new or different the event is, the experience we bring to it is the only thing we should concern ourselves with. So, what is the experience you want to bring to this event or occasion for yourself?
She said, “Ummmm, the experience I would like to bring [long pause for silence and deep introspection] …I would like to bring a sense of peace. It’s bringing a lot of people inwards. It’s bringing families together. And, regardless of how long it lasts – and yes, right now there is a lot of panic. The roads are empty, there isn’t the sense of rush. I don’t feel like I am being rushed by anyone or anything. Does that make sense?”
“Heck ya it does!” I said.
I shared my answer with her: “Related to you and the team, the experience I would like to bring to this event is assurance that I know how to keep everyone at Doglando and The Dirty Dog safe. I am equipped to handle every situation, and while I don’t know the ”how“ right now, I know, I will know when I need to know it.”
After I shared my response to Amber, she said: “Speaking about it this way makes me feel like there is nothing really to panic about, but to just ride with it until it ends.”
Taking this conversation to Rachael, she had an entirely different perspective.
When I asked her if there was anything about this situation that concerned her, she said, “It is what it is. If something happens, then something happens. The experience I want to bring to this event is closeness with other people. Our members aren’t rushed, they don’t have anywhere to go when they drop off their dogs, and I’ve been able to bring closeness to them. There is a sense of quiet… and it’s comforting. The sense of quiet allows me to think better, and I am able to be more aware. I am able to be there for our members in a different way. When things are rushed, it’s hard to read people… and now it’s like we’re making time for each other – holding a space for connection and conversation. Closeness.”
Well geez, how is all of this so terrible?!!! It’s like this event has gifted us with the opportunity to be humans and not act like robots.
There is something quite magical about this event. It’s one event that has affected every human on every continent at the same time. And, its effects on us are fundamentally the same… no differences (only the circumstances are different).
There is a sense of oneness our planet is experiencing… it’s a gift from which we can extract the true nature of being human: having compassion, sharing love, and becoming one.
Of course, there’s a polarity to this too… and that is suffering. There are many people and communities around the world, especially in developing countries who are affected in massive ways. Might there be an occurrence of unity waiting to happen between all people, everywhere… despite location, class, wealth, language, age, race, status, or any other form of division?
And, for the world much larger than us, might there be a time for renewal, revitalization, and re-birth of all that has been hurt, broken, and endangered?
Should we be given another chance, what would it look like? What would you do differently?
Because, this may be just that… another chance.
Teena Patel is a Certified Dog Trainer and Behavioral Counselor who works with pet owners and owners of doggy daycares to bring her philosophy of Enrichment to the canine population. After almost two decades of successful dog training under her belt, Teena has done away with the standard doggy daycare “warehousing” of animals in kennels and runs. In place of an industrial model, she focuses on what is right for the dogs as living beings, providing experiences that improve and enhance their behavioral health. Coupled with a program of careful training, the Doglando experience results in companion dogs who are better-behaved, better integrated into their families, and above all, much happier. True to her passion, Teena Patel gives dogs the freedom “to be dogs”.