rescued dog

Would you answer the call?

It is said that when a person makes plans, God laughs. Last week, my week was planned. I knew what I would be doing and when. Over the years, I have become more flexible with my schedule, but I still have a schedule. Tuesday morning shifted my schedule. Most mornings my adopted dog Güera and I meet up with a neighbor and her dogs to walk. Tuesday was no different, until the dogs stopped by a field. When we came to the field, we found a severely dehydrated and malnourished dog.

Day One

We could have left. We both had work. We both had plans. We both had busy days. None of that seemed important anymore. A meditation teacher from Myanmar once said, “When the sunshine of loving-kindness meets the tears of suffering the rainbow of compassion appears.” The rainbow of compassion took hold of us, and we could not help but assist this dog. A mutual friend was called and arrived with water. Cautiously approaching the dog, for we did not know if it was vitious or diseased, we gave it two liters of water which it greedily ate up. The dog could not stand. It stretched with its neck to get to the water. Food was also brought but untouched. Later that day I returned with water which again was met with approval. The dog was about two feet from where it had been, but again showed no signs of being able to stand up or move freely.

Day Two

I had plans the next day, which were rearranged again to bring food and water to the little girl. Day two she was up a bit on her front paws, and she greedily ate everything we brought to her. Two meals were consumed within minutes. We were glad that she was looking a bit better, but she was obviously dragging her hind legs. We didn’t know if she was in an accident. We didn’t dare touch her, because we had no idea if she would bite us to protect herself.

Day Three

Day three, after again adjusting my plans, I fed her in the morning then returned in the afternoon with a different friend. We were thrilled to see that she was now using three of her legs. Having planned to bring her to a veterinarian that day for examination, when the time came, we did not have the courage. If her one leg was injured, it was quite possible that she might defend herself if there was pain when we picked her up. The trip to the vet did not happen, but I did get close enough to her to pet her. She accepted it calmly. Her eyes and demeanor clearly showed that she was not a threat.

Day Four

Friday, day four, after again shifting my schedule to accommodate this injured dog’s needs, I was accompanied by a dog trainer and some lovely people who often rescue dogs. We were all surprised to see Boxie, who had been named day two because she looked part boxer, was up on all four legs. Compared to how she had looked only a few days before this seemed a miracle. The current helpers were skillfully able to transport the dog to a very accommodating and supportive veterinarian who checked Boxie out. She did not have any major diseases and was just suffering from malnutrition and the normal bugs one would expect to find on a dog that was left in the wild. That evening Boxie came home with me because she had nowhere else to go. She is now recuperating at a shelter, as my own adopted dog was not adjusting well to our houseguest.

Besides a plug below requesting your help to find a home for this sweet girl, I also wanted to share some of the lessons this experience gave me.

The Pause: In my old Type A ways, had I rushed to get Boxie to a veterinarian the first day they may have put her down because of her condition, I would not have found the right people to help me move her, and I would not have found the shelter who took her in. Although it took conscious effort to not rush into things, every time I allowed myself to pause, the next right step appeared.

The Ego: I felt so much guilt the night after I brought Boxie to the shelter. It was not because she was not being cared for, but because I should have done it. I should have rescued her and taken her in. I was a bad person. All the guilt and remorse I felt was my ego taking on a role. I knew in my heart, not keeping her was the right thing for Boxie, my dog Güera, and our family. When I took away my expectations and judgments, I found serenity in my actions.

Purpose: My life had become pretty routine lately, and I felt trapped and unsatisfied in that routine. When faced with an opportunity to do something new and to help someone else, it gave my life purpose. When I could put aside my schedule, the flexibility gave me the ability to connect with others, help save a life, and bring together a community of support. #TeamBoxie

As you go about your week, keep your eye out for opportunities to help others, act as guided when you receive intuition, remove egoistic expectations and judgments, and rediscover your deeper purpose for living.

If you are interested in helping Boxie find her forever home, please contact me or Rescate Perruno. Rescue dogs are routinely sent from Los Cabos, Mexico to the USA and Canada. We’d love to show you how easy it would be to have this darling become part of your family.

Helping Others to Help Myself

One of the gifts of coaching others is that it forces me to be on my best behavior. If I am spiraling around in anger or self-pity, how can I expect others to act in any better? How can I teach others how to get there if I am not walking the talk? Focusing on helping others, forces me to be my very best and not just on a surface level.

Photo by J W on UnsplashEver hear the saying, “Do as I say not as I do”? It is unfortunately easy to point to clergy, politicians, and gurus of every sort who say one thing, and do another. It is easy to tell others what to do. We all can share a plethora of platitudes and can point to all the things we should be doing. But to speak the best way to live and to actually live that way are two different things. Throughout my life I have met individuals and studied seemingly elevated public figures whose daily interactions did not live up to the words they shared. We are human so living true to our words can be hard.

Walking the talk takes courageous vulnerability. I remember a troubled friend of mine who constantly complained about the government and what it was doing wrong. He was certain he could fix the political system and would share with anyone listening his views on what should be done.  Yet, his own life was a mess. When I confronted him on this, his sheepish response was that it is easier to fix the government than his own family. The government was “easy” for him to fix because it was external to him. He didn’t have to address himself to fix the way government was run because he was not part of it. To fix his own life, however, meant that he needed to be vulnerable. He needed to take a deep and courageous look at his own self to fix his thinking and relationships. For many of us, this is too hard.

That is why I am blessed to coach. If I am to truly help others, I need to not only know the path but to walk it to the best of my ability. Being a role model gives me the strength to embrace my ideal life. I am far from perfect, but in taking on the role of mentor, I do my best every day to do my best every day. Sometimes I don’t have enough strength to make a change myself, but when I know others are watching or that my actions can influence the growth of someone else, I can find courage to move forward. One of my current challenges is to finally and completely give up caffeine as it is a destructive food for me. If left to my own devices, it is easy to give in to temptation. Besides, who cares? I am just hurting my own body, not anyone else. But when I think of my friends who are also trying to abstain, I know that if I give in, it could make them lose hope. I want to be a beacon for them. And in focusing on doing it for more than just myself, I find that I have more resolve to make things happen.

For those of you raising children, you also have the opportunity to be a role model for those you love. For the rest of you, look to all those you interact with, employees, coworkers, friends, acquaintances, can you embrace the role of mentor to help them see a new way to live? What are ways you believe we should be living, and are you walking the talk? Can you release your bad habits to be a beacon to others?