Monday, November 16, 2009

Animism


Lucky, our Beagle, is 13 years old. I love dogs and fortunately, I’ve had dogs around me my whole life. What I find most difficult with having a pet is the fact that they don’t live as long as we humans do. Like any other family member when our pets die we mourn them and always remember them fondly. I’ve heard countless stories of dogs and cats, and how they changed people’s lives.

Recently we found a Golden Retriever that was abandoned in the area. It’s a common occurrence. We live out in the country not too far from a suburban area. It seems that when people get tired with their pets they come around our region to discard of them. I remember hearing about the practice when I was a child. My father used to say that when people didn’t want their pets anymore they used to leave them on the side of the 116 near St-Bruno, Carignan and Chambly. There are still woodsy spaces around the river where deer, caribou, fox, raccoon etc… live. I guess some people believe that cats and dogs can return to the wild. Unfortunately that is rarely the case.

Luckily we were able to find a home for the Golden Retriever. In the last few years we were able to place a few cats and dogs in happy, loving homes. Still some had to be return to the local animal shelter and we’re not certain what happened to them. Regrettably quite a few strays end up being put down. We’ve often wondered what makes people get rid of animals so uncaringly? Sunny, the Golden Retriever, who is now living out his terrible two’s with a big family not too far from us didn’t show any kind of behavioral problems. He is a happy-go-lucky dog with lots of potential. There’s no doubt that dogs demand lots of time and energy. So do children, partners, and family living. I guess that’s what people often don’t consider when they go out to buy a pet.

Just last weekend, G and I went to Safari, a local pet store, and roamed the grounds. They sell cats, dogs, reptiles, hamsters etc… in this place. So many kids were begging their parents for dogs. The words: “They are so cute!” were often heard in the crowd. E, my husband, said after we came home with descriptions of puppies that what he finds really awful is that people buy out of emotional attachment rather than out of practical or realistic understanding that “this is a relationship that they are committing to.” Honestly, I find that lots of people get involved with men and women because they crave for emotional attachment and there too, relationships fail simply because people have forgotten how much work it takes to make “relations” functional and successful. Still, you can’t abandon a spouse in the forests of Carignan!

The reason why I’ve written about pets today wasn’t so much because I wanted to talk about stray dogs and how we try to find homes for them but mostly because I’ve come across the topic of “animism” often in the last two weeks. It seemed synchronic somehow… Animism is often a subject that is discussed in Celtic or Shamanic traditions. It implies a belief system where animals, rocks, even topographic areas are considered to have SPIRIT. I often used to argue with my father as I was growing up over this particular topic. He believed that animals (including pets) didn’t have any souls. When I would ask him: “What is the difference between “us” (humans) and dogs,” he could never really answer except by stating the obvious. For sure the fact that they walk on four paws instead of two feet certainly can’t make THE difference…

There’s no doubt that I believe in animism. When I play with Lucky and Sunny I see quite clearly their different personalities. They are not “the same dog”. Even though they are both canines they show unique characteristics; strong and intense emotions; and they do have wants, needs and clear objectives. When Lucky decides that she wants a bone she’ll do anything you ask to get it. Twice she’s warned us of earthquakes. A few days before the Ice Storm almost 10 years ago – she showed us that she had a consciousness that we didn’t have. Just because we are ignorant about animal wisdom and understanding doesn’t give us the right to decide whether or not they have souls. There was a time not so long ago that women were considered to have no souls… And look where we are today.

I could share so many different stories that prove that rocks, animals and even topographic regions have SPIRIT. Just last sping we gave a workshop in Golden, B.C. At some point we were trying to reach a river on the grounds and even though we had a map we couldn't find it. A dog which we later found out was the estate's owner's dog had joined us on the journey and as if he knew what we were looking for - he decided to take the lead. At some point we were going left when he was heading right... It was G who was the lead guide at the time who decided to follow the dog and it was very fortunate that we did. If we would have followed our first instinct we would have ended up at a cliff with no way to reach the river whereas POLAR brought us to water. The picture at the top of my blog is of this particular "pet" who made our trip extra special and shamanic paranormal!!

As far as I’m concerned animism is not so much a belief as it is a FACT.

P.S. – I will be back with blog entries on topics that have been requested – soon. Just keep on reading.

4 comments:

Prismslight said...

I have had some unique expereiences with stray's they show up when I am gone for a bit of time for my family...once at the dream workshop a puppy that had the most amazing eyes one blue one green and cute as ever showed up and my kids said he was so friendly Chris didnt know where he came from he said everyone in our Hamlet thought the dog was wierd but when I got home I was immidiately taken with him. He stayed with us I went to get him a collar one day and went for a walk with him and he darted off into the trees I tried calling him but he didnt come back I shrugged and thought he would be back but no one has seen him. Just this past couple of weeks another puppy showed up this time with a collar RUSTY hes I think a poodle cross very cute and very obiedient he doesnt bark though...we are planning on taking him to the vet and the kids have built him a dog house I think we are asking him if he wants to stay with us and so far he keeps nodding his head so we now have a dog :)

Wapeyit Malsom said...

Cute story. How do you see this as being Animism? It obviously connects to something bigger than you... I'm sure your kids will love their new dog. My kids grew up with Lucky -- and they have happy memories. I have happy memories of my childhood dog. I think that kids get the most of these relationships.

Lisa

Michelle said...

I know Rusty is communicateing to me telling me to have patience slow down he's so darn affectionate at times I want to tell him to go lay down then he looks at me turns his head sidways and I laugh...my husband thinks im weird because I said he understands us Chris he does just watch when you talk to him...I can tell his spirit is strong and your right he had been adopted as one of the family by the kids...they are trying to move him into the house...they think i dont hear his paws in the hallway at night as they sneak him into their room or the front porch. I put up a poster wanting to make sure he is not someone else's puppy and we get attached.

Boot'n said...

I oncehad a Golden Retriever, Suzy who put a teddy bear on the seat of my three-wheeler one Christmas morning. After opening my presents, I went outside. Imagine my surprise to find an extra present on the bike my Suzy sat next to. It was a stuffed bear; a little worn and with dog slime on it. I still have no idea where she got the toy, or how she knew about Christmas.