воскресенье, 18 ноября 2012 г.

A Loving Heart

By Camille Hill

One man's trash is another man's treasure.
~Kevin Smith

I remember the day my heart fully opened to love. It was a sunny fall morning and as I walked home along the country road after finishing my morning run, I saw his silhouette framed by the red, glowing beauty of the rising sun. His tail was wagging, his head was high, and he had waited for me. My heart opened to receive the love of Max, a Border Collie.
Our journey together had started a month earlier. I had just moved from the urban sprawl to the country, and while visiting my new neighbor I noticed Max at his farm. Max was emaciated, matted, and paced endlessly. His exhaustion was evident. His eyes were bleak and unfocused, his tongue hung out, his breathing was labored — and yet he kept pacing. My query about Max provided me with his sad tale. He'd been purchased as a puppy, but quickly, his disobedience and high energy caused the farmer and his wife to give up on him. The farmer couldn't destroy him so he fed him and ignored him. For almost two and a half years Max was a nonentity. He wasn't touched, wasn't acknowledged in any way but negatively, wasn't spoken to, but simply fed. When I asked the farmer if I could work with Max he said, "Do whatever you want. You can take him. I don't want him."

The next day I began working with Max. Not in any forceful manner — I wasn't trying to modify his behavior by training him. I simply wanted to give him attention and love. As an animal intuitive and communicator I knew that Max would die that winter unless something was changed in his life. I walked and ran every day along the country road. That day I took raw chicken necks with me and at the end of my property, adjoining the road, raised my voice and called for Max.

He came. His head almost touched the ground, his knees were bent, his tail wagged cautiously, but he came. I offered him a chicken neck. He almost took my hand with it as he gulped. His eyes lit up and he grinned. I talked to him and told him what a magnificent fellow he was. He moved closer for pats and a hug. I then moved out a few feet, called him to me and when he timidly came forward, rewarded him yet again with another chicken neck. Thus we moved, ever so slowly down the country road, until he stopped. No amount of coaching or bribing would move him further. We had come to his boundary and there he stayed. Although he wagged his tail at me and looked cooperative, he did not move another step forward. Reluctantly, I turned away to continue my run and he left for his home.

This became our routine. Every day he traveled a little further on the road and then stopped, refusing to move forward. Although my calls in the morning soon turned to a whistle and an immediate response from Max, we could not seem to move past his invisible barrier. I would eventually and inevitably continue on alone and return to my home by myself. I began to talk to him constantly. I asked him to wait for me if he didn't want to go further. I told him that I would have a treat for him if he waited for me. His response became more and more open. He held his tail and head higher, his grin was broader, and his response to my whistle was instant. We both looked forward to our daily interactions.

As the fall deepened, it was clear to me that our daily encounters and half dozen chicken necks were not going to keep him alive. Further, it seemed that Max didn't care if he lived or died. His self-esteem was minimal. I began creating a raw food diet for him and incorporated cooked oats to help put weight on him. I began intuitively treating him with herbs in his food and fed him each evening. I did not want to infringe on his bond with his home and the farmer — yes he'd bonded with the farmer, a testament to the love he had to give — so I took the food there.

I took a dish of food to Max every night. This was not without incident. The first time, the other dog at the farm attacked Max and tried to run him off the food. It was then that I heard from the farmer that the other dog, the Alpha dog, wasn't letting Max eat anything. I upped my food delivery to twice a day, and I even brought the other dog chicken necks so that Max could eat in peace. Meanwhile Max and I continued our daily walk with the invisible barrier remaining as a border.

Then the day came when I returned from my run to see that Max had waited for me. I rewarded him with a chicken neck. We grinned at each other, both inordinately pleased. My heart felt so full of love I couldn't contain it. I knelt down beside him, placed my left hand on my heart, my right hand on his heart, and sent him the love. It was in the color pink and it was ever so warm, my hands vibrating with the heat. Max stood there and accepted my love, leaning into my body. We stayed like that for several minutes and then parted. That was the first time as an adult that I fully experienced an open, loving heart, a heart without defensive barriers.

This became our new routine. Max would stop at his boundary, which was getting further and further along the road, and would wait patiently for my return. Then he would bound along beside me until we reached my driveway, where we would hug, share our love, and move on to whatever daily activities we had.

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