Let the Waggy Tale Point the Way

Bronwen LoganArticles, English 8 Comments

Dog tail

When I was a little girl and things weren’t going to plan, I’d sit in the garage, where no-one could see me, put my head in my hands and bawl. When I say “no-one”, that’s not quite correct. Because there was always someone who saw me, my dog Humphrey. Humphrey D. Dog, to be exact.

Humphrey was an Australian cattle dog and for anyone who has never met one, I can attest to them being one of the most ferociously loyal dogs you’ll find. And he was ferocious–I remember him ripping the trousers off some old bloke who wandered onto our front lawn–but never with us children, with us his ferociousness was merely a tool he used for sharpening his loyalty.

At the time it seemed right that Humphrey would search me out and sit with me in troubled times. I’m sure I wasn’t fun to be with; I certainly wasn’t throwing sticks to fetch, running over hills, or swimming in the sea–some of Humphrey’s more favorite hobbies. He simply came to be with me in my sadness.

There was a flip side to this, of course. When everything was brilliant for me and I was really excited, guess who was there feeling it ten times more? You guessed it, Humphrey. He would jump, almost somersault, for joy in shared appreciation for the goodness–no, the GREATness–of life. We would throw that greatness back and forward between us, building on each other’s excitement.

Humphrey’s companionship throughout my young years showed me something that I might never have otherwise seen in such purity. His companionship was chock full of huge acts of compassion, patience and selflessness.

Such gentle guidance to grow up with!

Today, I see that Humphrey gave my “humanity” direction. And although I can see that direction winding out in front of me, I don’t always walk it. And almost never with the purity of that cattle dog.

In fact, in my humanness, it is the choices that I make which hold me back from being that open, loving, wonderful being that I see standing out in front of me, wagging dog by my side, beckoning for me to come to my true self. If only I could shed the guise of humanness I wear so close to my skin–the fear, the worry, the anger. Yet, more commonly, I allow it to nail me to the ground, holding me still.

To free myself, I must realize Humphrey’s innate vision of being. A way of being that knows it is possible to live compassionately with patience and selflessness, free of anger, fear and worry; in other words, to be fully engaged with the Reiki Precepts.

For Today Only:
Do not Anger
Do not worry
Be Humble
Be Honest in your Work
Be Compassionate to Yourself and Others

The mystery of the animal world is there for us to learn from. It can hold our hands as we rediscover our true selves.

Look to where you are heading, is there a path of purity picked out for you to follow? If not, it is never too late to find someone to help you find it. And that someone might just have a very waggy tail.

(Oh, I wish I could find the photo that was in my mind as I wrote this. Maybe it will turn up. )

Comments 8

  1. Avatar of Kathi richards
  2. Avatar of Amy
  3. Avatar of Russell McNair

    Love this article.
    Animals, like young children are such great teachers. I often think that we have children (And maybe pets too), not so that they may learn from us, but so that we can learn from them what we once knew and have forgotten.

  4. Avatar of Elly

    Another great post, Bronwen, and so true! There’s an old song here in the US that starts “Who is that doggy in the window, the one with the waggily tail?” Rob and I always think of it when we come home from any excursion and see our beloved black German shepherd Shiloh up in the window with her “waggily” tail and happy smile, tongue lolling in anticipation of the door opening. We know who that doggy is!

  5. Avatar of Kris Azzarello

    Beautiful article!  Animals remind us of the core, of what’s truly important.  I find this so in my Reiki practice.  Working with animals, whether my own dog and cats, or at the shelter or at wildlife refuge – the animals are so open and clear about whether they want to experience the energy or not and when they they’ve had enough and the session is over.  There’s no waxing poetic about seeing lights and colors, etc – they simply are.  And the energy simply is.  They’ve taught me not to be dependent on feedback – simply offer the Reiki – whether one sees a response at that time or not.  Simply offer – it is complete in itself.  The outcome is none of my business.  What matters is that exact moment in the offering – no past – no future – simply now.

  6. Avatar of Bronwen Stiene

    Great comments everyone. Yes, they are such good teachers Kathi (just like kids, Russell, you’re right). Elly, I know the version “How much is that doggy in the window, I do hope that doggy’s for sale”:-) – definitely a childhood favourite. Such good points Kris, how they let you leave all the “unimportants” behind (that would be a good article!).

  7. Avatar of seema

    Hi Bronwen ,
    thanks for another lovely article , it reminds me of a dog from my childhood memories too.

    I wonder now why kids and animals go together so well and I think because they are open and free . I often say that for my daughter with Autism that she is open and so sensitive like I think animals are. I wonder now only thing which really “different” is the “so called” language that we human often label.

    I agree to what Russell have written – that we can learn from them what we once knew and have forgotten.

    Thanks again

  8. Avatar of Susan

    Thanks, Bronwen.  It so reminded me of the gift of my dog, ‘Twinkle Toes’, a mix breed white-pawed dog I received as a gift from my dance teacher when I was a little girl.  She saw me through ages 4 to 18.  Lots going on during those years.  Comfort found in my dear animal friend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *