I am the proud dog-parent of two rescues, Boo Radley and Maisey Mae, which many of you have come to know through my various posts on Facebook and Youtube. In all my travels, I get asked about my dogs and how they are doing. I am so thrilled that they have brought happiness and joy not only to me, but to everyone who sees them or hears about them. In my house, the day will start with a wet tongue on my cheek to wake me up and a furry tail wagging to say "Good morning, let's start a new day." After their morning walk, Boo always wants to play a little ball while Maisey stares at us with a look that says "Enough of this nonsense. Where's the food?"
The healing power of animals is nothing new to us. Their restorative energy has been written about, filmed and documented for many years now.
According to NPR, The benefit of pets in the medical world actually dates back more than 150 years, says Aubrey Fine a clinical psychologist and professor at California State Polytechnic University. Studies dating back to three decades ago found that just petting one's own dog can lower blood pressure; and more recently, studies have been focusing on the link between interacting with animals and the release of the hormone oxytocin which has powerful effects on the body's predisposition to heal and to grow new cells.
The health plusses continue with bringing you more exercise (don't I know it what with running through the house and up and down the street with them!), but owning a pet also assists the human to realize that love can be unconditional! The animals don't judge, or criticize you for how you look, what you wear or your political views of the world. No, that doesn't exist in the animal kingdom. It seems that in the animal world, all they want (besides a few earthly needs) is to be with you and love you for who you are. Imagine that! What a great simple lesson for all of us. To just BE! No judgment; just love and acceptance. It is through this simplistic view, that the enormity of it takes hold. Animals are what humans aspire to be. They live in the now and operate from unconditional love.
Those of us who have pets can relate to the feeling that we are the ones who actually have been saved. I will never forget the story of how Maisey came into my life. I was in San Diego where I had just seen my friend Chelsea Handler perform the night before at a local club. I was driving downtown in search of a Starbucks for my morning pick-me-up. As I came to a four-way stop sign, I saw a little girl on the left-hand corner holding a puppy in her arms without a leash. I suddenly became aware of the puppy leaping from her arms and jumping onto the ground and running into the street. Everything went slow-motion, like a movie. The inevitable occurred: a car made its way into the intersection and drove over the puppy. I let out a screeching scream: "NO!!!" I had never seen anything so horrific before in my life. I got out of my car and ran to the puppy, knelt down and saw the poor baby writhing in pain. It seemed so helpless. I remember bending over and thinking maybe I can heal it, turn back time, something to not make this animal cry. After a moment of shock, I realized I had better get out of the street myself and then people came running. I thought the best thing was to go park my car. I found a space and ran back to the corner. By now there was a police woman holding the dog in her arms and I asked if the dog was alive. The police woman shook her head no. The poor little girl was crying, "Just let me say goodbye!" I was so angry at the mother for allowing this little girl to have a puppy in a busy part of a big city without a leash. I knew this event would scar her daughter's heart. I eventually left the scene, but my spirit was damaged as well. I couldn't wait to get home and hold Boo in my arms. That scene plagued me for two weeks and I couldn't do anything to shake it off. I had trouble focusing on work. I kept playing that scene over in my mind so I asked the Spirit world to help me.
That night, I had a dream. I was with an angel and we were walking at a park near the shelter where I had rescued Boo. The angel told me to go to the shelter - that there would be a dog there that would heal me and that I would recognize her immediately. The next morning, I drove to the rescue shelter and looked in each one of the kennels. None of the dogs spoke to me and I didn't feel the connection that I was expecting. I walked back to the lobby and was distraught. Had the angel been wrong? There was no dog. I was more depressed than ever. As I sat in the lobby, I noticed a volunteer bringing a dog back from a walk. A little white muzzle appeared in the kennel. My heart skipped a beat as I went out to look; actually, it was more like I was being drawn out. I felt the dog was calling to me. The moment I got near her, she wagged her tail and rolled on her back to show me her freckled belly. That was the same position that I had seen the wounded puppy in! This was my dog! We immediately bonded and she could not stop licking me!! Today, she is the loving sister of Boo Radley and, even though she lets Boo thinks that he is in charge, Maisey rules the roost. She has brought my life back to me and continues to heal me every day. I'll never forget that poor dog in San Diego but Maisey has filled the void in my soul that was opened that day. She is a constant reminder that everything happens for a reason and that for her, I am perfect and loved.