HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Happy New Year!!!! I am so glad that 2020 is OVER, and I dare to guess that you are too!!! I hope that your 2021 will be full of love, health, joy, and time spent with those you love and free from COVID madness, lockdowns, and turmoil.
As I was sitting down to do my weekly writing, for a moment I felt torn between writing on a medical topic, or contemplating over a few past thoughts and experiences; in the end, I decided to do both. If you are reading my weekly news mainly because of ‘medical knowledge’, you can click here for a new rewrite of an important article on Kennel Cough and if you love conversations and philosophy, and pondering over ideas and thoughts, just keep reading, you will find the article on Kennel Cough at the end.
This morning, I took Pax for his favourite beach walk. Some of you may already know, his favourite pastime is running along the shores at 100 miles an hour, forgetting about time, space, and his physical body.
We usually leave to go walking early, in order to ensure that we are back before the sun gets too strong. Most of the time the beach is pretty empty, but this time, despite the early hour, about a dozen people had shown up, creating a properly ‘socially distanced’ circle nearby. It didn’t take long before they all started twirling and dancing in the sand, without any evidence of music. Young and old, women and men, they were spinning and dancing like tumbleweeds in the wind. I admired their comfort and ease, as they truly danced as if no one was watching, which, I confess, would be hard for me to do in such a public space.
As time progressed, slowly but surely, the whole group moved towards the ocean, ending up waist-deep in the water, as they continued dancing and twirling. I found it comical to see people dancing in the absence of music, their movements were disjointed, and the scene looked rather strange.
But when I looked a little closer, I realized that all the dancers wore headsets, dancing to their own tunes, disconnected from the sounds of the outside world.
As I was standing there watching the scene, I thought how similar life is. We all ‘dance’ and live to the tune of the voice in our head that no-one else hears. Often, the dance makes very little sense to others, and it may look strange, and void of rhythm and it is because they can’t hear our thoughts and don’t know our story – the music of our life.
This lack of knowledge often leads to misunderstandings, and conflict and the only way to prevent them is to ask and converse about what tune our loved ones and friends dance to, and what they are thinking.
This leads me to the question that I often ask: Do our dogs’ minds work the same way as ours do, or are they void of thoughts? And if they do not have the same busy mind, what would it feel like not to think?
Unfortunately, we humans do not have a choice. During the past 400 000 plus years, we have evolved into a walking, talking, thinking, species and there’s not much we can do about it. Despite even the most advanced meditation and spiritual teachings, our minds are busy, assessing and evaluating our surroundings. I guess that the original purpose of our busy mind was survival, the problem is that we live in a much busier, and sometimes overwhelming, world that results in “gigabytes” of mental noise.
We have also evolved to judge each other’s ‘life dance’, and judging them as being ‘off rhythm’, while we can’t hear the other person’s song. We don’t know the reasons why they act that way, or their life story.
We tend to focus on other peoples’ flaws, as opposed to their strengths, the same way negative experiences seem to take over our thoughts, and sometimes lives. Perhaps this is because of our evolutionary past, where one mistake in judgement would turn us into a sabre-toothed tiger’s lunch, but as I said before, we now live in a different world where a positive outlook is the way to survive.
All we can do is remind ourselves to be kind and tolerant of the mistakes others make, and do our best to see them in a positive light. The way we colour our world is up to us, and maybe we should treat each other the same way we treat our beloved dogs.
Let’s try to be tolerant, forgiving and caring in 2021, and beyond.
Wishing you a happy, healthy, safe, and prosperous New Year!
PS: I must share something with you that made me laugh. When I finished writing and editing this piece, I heard my voice saying: Peter, you are such a big mouth, just shut upppp! 🤣 Well, I am changing the song in my head to this: Good for you for conveying the message dogs have been trying to pass on! 🐶❤️
About the author
Integrative veterinarian, nutritionist and creator of natural supplements for dogs and people. Helping you and your dog prevent disease, treat nutritional deficiencies, and enjoy happier, healthier, and longer lives together.