Reflections: The Abused Dog

I started writing about Mindfulness without Cynicism. The words were easy to write but not the message that my heart wanted to share. I could not hit publish.

This is my restart. I’m forcing myself to share these words. But rather than a purge, I’m sharing a story of an abused dog. Something relatable.

***

Dogs are present. Dogs are love bugs. Dogs are unconditional. They remember things but have an ability to only hold onto the good. (They know that sit or give paw results in a treat).

But what happens with abused dogs? How long is the conditioning process? At what point does their spirit break and they bite back rather than beg for anything that resembles love?

Please understand, I’m not encouraging animal cruelty. I’m drawing a comparison because it seems as if people love animals more than people. So please stay with me.

A dog comes into your world with hopes of belly rubs, being called a ‘good boy/girl’, food, and time to run around outside. Nothing more or less. Just being present is the best gift a dog could ever ask for.

Some people think that this is asking too much.

They hit a dog for jumping on the couch.

They yell at a dog for grabbing food off a table.

They complain about having to rush home to let the dog outside.

They keep the dog locked in a cage all day whilst they are at work.

(Many consider this ‘normal’ treatment for a dog. My opinion, this is not normal, it’s dysfunctional and harmful. This is forcing an animal to live in fear, not in love. To me, this is conditioning).

So how many years pass and the dog is still greeting you at the door? Tail wagging and just tickled that you showed up?

What happens when the above become daily habits? Everything is wrong. The dog pooped in the living room rather than outside (but who was home to let him outside?). The dog jumped on the couch to play (but who took him to the doggy park to release all his energy?). The dog grabbed food off the table (but when was the last time he was fed?).

How many ‘hits’ does the dog endure before it bites back? What exactly was the expectation of the dog? Has the dog shown forgiveness? Proven himself to be unconditional? Hopeful? What boundaries has the dog enforced? Most dogs spend their entire life trying to please their ‘owner’… and some have the misfortune of trying to please ‘owners’ that are dead inside.

***

I do not think it’s humane to treat an animal in such a manner and yet we often treat people much worse. I’ve been that abused dog, grateful for the smallest hint of anything that resembled love. I endured a lot of consistent terrible behaviour that was not my fault (not.my.fault). I’ve trained my mind to focus on the silver lining. I’ve done massive inner work to ensure that my heart was pure despite harsh treatment of others.

My goal was to always be a dog that wags it’s tail rather than bite back (be love).

My goal was to never learn the threshold needed to warrant a bite back (be tolerant).

My only question to the interwebs, what type of ‘owner’ are you? 

#WhyIWrite #MentalWellness #Reflections #Perceptions #Reality #Abuse #AbuseRecovery #AbuseAwareness #FamilyAbuse #DomesticViolence #NarcissisticAbuse #TakeResponsibility #BeADecentHuman #Humanity #BeBetter #AbusedDogs #JourneyToPeace

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