Six days ago, I got a dog. This wasn’t the first time I had had a pet, but it has been over thirty years and my only pet as an adult had always been a cat. However, as we all know, dogs are different.
As you can see from the photo, she is tiny. She is 6-years-old and was needing a new home away from a very boisterous set of twins, one of which was allergic to dogs. It was becoming a very unhappy home for her.
I had been saying for ages that I’d love a dog, but with all the travelling I do it was impossible. However, I realised that if I didn’t work it out, I’d never get a dog because I don’t see myself slowing down any time soon!
Armed with three stepparents, we went ahead and said yes. That number of stepparents is constantly growing as when any of my friends meet her they all say, “I’ll have her.” In fact, they are almost fighting each other for the privilege of being her step Mum or Dad. And I say privilege, because it is nothing less.
I have talked about, and read, and explored, this idea of unconditional love for many years now, but in six short days, Leoni, that’s her name, Leoni, has demonstrated it totally. As you can see from the photo, she is very cute and doesn’t stay still for one minute!
She is just a bundle of love. When she first arrived she was nervous and unsettled at being left with a stranger, and rightly so. I just took her, and held her, and showered her Reiki love. Dogs love Reiki and she responded really well. Within half an hour she had calmed down and was asleep on my lap.
We haven’t looked back since.
I spend a lot of time on my own as my partner is based in Switzerland, whilst I am here in Spain, and there is something magical about coming home to a bundle of ecstatic joy. None of this bad tempered ‘where have you been’ after being left alone. Just pure joy that I have walked through the door. It is simply impossible to feel down when faced with such love.
At the weekend I went for a long hike and it was just too hot to take her with me, and so she went to her number one step dads. They showered her with love and she settled well and had a fun day with them, exploring her second home. But when I got back to pick her up she was so happy to see me. I couldn’t help but feel pleased.
I read recently that having a dog in your life extends life by ten years. The simple experience of living with a being that gives and gives and gives love on a constant and daily basis creates a healthy physical environment within us and we benefit hugely. After this last six days, I can totally believe that dogs have this huge effect on our lives.
Having her in my life has made me look at love in a different way. It has made me more aware of where I put conditions on love. Leoni loves whether I am in a good or bad mood. Do I give that same love to others in my life, whatever their mood? Leoni loves if I take notice of her or not. Do I give love in the same way to those who have not been in touch recently? Leoni loves even if I tell her off. Do I love when someone criticises me? She is a great mirror.
As I notice all these aspects about her, it helps me become more aware of my own limitations around love – and for that I just love her!