Take a Chill Pill
Happiness is a three letter word in my life – DOG – and I am blessed with a dog named Chill whose life mission is to bring bliss to all who meet her.
Happiness is contagious, and it’s a mindset that makes the world and our interactions with each other joyful. We all know someone who lights up a room just by walking in. My “someone” is Chill who lights up my home every second of every day. She howls in pure pleasure throughout the day just to say “I love life.” I promise I am going to make a point by the time I am done writing…promise as of right now I am curious of what that point will be too.
Coldness and sorrow is what I remember of Chill’s rescue. There was this skeleton carcass of a dog lying there dying. Someone, and I will call this “someone” a monster, chopped off both of her back paws. Memories of sitting at a specialty veterinarian hospital holding her with prayers and tears, I was told she probably wouldn’t survive. What can I do? I said a prayer, “Dear God let her live, and she can live with me never to suffer again.” Little did I know it was going to be my Chilly Girl to help save me from my own inner demons of depression and to heal my own suffering as I healed her physical wounds. Perfect match.
Chill knows forgiveness and how to move on where as I wanted to find the monster and dole out punishment. An eye for an eye. I felt anger. I guess you can say I wanted to kick the guy’s ass.
“Abundance” is another word that comes to mind when I am with Chill. Her abundance of love for all my dogs, every stranger, and her deep rooted appreciation of living is a life lesson for us all.
Let’s think about Chill using what I’ve shared so far. Focus on those words that jumped out at you, and ask yourself this: if Chill knows what happiness is, how do you find this same inner abundance of joy in your own life? How do you let go of bottomless anger?
Love. Love is unconditional, and some people even refer to love as spirit. Love is an action and experienced as a feeling. Chill taught me to encompass compassion and live in the moment without ever shying away from embracing love in its many different forms. She taught me to howl in unison with her….okay, sing badly….but you get the point. It is hard to be depressed when you’re surrounded by pure unfiltered love by your best friend. This is only something that comes from unrestricted and untainted spirit, the spirit of a dog.
Forgiveness. How do I forgive the worst in mankind – an immoral criminal who commits unimaginable torture on a trusting and blameless creature? Forgiveness is a choice to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. That means I can make the choice to harbor anger and want to chop off the felon’s feet or not. Chill chose to rise above the act of cruelty and didn’t hold any victim-type resentment. The translation of this in dog language is that she didn’t manifest mental scars such as fear biting and social dysfunction. Man, on the other hand, will manifest cruel actions toward us through depression, drugs and anti-social behavior. Or we can choose to forgive and move on to a better life, a Chill-type life.
Holding on to anger would make me less compassionate for the strays trying to stay alive in the urban jungle. The street dog needs my empathy and Chill-like love. Anger causes a shift in consciousness that a scared street dog will pick up as fast as a flash of lightening, causing them to run from you. Let it go.
Joy. Boy does Chill know how to express it! I have personally known and had the privilege to care for so many abused dogs and still never met one quite like Chill. Embracing life to its fullest, disregarding the fact she has physical limitations, is a powerful message. How can I be depressed ever when all I truly have to do is take a Chill pill – a dose and lesson from my lil’ survivor. Without pain, how could we know joy? Maybe that is what Chill is teaching me every day. Embrace joy.
Finally, here is the point. I get asked all the time, “Randy, how do you handle what you see every day on the streets?” I never quite knew how to answer this until right now at this exact moment, my “ah-ha” moment, as I type this. I deal with it through love, forgiveness and joy. Thank you Chill for teaching Dad such a valuable lesson in life.