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For the Love of Dog

God Spelled Backwards

We often hear the expression ”for the love of God.” How about ”for the love of dog?” Whether or not you believe in God, dog spelled God backward has been a blessing. Because of all they do for us, there could not be a more fitting name for these majestic creatures. During this period of fear and uncertainty, we must look for the collateral beauty as I write about in my book, Stop Depriving The World of You derived from the movie with Will Smith. Dogs can be that collateral beauty as we wade through the abyss.

Oh Those Glorious Dogs

What do dogs do for us? I will mention a few of the many attributes they bestow on humankind. Several years ago, National Geographic had an article entitled ”From Wolf to Woof.” It documents the development of the relationship with our four-legged friends and provides many examples of this bond. I will never forget one story about a man whose dog became paralyzed. Out of love, he created a piece of machinery that assisted the dog in moving until the end of their life.

Long ago, I heard about a research study that revealed when we pet our pooches, there is a reduction in blood pressure for humans and animals. Regarding depression and anxiety, many of us in the helping profession are aware of the benefits procured from a canine companion. A few years ago, a client of mine who suffered from significant anxiety had been in an intensive outpatient mental health program before entering treatment with me. She shared a story about being in a therapy group. One participant was so depressed that she kept her head down throughout the sessions. That changed with the introduction of a therapy dog. When he entered the room, the woman appeared to light up. I am sure many of you have heard similar stories.

The Bond Between Human and Pooch

If you have not heard about the legend of Hachiko, I would suggest you google it. Being a dog lover, you will not be able to resist a smile with the possibility of tears streaming down your face. A while back, Hollywood developed an American version of this Japanese saga. I cannot watch it.

How about military dogs? I read a few years ago that soldiers and their helpers share a fierce loyalty. One military personnel said that he would take a bullet for his faithful companion, knowing the alternative would occur without question. First responders also rely on these brave creatures to work with them in sniffing out contraband, often risking their lives in defense of their handlers.

Throughout history, examples of valor abound regarding these remarkable creatures.

In my own life, a love for dogs has always been front and center. When I was ten years old, a young mother, her boys, and a dog moved in our neighborhood to be close to family. Her husband, a colonel in the Army, was called to duty in Vietnam. For one year, we spent time with two of the little boys as well, as their Dalmatian named Dame. At the time, we had no idea that Dalmatians could be volatile because all we ever experienced was a dog wagging her tail when approaching us with what appeared to be, canine joy. When they eventually moved away, we were heartbroken not just for saying goodbye to the boys but also to beloved Dame.

My Lifetime Love For Dogs

In my young adult life, my parents bought a cockapoo for the family. I had the privilege of choosing her name, Cupcake. She was adored and lived for sixteen years. After her death, my father was bereft for several months. It was so apparent that he never stopped missing her.

Over the next several years, my husband and I fell in love with Shih Tzus. We had Neely and Harley, and sadly when they passed precisely one year apart, we waited for the arrival of brothers Winston and Churchill. They are now eleven years of age, and during this coronavirus epidemic, they too are convalescing. Churchill has a form of kennel cough, and his brother has a corneal ulcer. For two consecutive days, I whisked them to the Veterinarians for examination and treatment. We do what we need to do as dog lovers understand.

The Magic of The Inexplicable

As they sit here resting by my side, I think back about a magical story from days gone by, which I wrote about in an earlier article. A few years after my father died in 1998, I spoke to a medium. When I asked about my dad, she revealed that she could see him with a white dog. I told her there was never a white dog, only a black dog. She provided some other insights which were on target, but with regards to the dog, I did not give it much thought. A few days later, I reluctantly told my sister that I conferred with a medium and casually mentioned she saw dad. I did not expound on this and did not indicate any presence of a dog. My sister responded with the following: Oh, I believe in that stuff. I don’t think I ever told you this, but right before Dad died, Mark (her husband) and I visited him in the nursing home. At one point, he gazed out and exclaimed, ”Look at Cupcake! She has turned all white. Isn’t she beautiful?”

What About You?

Are you a dog lover? If so, do you experience the joy of having them by your side? What stories come to mind about your experiences with our four-legged companions? Have you ever heard of a story involving the inexplicable?

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Author’s Note: I had planned on penning this article in the foreseeable future, but my BizCat colleague Myriam Ben Salam inspired me to write it sooner after reading her enchanting essay.

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Darlene Corbett
Darlene Corbetthttps://darlenecorbett.com/
Darlene Corbett views herself as a life-long learner, a pursuer of excellence, a work-in-progress, and a seeker-of-the-truth. She is also referred to as the "Unstuck Expert" in her many roles. Why? Because for over thirty years, she has been assisting people to get unstuck. Darlene's primary roles are now Therapist, Hypnotherapist, and Author/Writer. Although she loves speaking, it is now secondary and done mainly through her podcast, "Get Unstuck Now. Because of her wealth of experience, Darlene began putting her thoughts on paper.  Many of her blogs can also be found on Medium, Sixty and Me, and DarleneCorbett.com. Penning these articles set the stage for her first book, "Stop Depriving The World of You," traditionally published by Sound Wisdom. Being a believer in pushing oneself as long as one has life, Darlene has tried her hand at fiction, hoping to have something completed in the no-so-distant future. Over the years, Darlene has been described as animated or effervescent which contradicts the perception of a psychotherapist. She firmly believes in the importance of being authentic and discusses platinum-style authenticity in her book.

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20 CONVERSATIONS

  1. Darlene — We are not allowed to have any pets – much less a dog – in our current living situation, and it’s a hole in our lives. We’re both dog people. We’ve often joked about moving just so we could have a dog. Me, a lab; my wife, a golden retriever. They offer incredible companionship. Unconditional love especially when one needs it the most. The day my Millie died was truly one of the saddest days of my life. That said, I still remember how she greeted me at the door when I came home from work. What a smile she had.

    Thank you

  2. Blessings Darlene, loved this! I am a dog lover, although I have none at the moment. I have had 3 sets of Schnauzers, and they are all gone, but they brought much joy to my heart. Being in police work, I worked around K-9’s and bonded with them in several ways. Thank you and yes, there is a God Heaven, one that we take with us when we hope to arrive! Be well.

    • Hi Lynne,
      Thank you for this! Yes, I have no doubt those courageous K-9 pooches felt the secure connection with you. I agree with you! They are there awaiting us as that story about my father revealed. When I have shared this with doubters, they have told me it gives them chills and stops them in their tracks. Stay safe and blessings to you also!💖

  3. Oh, Darlene, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this essay about dogs-the importance they can be in our lives. I completely agree.

    This first dog I ever had-we had as a family-was Liesel. She chose me. A low-rider, standard, wire-haired dachshund, she taught me all about unconditional love. She greeted me every single time I came home. She followed me around where ever I went-wanted to sit by me when I would finally sit down. Through her illnesses and surgeries I carried her to potty, cared for her tenderly, put drops in her eyes 10 times a day without a shred of resentment or irritation. She returned the love 10 fold. I learned that I could respond in this gentle, compassionate, loving way with people. I had been learning that one for awhile, but Liesel embodied the generous, unrelenting, unwavering, giving of love and attention. She will be my forever dog. (There’s an essay, “The Orange Tootsie Pop” in my first book-Let Go Courageously and Live with Love-all about Liesel :) )

    Thank you for this essay-heartening to remember that our furry friends can be a source of much comfort during the tsunamis of upheaval. Stay connected. I appreciate you very much, Darlene. Stay well.

    • Oh Laura thank you so much for sharing this story! Liesel is wagging her tale from afar, knowing the love and care you provided her. Yes, we receive it back tenfold. Our furry friends’ love has no bounds. I appreciate you also, and I am so pleased for you that your upcoming book will be out soon. It is a gift to the universe. Stay safe and thank you again!💖

  4. Thanks for this wonderful narration of a very special relationship, Ms. Darlene! I am resisting the temptation to share my long-term love for dogs due to some painful memories. Since that day, I and my wife decided never to have a pet in the house. Suffice it to say, they need as much love, care, and above all RESPECT, as any other member of the household. True humans never disrespect their pets, period!

    • Bharat, thank you so much for reading and commenting. Yes, I understand. Many people have told me ”Never again” after having to say goodbye. Like any close relationship and enduring love, the reality is there is often a bittersweetness to it because eventually, we will say goodbye. I agree with you. True humans should never respect their pets. I cannot listen to stories when that is not the case. My husband and I vigorously share your sentiment. Thank you again! Stay safe!💖

  5. The similarities between dogs and humans are many more and much deeper than you imagine. They are extraordinarily close to humans. In fact, they are the only animals that really live with us, not simply next to us. This is, in my opinion, one of the reasons that makes dogs so fascinating and so complex: they combine animal characteristics and human characteristics in a single being. And it is their being so special that it enriches those who decide to share life with them so much.
    Knowing the relationship between dogs and humans is the best way to understand them better and therefore serves to relate to them and treat them in the best possible way.

    • Thank you again, Aldo! As I stated on Linked In, your posts always give fuel for thought. I could not agree more that dogs are complex creatures, and although they may not have our level of intelligence (some might debate that), their love often has no bounds. Stay safe and healthy!💖

  6. Awww I’m so humbled my dear Darlenne! What a beauuuutiful essay! I can definitely feel the passion and unconditional love through the lines! And this story involving the inexplicable! 😨 I mean, I don’t believe in mediums, but that was something!

    Here is another story with those sweet creatures we are so #privileged to have around 🦋

    It happened in my favorite parc. I was reading my book and saw a beautiful haski coming to my direction with the owner. My face was enlightened and I was having ❤❤ in the place of my eyes. They became even bigger when noticing a puppy coming from behind.

    She was dragging her owner who was resisting in the absence of my permission! Respect Sir! 🤩

    It was a quick tender & exquisite moment with her. She, then, retracted and let her kid play with me. I’m unable to describe the sensation. It was as if all the cuteness and love of the universe were summarized in that puppy.

    Moral of the story: the mother instinctively needed to check whether it was safe for him to play with me. She also was generous and sacrificed her time for her baby.

    I felt so honored… This feeling is ingrained in my heart and will stay with me forever 💙

    • Thank you Myriam for your lovely comments and reading my article. You did inspire me through the magical essay. Yes, I was doubtful about the medium which made me reluctant to share with my sister. Whether we believe or not, some things are indeed inexplicable. That a lovely story about the mother as you so beautifully portrayed it. Stay safe.💖

  7. Oh, Darlene — you got me! Dog lover? Yeah. I was a kid too when a family moved in next door with a biggish sheltie-type dog named Queenie. At the time, I was terribly allergic to most animals and my mother feared being around dogs, so we didn’t have any pets. I loved Queenie more than I can tell you!

    Luckily, I later found out that poodles and schnauzers don’t shed, so they’re largely OK for allergy sufferers. I had three or four schnauzers in in my 20s and 30s, and then I discovered dog rescues! And my allergies largely went away, so … 10 or 11 dogs later, here I am with two more — Gibbs and Duke!

    I can’t tell you how much joy they bring to my life, but I don’t need to, right? Thanks for a wonderful article this morning!

    • Hi Susan,
      I love your reply as well as the photos on Linked In of your beloved pooches. Yes, they bring us such joy! I am so pleased you enjoyed the article and that your allergies dissipated to dogs. Thank you again for reading and commenting. Stay safe, and I know I know I do not have to say it, enjoy your dogs.💖

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