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?

____________________

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 Corbetthttps://darlenecorbett.com/
Darlene Corbett is a Speaker, Author, Licensed Therapist/Coach, and Podcaster and is known as the “UnStuck” expert. She has developed programs based on her experience and is hired by associations and corporations all over the country to share her expertise. Darlene is a high-content speaker with an engaging and energizing style. Darlene loves working with people and believes her foundation as a Therapist and Hypnotherapist validates her position that everyone has the capacity to get UnStuck. When it comes to her deep understanding of human behavior, communication and relationships, Darlene not only helps refurbish the house but steady the foundation. She has been quoted in Knox News, MSN.com, Bustle, and Best Life and has written many blogs and articles. Her book, Stop Depriving The World of You: A Guide for Getting Unstuck, was published by Sound Wisdom in November 2018. Darlene’s weekly podcast “Tap Into The Power of U,” is for men and women 40+ who wish to get unstuck. Darlene is a member of many associations and is an Approved Consultant with the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Abby’s House in Worcester, MA. In her personal life, Darlene enjoys spending time with her husband, dogs, and close friends as well as crocheting, reading, staying fit and loving life. She thanks God every day for giving her the energy and excitement to continue to look forward to what is ahead.
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Susan Rooks
Susan Rooks

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!

Myriam Ben Salem
Myriam Ben Salem

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 💙

Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli

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.

Bharat Mathur
Bharat Mathur

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!

Laura Staley
Laura Staley

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.

Lynn Forrester-Pitocco
Lynn Forrester-Pitocco

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.

Jeff Ikler
Jeff Ikler

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

Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler

You know I love this. I truly love my Dogs and Cats and I have been blessed to be able to partner with many animal rescues. Thank you Darlene for a very inspiring story.

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