Dog Yoga Practice Reflections – a fools journey
Alternatively titled Rose’s Fools Journey Interested why? Click here for a survey about this title
An essay about the beginning of my current samskara and about learning how to love my dog, Tifa. I’d never had a dog before, only cats. Cats taught me how to love, and when I really felt like they taught me enough, I decided to get a dog, and learn how to receive love.
I’m glad I learned about these animals in this order, I found Tifa at the perfect time
And I’m grateful for my cats to help me get there
Oh and I’m grateful that my cats put up with my rambunctious dog every day ha!
Ok this is mostly about my dog but bare with me for a second. I’ll try to give you a little background on how dark my shadow is so you can really appreciate my light. its not that long and then on to the cool dog stuff:
I’ve been through a lot ok. Ever heard that before? Ever said that about yourself? For every one person, including you, there is a bottom in your life. It is essential to the state of humanity, it is essential to learning that pain is fundamentally a part of this experience. The experience being life.
You come into the world wailing like bloody murder, right?
If you don’t believe this to be true, it is OK, I think you’ll get a kick out of this story too. I love a skeptic.
I went to therapy. It started like a nuclear bomb. All of the connection to my body and mind was lost, metaphorically speaking. I speak in metaphor a lot but the physical connection was now materializing in panic attacks…. which feel like heart attacks. I was scared for two years I wouldn’t be able to tell if I had a heart attack because the feeling is so familiar. YIKES ok…
What I experienced was the awakening of my feelings, which allowed me to get in connection with my body.
It happened at a traumatizing moment that should have been a happy moment. I have difficulty with happy moments. Its sad and it is some of my shame. I should be able to be happy in a happy moment, in the present. But I couldn’t. I honestly could not be aware of the present. It manifested as journal practice. It manifested as numbness in the moment, and delayed happiness when I could absorb the moment. And sometimes it took a while. Some times by the time I had lost the things which I had intended to puI was steady with one day at a time,
but it was a large tower which fell.
Franklin’s tower and the bell.
So my grandma also dies the same year and I was in the mental hospital during her hospice. Great timing… That is to say, every moment is great no matter what. I think she would agree
I was in the mental hospital when my dad called me while he was ordering burger king from a takeout window and told me my grandmother had died.
Thank the gods I was in the mental hospital. People go absolutely nuts when someone dies, have you noticed this? Loss, mourning, these are some of the hardest things. It was the oil above the water which was me. Blended in a machine As though I was a decent vinaigrette, I could not tell the oil from my vinegar. The flavor was complex. And it was bitter My grandmas dying didn’t turn it on, but it was the last drop of oil poured into my solution.
Mental hospital is the perfect place to mourn
It made the recipe just right.
The snake released from my spine completely.
Being unaware of the broader aspects of life was a dysfunction. I now know this dysfunction to mean I did not get the most out of my life. Not only that, it hid a lot of these problems from myself making me think I was more stable than the kundalini within me knew.
I am highly conscientious so it is easy to wear a mask. Pun Unintended
I imagine this is how a lot of people feel. A lot of us are unaware of our problems. That’s another reason why loss hurts so badly! We think we have it figured out. I thought so at least. I thought the world was bleak and to make the best out of it.
I felt alone
Therefore I was alone
I had just been given the mirror, I could start to examine who I was and wanted to be.
Still working on it.
By the way that is still my belief system to a certain extent, but bleak meant bad to me before, and now I can see how it is a neutral concept. It’s my relationship with the concept which painted my life. The secular apa standard term. don’t quote me on the source its an educated guess?
It is called RADICAL ACCEPTANCE.
shit sucks and its fine
I was in my 30s. Well, I am in my thirties. ‘m done denying reality… Ok now I’m offtopic lets get back to topic:
So anyway about my dog. Her name is Tifa.
I got her in less than moral means. I got her off Craig’s list. My husband describes me getting this dog as like Dennis from Always Sunny buying crack from Craig’s list that’s exactly what it was like but ya know. A real live animal)
You shouldn’t do this, by the way. A lot of these animals on sale from craigslist are stolen, from backyard breeders, & puppy mills. Sorry, it’s the sad truth. I hate to hear it too. I don’t know what the solution is, I just know its the way it is
The little old lady who needs you to call her land line instead of emails giving a paper trail? No form? That little old lady is just as sly as any conman on the street. Trust me, don’t do it. All the rescues are getting dogs “returned” right now because pandemic insanity (I’m insane so I get to own that word don’t @ me) everyone was desperate for a companion. The desperation waned and the dogs got “thrown away” basically.
Can you imagine such an indignity? It hurts to imagine for me.
Before the current stats I’m pulling from the pandemic made rescuing a dog impossible. I went to Huron Valley (click here to see their website) and the line out the door was 100+ people in early December. For a pack of 15 puppies or so. I would send out resumes to rescues and they’d say I was on a waiting list that never turned into anything. I love Tifa but I wish I hadn’t brought an animal into my home this way, to perpetuate the victimization of dogs. Not worth the risk.
Luckily for you, if you want to save an animal, you can call the Detroit dog rescue (click here) right now and they will let you come in on appointment. There are about one hundred dogs there as of today, 9/28/2021 I am not affiliated with any of these organizations.
Click here for local recues in detroit
I had already written out a long ass resume about why I, Royo, would be the perfect connection to Tiffany, the dog.The truth is I got a form from another rescue, filled it out, and sent it to like, anyone on craigslist who had a dog and changed the name.
I really wanted a dog can you tell?
It’s embarrassing and The most embarrassing part is I didn’t even know which craigslist ad I had contacted this lady from. And I’m not alone, it was a Mass Hysteria. What a weird time to be alive, am I right people?
I get a wad of cash and drive to Barnes and Noble because it is by a Petsmart(unaffliated with both) and I could get a latte and dogs are allowed in there (I picked the location obviously). I get a picture of Tifa looking out the window which says on the way.
It was a brief conversation. What is her name? “Tiffany.” Some little weird stuff happened but I will not bore you with the petty details. Just a couple red flags, you know, living on the edge.
I was able to piece a few things together by the brief conversation I had with the woman who sold her to me.
- The dog is a ‘chihuahua terrier’
- The dog was from South Carolina
- She had belonged to the woman’s sister
- She was ‘good with kids and cats’
- The kid part is true, and I believe her first companion was probably a little girl. Sometimes she still is alert when she hears certain little girls in the neighborhood and will let them pet her from the first day I walked her
- The woman drove the dog up from south Carolina
- Her and her husband are retired and she wanted to go back to work.
I gave her the wad of cash, and she left immediately without much a goodbye to the dog. with a shaking dog peeled to me crying I got into the car packed all the dog accessories I received along with her collar.
I said Hi Tifa. She shook, into a ball, and laid her head deep into my lap.I had met my first dog companion. And I finally had a mirror to how I looked to other people, or I should say, I related to her. And I did not like her when we met. I love her now
The mirror. Remember the mirror.
I still believe all of this. I would be lying if I didn’t go through motions of being mad at the woman who gave Tifa to me. Some days I would cry why did she leave Tifa. other days I would yell what a bitch! I am neurotic things take time for me to process.Now I can see how the pandemic brought out mass hysteria and we were laced together forever now. She was a mirror too. When I began to forgive and love her, I began to forgive myself and love myself despite.
Getting used to having a dog—
Everyone said oh rose there is a 6 month time table for bonding(click here to learn about that), here was mine:
1st day – psycho
2nd day- begin walking and went to vet for shots.
3rd day – want to give the dog back
5th day – cry during therapy for forty five minutes and she says ‘if you want to get rid of the dog you need to do it RIGHT NOW it would be mean not to.’ (crying which would last for about 2 or 3 months)
Day 7 – buy 100$ of more dog supplies
14th day – I call the lady to see if she missed the dog and that I’d gotten her a checkup to the vet and she could come get her and keep the money…. the phone was disconnected.
21h day – we hadn’t slept in 20 days and I didn’t want to be by the dog. I screamed as much as she did
21th day– eric started sleeping on the couch with her making it impossible to teach her to sleep on her own. She stole my man!
But its ok. Because I refused to put her up for adoption. Even though I wanted to so badly in moments of weakness
Why can’t people understand this feeling?
I didn’t love her immediately. I wanted that to happen, I think I assumed that would happen but I didn’t. She felt the same around me. I thought every day, this isn’t love this is her anxious attachment. Will she ever like me or is this a scared dog who is afraid to be alone.
It showed up in how she acted; just like me
pulled the leash,
terrible “leash etiquette”
jump and lunge to the point where she hurts her right back leg
stop in the middle of the road
completely reactive to everything (like everything!)
lunged at people (especially white men and kids on bikes),
cried if I wasn’t in the same room as her, refused to go in a crate, would wine all night
peeing in places because she wasn’t used to going out often at night.
Snarled at strangers,
Wouldn’t let me have a moment with her not touching me
Barked aggressively at anyone who came to my house(this is still a challenge but its better)barked at my neighbors constantly (they were nice about it ),nipped at hands (softly but I don’t care, I don’t want my dog murdered by animal control because one day its not a soft nip… mmmmmsoftnip…).
Begged for food and would not eat kibble. She had been eating catfood beforehand.
Getting really sick (and no wonder from the stress of this all. We fed her chicken and rice, and then it was hard to get her to start eating agin when we moved her back to kibble.)
And then I think of the mirror. I’ve been like this before too.
She is stubborn but not stupid.
In the first few months, Tifa was in charge, not me.
I always thought dogs were dumb because most of the dogs I’ve ever known were completely untrained, spoiled and fat. That, or well behaved dogs made such less of an impression, I noticed a lot of dogs with what I would consider super rude… crotch sniffing kind of stuff! You know what I mean, right? How can you forget that.
It’s the people! Who knew!
I never knew this, I always thought it was the way dogs just were—terrible.
This realization was heavy for me. I could see my fellow people differently now that I understood this mirror.
I’m glad I was able to get my first dog after my last breakdown because
if I had gotten one sooner than this point I would have probably been a terrible owner.
My dogs would be just like all the other dogs I’d met before.
But its not the only possible truth. I found a cool dog trainer at K9 turbo training (click here for their website)who taught me clicker training. He was essentially training me to train the dog. Gasp! Another mirror! I saw them a month to today and our relationship has expanded like a lotus.
I’d never taken my, or anyone else’s fitness/health into such serious consideration until I had to take care of Diesel. I used to say, ‘not my body so don’t care, you can’t control everything’ & ‘Live and let live.’ I realize now it was a disservice to my loved ones. I had no idea.
Thank you Tifa for letting me know this. We mirror each other by the lessons we learn from each other, and the growing trust of two good girls.
You can’t do anything alone, remember that we do not live in a vacuum.
My dog has wonderful leash etiquette now. Walking her is an interactive joy for both of us. She would say I have good leash etiquette too. Equilibrium feels so good, meeting a dog on honest ground.
And she’s losing weight. Walking her every day with GOOD leash etiquette has helped with Tifa’s limp
It’s the human, not the dog.
I had to fix all of this because none of us could live with it. It was a high stress time.
How do people live with poorly behaved dogs I just don’t get it. That was my aversion to ever getting a dog and it was so wrong of me. I’m so glad I have Tifa as a companion.
On abuse trauma; which we worked on side by side
A lot of people have suggested she was “abused by someone” and that is why she acted like such a fool before we started clicker training. I don’t like to believe this. I think the abuse was a consequence of being torn from her first companion, that little girl but the complexity of such a trauma, a dog can’t handle IMO. It was separation, not human misery projected onto the dog…. Does that make it better?. I want to believe this. It’s the least tragic in my imagination bank.
I have a vision of what Tifa’s first companion looks like, but I’ll never know for sure, only Tifa will.
When we got Tifa she had a scavenging and hoarding habit and would not eat when we put food in her bowl. It was curious. I have heard this is a common habit of dogs from puppy mills because they had to compete for food and could not count on being fed in some cases). I think Tifa was not reliably fed and would eat the scraps of humans. I think someone fed her human food. I suppose that alone is a trauma.
I have struggled with trauma which I wrote about in this blog if you still have time today, or bookmark it for later ^_^
On Illness and my other sick cat
Oh and by the way, my dog is FAT.
I can say that because Tifa is a dog and dogs don’t have vulnerability about their weight. I’m so glad. You know who does though? Me because I don’t want another one of my animals to get diabetes. Aesthetics aside which is remarkably subjective… That’s another story for another day.
I hope never to allow anyone in my home to eat themselves to diabetes again after figuring out how to handle my older diabetic cat, diesel, on a day to day basis. It broke my heart repeatedly last winter.
I’d never taken my, or anyone else’s fitness/health into such serious consideration until I had to take care of him. I used to say, ‘not my body so don’t care, you can’t control everything’ & ‘Live and let live.’ I realize now it was a disservice to my loved ones. I had no idea.
How to see The reflection
felt that perceiving was judging, which I have noticed is a common American cultural norm. And it annoys me.
I want to live in a way which prevents the illness I’ve had to experience second hand. Heck I want to live in a way which prevents illness from my own experience.
Like Sidhartha, it took a long time for me to exit the castle… but I digress.
Diesel He is healthy happy and a good boy, but it’s a lot and I can feel his pain/annoyance. Really that’s what makes me sad: how upset the condition makes him. All of my animals are attention seeking, it must be a reflection of me. Right?
. For example, when he gets annoyed he’ll look at you right in they eye and just
To him I replay ‘I agree with you, buddy. Lifes not fair.’ Sometimes eric will laugh, sometimes its quiet, sometimes another high pitched om. All of these responses are mirrors.
I walk her every day for an hour. An hour is better than a distance occasionally because the walk is really for her. IF she wants so sniff for 5 minutes at one tree, be my guest. Usually we go at least a mile though. I’m fitter, shes fitter, and I never want to think about my weight.
I can close my eyes to my body and look at her for validation of my health.
Feeding her reminds me to feed myself.
Her willingness to exercise was inspiring and I have a wonderful companion to enjoy the neighborhood with. I can have the weight I desire without even thinking about the weight I desire. All I have to do as look at how happy and healthy she is and I will know.
Other mirrors of me and her
Noticing body language
Effectively saying no and setting boundaries
How well we both are eating now
How much time I spend on the couch
How much time she spends in the sun
Our tolerance for discomfort
How to show love
How to receive love
My dog and I are connected. Woven together with the threads of this material and spiritual world. Same with my kitties,
I believe kitties teach you how to love
Dogs teach you how to be loved
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