Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Quantum and Kipling

HEAR and attend and listen; for this befell and behappened and became and was, O my Best Beloved, when the Tame animals were wild. The Dog was wild, and the Horse was wild, and the Cow was wild….and they walked in the Wet Wild Woods by their wild lones….
Of course the Man was wild too. He was dreadfully wild. He didn’t even begin to be tame till he met the Woman, and she told him that she did not like living in his wild ways. She picked out a nice dry Cave, instead of a heap of wet leaves, to lie down in; and she strewed clean sand on the floor; and she lit a nice fire of wood at the back of the Cave; and she hung a dried wild-horse skin, tail-down, across the opening of the Cave; and she said, ‘Wipe you feet, dear, when you come in, and now we’ll keep house.’….
When the Man waked up he said, ‘What is Wild Dog doing here?’ And the Woman said, ‘His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always...
Rudyard Kipling
From "Just So Stories" "The cat that walked by himself"

For most of my life there has been a dog at home. From Jan, Tank, Cherie, Rocky (our only badly bred dog), Gypsy, Thor, and Dakota, to name a few, the dogs have brought us companionship and pleasure. Each time we lose a dog, I am so sad I vow I will never get another. When our last dog died, we went one month before we were at the Humane Society to select another. The house was cleaner and quieter, but not happier than it was with a pet there.
Our present dog is a pound rescue. He is 65 pounds of a lab cross, with a husky tail, and four impossibly crooked and skinny legs that must have come from the bottom of the Creator’s barrel. When one of our daughters applied for a nursing placement in northern Ontario, her interviewers asked her what she would miss the most from home when she was stationed in such a remote location. Her immediate answer was, “my dog”. Well, she did go up north for a few months, and when she returned, there was no equal to the ecstatic greeting the dog gave her.

Every Wednesday, Quantum comes to the hospital to visit patients. He is a mastiff cross and is the most calm, gentle dog I have ever seen. His handler brings him up to the people in wheelchairs and hospital beds and his attention and affection is shared equally with all. Sometimes he comes with Ellie Mae, a tiny lap dog who wears a fashionable scarf. Ellie Mae is living proof that small dogs can also be well trained, not yappy and spoiled. Because people stay in the rehabilitation centre for weeks at a time, there is a very liberal pet policy in place. One lady had been extremely ill and bedridden for over six weeks, and I was beginning to doubt whether or not she would ever start walking again. One day her family brought in her little white poodle, and for the first time, I saw the light of hope come into her eyes. She began to get stronger and left the hospital able to walk again.
Rudyard Kipling was so right when he said, "(Dog) will be our friend for always and always and always....!"

4 comments:

  1. Yes, dogs are great pets. :)

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  2. Like you, I can't imagine our lives without dogs in the house. I like this quote: "The greatest dog in the world...is a companion who does all but speak. He will be gay or serious; he will console you in your lowest moods." Ludwig Bemelmans

    Great tribute to your friends :)

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  3. I was reading your Kipling quote and thinking, "isn't that just like a woman to come along and change everything to her liking!"

    I really believe that animals can help to heal people and that they have much to teach us.

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  4. Mary- I love the quote...it is so true. Generally, I am very much a "people person", however, I like dogs better than I like some people!

    Yes, Laura, I couldn't resist putting in the part about the "wild man" even though it had little to do with the dog story. I have no doubt that animals have a healing touch. I will put any therapy session on hold when the dogs visit.

    Dear Becka...I love you more than the dog!

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