Choosing a day of silence was an experience I am grateful for. It did provide me with many insights into just how much we rely on words to convey our thoughts, our desires and even the very essence of who we are. The effect of my choice continued to become apparent for several days. I found I was talking less and listening more. I had a peace inside that I thought I had before, but could feel it deepen. And of all the insights I gained, I learned that some dogs are very sensitive to and don’t like change.
Rocky is a naturally friendly dog. Although he is eleven years old, he bounces around like he’s still three. And everyone comments on this too. Rocky is also my shadow. Anytime I get up to leave the room, he gets up to follow me. When I go out back to meditate, he joins me and sits staring into the waters of our pool. Once in a while I will have to coax him out when he isn’t sure if he wants to be in or out.
I started scratching behind his ears and smiling my approval at him. He pulled back and gave me a big wet one which was promptly wiped off with the back of my PJ’s sleeve. I said nothing, but made sure my love and energy were radiating to him. All my body language told him he was accepted and wanted, yet he soon pulled back. His ears went back and he looked at me with a look that said, “What’s going on here? Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure I don’t like it, no sir, not one little bit.”
The rest of the day, he seemed inquisitive, yet watching from a distance. I know Rocky is very sensitive to the emotions of people around him. When a football game is on and the Dolphins score, (has happened!) he freaks out when we clap and cheer. He doesn’t understand and it makes him a little nervous.
I realize that Rocky came from a shelter where there were so many dogs that they were all neglected. When he was rescued, his paws were so tender that he needed booties to walk on the sidewalk. His hair was falling out and they had declared him deaf.
Turns out, he was not deaf at all. My guess is that if everyone was ignoring him, he just decided to blow them off when they called him. He’s just that way.
It seems that Rocky isn’t so different from us. There are things that happen when we are younger and it makes us afraid of taking chances or trusting our own instincts. Rocky had nothing to fear, and rarely do we.
Of all the reactions I encountered I found the reaction of my dog the most curious of all.