Saturday, November 10, 2012

Animals: The Unspoken Language, How Our Pets Are Our Guides

Lots of people talk to animals.... Not very many listen, though.... That's the problem. ~Benjamin Hoff

As I look at Lakota and Bella, it dawns on me, they've both been in my life now for nearly a decade. It births reflection immediately and it makes me realize these pets have been my unit, have been at my side throughout some of the toughest years of my life thus far.

My dad used to tell me about the Hindu belief that animals are sacred ... and those in our lives, those we have with us, they are guides as well.

The question is, how often do we listen? How often do we just view our pets as our "kids" or as our companions, but forget to look deeper, to look at them as equal beings on this earth with a lot to teach us if we paid attention.

Sometimes, if I'm extremely stressed out, the moment I look in Lakota's eyes, or see his big smile and tongue hanging out as we're walking, I completely deflate. It's a feeling of ... "oh yeah, that's right, this is what it's all about, not all of that stuff, this right here."

When I was in Italy last year, my cousin, Nikki, came over to my parents' house where Lakota and Bella were being taken care of, to check on them. She said she sat down on the couch and they were around her and she instantly thought, "These pets are definitely Cassandra's pets."

She said she couldn't quite explain it, but everything about them, their energy, their eyes, personalities, made her automatically think of me.

That stayed with me ever since and in the more recent weeks, I've been seeing more and more of what she's saying. I think being in this new house and the positive, warm, energy here is part of it. We're all a bit more at ease than we were before. But it's more than that. Perhaps it's this newer state of mind I'm in these days. But as Lakota shows signs of his age (cloudy eyes, gray snout, stiffer muscles), I am making a point to cherish being "in the moment" with him more now than ever before.

And Bella, who, from day one in the pound, has looked at me like she's ALWAYS been with me, never fails to bring a smile, make me feel loved, show me wisdom and a bit of spunk, too. These pets have evolved as I have. When I first got them, I was getting ready to leave for college. It was a scary embarking for me at the time and while I had my boyfriend in tow then, it was still something I'd never done before — be away from my family for long stretches of time.

But having Lakota and Bella with me was like having family there in a way. They were unsure, a little nuts (Lakota, moreso, haha) and quirky, but then again, so was I (still am ;-)

Then the rough years hit upon graduation and the "real world." Lakota distanced himself from me a bit during that time. It was like, he didn't recognized me for awhile there, he was almost afraid or on edge whenever I'd be crying or upset or depressed. It was like he never knew what to do or how to help. But as I've come out of all of that and especially right now, he's at my side constantly ... it's like he's constantly in connection with me, with my energy, words, movements. Same with Bella, though she's always been her own cat in a lot of ways.

Over this last decade, Lakota has taught me patience, unconditional love, wisdom, appreciation for the little things, the peace and sacredness of the present moment, respect for all living creatures and nature, the art of selflessness, loyalty and non-judgement.

Bella has taught me about connection, independence, contentment in simplicity (such as lying on the floor in the sun), adventurousness, love, affection and wisdom. Felines can sometimes tell an entire story with just their eyes.

Next time you're sitting across or next to your dog or cat, make a point to just look at them, not with your mind, but with something deeper. If you can catch their eye, just look into them. You will be amazed at what you might feel, what you might see or hear.

For these reasons and so many more,  I am thankful for my guides. And each day moving forward, I plan to continue cherishing every moment I have with them.



  1. I love this :) And also those 2 furry sweeties. Can't wait to see them soon!

    1. Yeah :-) I figured you'd like this one. And they can't wait to see you! :-)