Bobby is a very special dog. He was found in a house with 62 dogs in it – yes, 62 including little Bob! It was a very sad story of an older lady owner who had a few pets to begin with, but with the passing years that got out of hand … Luckily the RSPCA stepped in and saved the poor animals, who were in a pitiful state by that time, having been neglected for so long. Bobby was 10 years old when he was found with his extended pack (an estimated age due to the very bad condition of his teeth), and when we decided we needed a companion for our old dog Harry, Bobby seemed like the perfect candidate. Just look at those ridiculously big ears and that sweet puppy-like face! Plus Harry was already 12, so a similar aged companion was in order. Older dogs are often picked last from rescue centres, as they obviously won’t live as long as their younger counterparts, but that didn’t concern us – it even made us more keen on re-homing him.
A long story cut short, when we went to meet him Bobby had had very little, if any, contact with human beings throughout his life. He was not a “dog” as we have come to know the domesticated species; he was a dog totally unschooled in the behaviour patterns expected by man of his faithful friends. Which wasn’t really a problem for me as I wasn’t particularly used to dogs, having been a committed cat person prior to meeting Harry! So, for Bob, no “sits”, no “come here boy”s, in fact no training or grasp of what was required of him as a dog from his human companions at all. The sight of a lead filled him with dread – he had no concept of what it was, why we were trying to drag him along with it or indeed what the purpose of a walk was, as he’d never been taken on one in his former life.
Older and set in his ways, we soon got used to the idea that Bobby, whilst highly intelligent and capable, would just do things in his own sweet way and take his own sweet time … And he continues to do so. He has graced us with his favours in some respects, now totally conversant with the lead/walk/sniffs galore pattern, and fully au fait with the concept of wees and indoors being mutually exclusive in his new world.
Living and working with Bobby has been a joy, a delight, but also a continual series of lessons for me along the lines of “live and let live”. An exercise in patience and understanding beyond most I’ve personally tackled up to the time he became our companion. But observing this quirky, delightful, often joyous being, with whom it is a privilege to live and for whom, we have been determined to ensure, life will now be a bed of roses (or bluebells – see photo!) in comparison to his former existence, has been a big learning experience. To the extent that I am convinced Bobby is in fact a reincarnated yoga guru in disguise. He lives daily by the principles of yoga, such as ahimsa (non-violence), aprigaraha (non-grasping) and santosha (contentment). I’m therefore intending to blog along the lines of Bobby’s teachings, weaving in yoga, mindfulness, doggy ideas, and other subjects which pique my interest intermittently. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about them and that you might find something in what I write that is relevant and useful to your own life.
Here endeth the first blog, Namaste. xCx