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This weekend I rescued an 11 year old Pug with SARDS. His name is also Pugsley. What I think is so beautiful and amazing about him is that embedded deep in his forehead wrinkles is the perfect shape of an eagle. Can you see it?
I find it so ironic because eagles are known for their keen vision and this baby is totally blind. Native Americans see Eagle as a connection to the Great Spirit. Eagle teaches us that we have the ability to soar to great heights if only we will find the courage to do so.
If I had an Indian name – I think it would be Dances with Pugs. I can’t get enough of these little creatures. It all started for me 11 years ago when Pugsley alone had bewitched me, wrapping me around his curly little tail from our first encounter. I’ve only gotten wrapped around it tighter over the years. I’ve always had a huge heart for all animals, but it beats stronger and faster for pugs, I don’t know why.
I don’t understand humans as well as I understand dogs. Working in rescue serves as a constant reminder that there are other kinds of people in the world, people who can own a dog for 11 years and then give them up because they no longer fit into their lifestyle. I don’t get that. In my world, the lifestyle doesn’t change unless it can accommodate the Pug. Over the past 10 years of my life, I have refused job offers, relocations, and suitors because I felt that they weren't in the best interest of my dog. And I have not lived to regret one minute of it.
Despite being totally blind, this guy is a happy, healthy, beautiful pug. He is sweet and content just to be around other dogs and people. His owner contacted me about a month ago asking if we could “dog sit” for her on the weekends while she goes to her boyfriends house because she didn’t want to have to “put him down”. I explained that our rescue organization isn’t a dog sitting service but I pleaded with her to not put him down, that we could find him a great home. I didn’t hear from the woman for a month and I was sure that he was going to become another casualty of the “my pug is old and not as cute or convenient as he used to be, so I want to throw him away” syndrome that sadly exists too much in our world.
Thankfully, she kept my number and contacted me after deciding to surrender him to our rescue instead of euthanize. It seems she is moving down south with her new boyfriend and younger healthier 5 year old pug and didn’t feel that Pugsley would be up to it. I digress.
When I met at the house Saturday morning to pick him up, it was a sad, sad scene. No matter what kind of dog owners people are, there is always some kind of attachment that forms, especially after 11 years. The goodbyes are the hardest part for me to witness. He started whining and singing and howling these painful yodeling cries. It was like he knew he was being sent away but didn't know what he had done wrong. She started crying and I started crying. I wasn’t crying for her, I was crying for him. How sad it is to me that no matter how shitty someone can treat a dog, they are still so loyal that they would lick the hand that strikes them. That’s what really tears me up inside.
He is in a good place now and I’m sure it won’t be long before this Pugsley wraps some new unsuspecting soul around his curly tail the same way my Pugsley did me.
As for me, I always look to the lessons that my life encounters teach and I believe things happen for reasons and different souls are put into different lives to teach the lessons that we need to learn or be reminded of at precisely that moment in time.
Whenever the lesson involves an animal, I refer back to my Native American teachings to help interpret the meaning. I pulled out my animal medicine books and here is what it said:
If Eagle has majestically soared into your life, you are being put on notice to reconnect with the element of Air. Air is of the mental plane, and in this instance, it is of the higher mind. Wisdom comes in many strange and curious forms and is always related to the creative force of the Great Spirit.
Eagle is reminding you to take heart and gather your courage, for the universe is presenting you with an opportunity to soar above the mundane levels of your life. The power of recognizing this opportunity may come in the form of a spiritual test. In being astute, you may recognize the places within your soul, personality, emotions, or psyche that need bolstering or refinement. By looking at the overall tapestry, Eagle teaches you to broaden your sense of self beyond the horizon of what is presently visible.