Pets and Us

I enjoyed this question and answer from Tobias as received by Geoff Hoppe at Crimson Circle.
SHAUMBRA 4: … A beautiful being has come into [our] life. Her name is Maggie. She is called a Weimaraner by description of the breed of dog she is. And – I don’t know – maybe you can tell us just a little something. I know she’s had some trials in this lifetime …

TOBIAS: When anybody, when Shaumbra, is considering their pets – oh, they’re such a marvelous thing and there’s a whole history of Tobias and Tobias, Jr. and dogs. It’s interwoven into all of our lifetimes.* But take a look at the time that this precious one came into your life. You could say that pets – dogs and cats and a few birds – are generally the manifestation of a part of yourself.

They’re not what you would call your total self, but your energy is infused into them and they – these precious beings, these precious type of devas or type of earth beings, not quite angels, but they’re earth beings – they absorb your energy. So when one like this comes into your life, take a look at the timing when it came in, what it’s sharing back with you right now, which is probably love and wisdom, but also take a look at its past because that past also is a reflection of your past, in the case that you get a pet like this.

Now for those getting brand new pets, generally they are ones who have been with you before. They’re very familiar with your energy and your journey, and they’ve been walking along the path with you for as many lifetimes as you could count. So they generally feel very, very close. They’re like energy sponges – consciously. They pull your energy in and they help you work with it in such a loving way – as long as you’re choosing it to be loving.

So … when you look in its eyes understand that it is its own being, but it’s also being such a part of you as well.
* Tobias has said that Geoff was Tobias Jr. during the Tobias lifetime. Geoff and Linda have a dog that is often present when he channels Tobias.

I enjoy knowing that our pets are so close to us. They surely feel close! April Crawford's Veronica has said that when pets die, if there’s a strong desire on our part and their part that they return to us but that return is down the timeline a bit, they’ll often take on the body of a bird temporarily. Doing so allows them to stay physically close to us while the timing is worked out for them to return. I find comfort in that.

What I found most interesting in the comment from Tobias is how true it seems to be for both my cat (who is most definitely my cat) and our dog. Our dog is more “our” dog than tied to any of us individually. He was brought into our lives about 10 years ago, after we finally gave in to our daughter’s constant begging for a dog. Over time it’s become clear that this dog has become the family pet rather than her pet alone. She was gracious enough to allow him to stay with us after she grew up and moved out on her own. We are ever grateful that she did so, as this dog has been and continues to be such a joy to us.

I think I mentioned, in another post, how much freedom means to my husband and me. We are both self-employed, and both of us work alone, without employees. Our work is like that by design. We both know we could grow our businesses and employ others, but for us, right now, the freedom of answering only to ourselves is the most valuable thing we have. We could be free in any number of ways, but for now this is what we choose. Without a doubt our personal freedom is at the top of each of our lists for how we like to live.

Enter our dog, who was given up twice within a year because of his propensity for jumping 6-foot fences to get out of the owner's yard. This dog will not be penned up. He will be as inventive—and annoying—as possible until he takes or is given his freedom. When we first got him from the Humane Society we were told about this “misbehavior” that caused his owners so much frustration and upset, and eventually caused them to give him up.

In order to keep the dog in our yard we put him on a generous leash. This leash was attached to a cable that ran the width of the yard. He could move the length of the leash, which slid back and forth the length of the cable, so he could move around a lot. In fact had access to nearly the whole back yard.

It wasn’t enough. He was confined and he knew it, and he was not happy. He howled and whined and barked and howled and whined and barked, non-stop on that leash. When we were outside with him he would quiet down. But the moment we left him there, tied up in as generous a way as we could think of, he’d howl. And howl. And howl.

We read up on all the ways to control such behavior. We talked to dog behavior experts. We reviewed all the different ways to get this dog to fall in line with city ordinances that he stay in our yard unless we were walking him ourselves—on a leash. We tried a few of the less severe methods. We even tried giving him his own "cave", a generously-large and strong open mesh metal dog kennel that we borrowed from our son. The dog wouldn't have any part of it. One time we put him in it and closed the door hoping he'd take to it. He chewed (destroyed) the metal latch and pushed and shoved the metal door until it bent enough that he could squeeze out.

We agonized for many months during this "training" process. I will say that is was agonizing for all of us, dog included. Eventually we gave up. Not because the dog didn’t learn, but because it became clear to us that he didn’t want to learn. He wanted to be free.

Could we have persisted in breaking him? I’m sure we could. We decided not to. I began to see this dog as the embodiment of what I considered to be the most important attribute of life, freedom. He didn’t mind being indoors most of the time. Some dogs would mind that, he didn’t. Nor do I. I work out of a home office so I’m at home a lot.

It—this relationship of the dog and us—turned out to be a marriage made in heaven. He's loyal and loving to a fault, the way most dogs are. He stays inside with me most of the time. When he needs to go out I am there to let him out, unleashed. Any time that I or my husband are outside he is out there with us, yet free to come and go. He doesn’t mind being on a leash when we go for a walk, because he’s with us. Being with us seems to be the key. If he’s with us he’ll forgo his freedom somewhat. If we aren’t around he requires his freedom.

So here’s this dog who needs his freedom every bit as much as we do, who came into our lives shortly after we both decided to get serious about our freedom (by quitting our jobs and becoming self-employed). Amazing.

Then there’s my cat, the one who is clearly my cat. To show you a little bit of synchronicity, I had wanted this cat for a very long time. I had her clearly pictured: gray and white shorthair, female. I wanted her, but I didn't do much in the way of trying to find her. I figured if things worked in life the way I thought they did, she'd find her way to me.

My husband, bless his heart, searched the Humane Society off and on for months (unknown to me) but couldn’t find what I had said I wanted. One time he found a cat he thought I’d like and brought me to see it. Despite the fact that this cat wasn’t a gray and white shorthair female but instead a black and white long haired male, he seemed like a loving kitty so we brought him home.

Long story short, this cat, the black and white, used us to get him out of prison. Of that I am certain. He was the most adorable, loving thing in his little cage at the Humane Society. He stuck both paws out of the bars and lovingly grabbed my arm, with his claws retracted. He purred and tried to rub his head against me while still caged. My heart melted. We brought him home.

From the minute that cat got to our house it was clear he didn’t want to be there. Gone was the totally loving creature we'd experienced at the Humane Society. In our home this cat became completely indifferent; he could have cared less about either one of us.

Sure he'd take our attention if we wanted to give it, but he wasn't the attention seeker/lover I had always experienced as cat pets. Certainly nowhere near as affectionate as he'd been before we brought him home. This cat was always off adventuring around the neighborhood. He seemed to enjoy that. Occasionally he would jump into the front seat of a neighbor’s car or truck. I always thought that was curious behavior. Whatever neighbor it was who's car he had gotten into would gently pick him up and put him back on the street. This went on for months.

Then one day this cat disappeared. Just up and disappeared. It didn’t surprise me. It had become clear to me that he didn’t want to be with us. I worried about him for awhile until I realized that was just silly. Here was a cat that was just like me in one way, he was bound and determined to have the life he wanted. It didn’t take long for me to realize that he wasn’t coming back. And I knew that wherever he went, whoever he ended up with, both cat and owner would be delighted with each other.

Back to my cat. My (now ex) daughter-in-law, who I still love dearly, knew about my desire for a gray and white cat and had been putting feelers out. From a gal that she worked with she heard about a gray and white kitten that had been found and taken to a veterinarian clinic and was being cared for there. This kitten needed a home; were we interested?

The vet where she was being held was some 25+ miles away from where we live, but we (my daughter-in-law and me), decided since I wanted a gray and white so badly and hadn’t been able to find one, we might as well go have a look. And so we did.

We arrived at the vet and told them why we were there. One of the lab assistants at the vet’s office brought out the cat that we had come to see. She was perfect! She laid down in my lap and while I petted her she purred happily and soon was fast asleep.

This poor kitten had been through a lot. She had been out in the cruel world for who knows how long, had become malnourished almost to the point of death, and had gotten infested with lice and had ringworm. To cure the ringworm her fur had been shaved in a number of places, and she was thin. The vet had done a good job getting her health back, but we were told she’d have to be isolated from other pets and family members for weeks, to ensure that the ringworm didn't spread. I didn’t care. I loved her and brought her home.

We had picked up the kitten on a Saturday. On Monday, when my daughter-in-law returned to work, she called me. Her friend who had told her about the cat wanted to know why we hadn’t taken it home. What?! That didn’t make any sense, we had taken it home!

Turns out that the cat we went to see was not the cat we were shown. The cat we went to see was a long hair, while the one we were shown was the short hair that I had been waiting for. Since “my kitten” was still sick she wasn’t supposed to have been shown at all. Don’t ya love it when life works out like that? I’m still thankful to that lab assistant who ‘accidentally’ (heh) showed us the wrong cat. The one that was really the right cat.

So this new cat needed to be isolated, medicated, and cared for a great deal during her first weeks with us. I was the one who took care of her, and she bonded quite strongly with me. Forever after she has been my cat.

Funny thing about this cat, she didn’t much like being outside. Once in awhile she’d get brave and venture out, but these adventures always ended up in even greater trauma for her. I’d find her huddled in a corner under the deck in our back yard, crying that terrorized cry that cats cry, trying to stay safe in what for her was a terrifying world.

During this time I was reaching a low point in my own life. Too much to tell in this short space, but I was going through my own inability to be in the world. I spent a great deal of time inside. Inside was comfortable, safe, and I didn’t have to deal with being in a world that I didn’t feel like I fit in and that I wasn't sure I wanted to be in. The cat and I lived in this safe indoor world together.

One day, years later, I shifted out of that fear of the world. I won’t go into detail about that, just to say that it was a process that culminated one day in my fear dissolving. I began to go outside, and I began to do things outside.

Very soon after this shift in me I realized that the cat was taking her own first tentative steps exploring the great outdoors too. Whereas for years she never even went near a door, now she was taking the opportunity to go outside. I hadn't noticed her slipping out, and she was going out while I was still inside. Not only was she going out, she wasn’t running for the nearest cover (under a car, under the deck, behind our stacked wood) like she had done the few times she had gone out before. Instead she was exploring being in this fun new place. She was mimicking me!

The cat still spends more time inside than outside, but so do I. The difference is that she isn’t afraid to be outside anymore. She goes out frequently when the dog does, and comes back when he does, probably because he’s much better at getting let back in than she is. If she misses coming in with the dog she just cries in the normal way that cats cry to let you know they want in. Quite a difference from the way that she used to be outside. Quite a difference in the way that I am when I'm out of the house now too.

So pets carry certain characteristics of their owners because they are far more closely tied to our energy than we realize. Is it any wonder that pets so often look like, or come to look like, their masters?

How much like you are your animals? What might they be showing you that's worth seeing?

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