My 11 years old German Shepherd, Bambie, suffered from hip dysplasia, a physical ailment which affects most shepherds in their old age. She was rendered immobile to the extent that she couldn’t walk, stand or change positions without her pet parent’s intervention. In the two and half years that she suffered this condition, Bambie, through her behaviour and spirit, taught me many lessons about life. The strongest and most powerful one was ‘faith’. Would any human being be able to exercise faith unconditionally in such a situation? Well, my guess is as good as yours!
For a dog who couldn’t speak, couldn’t walk, couldn’t play, Bambie not only displayed a ‘never-say-die’ spirit but also she was an epitome of faith. Having to live under a condition in which we completely depend on others for our survival, can break the will and resolve of even the strongest among humans. Imagine then, what it can do to an animal? Of course, an animal would become angry, snappy, unhappy, hopeless and frustrated. Did Bambie become any of those? Never! Not for a single day or a minute or a second.
The same old ways…
|An Ode to Brownie
(14th February 2006 – 1st April 2012)
We have got you home when you were few days old, We remember vividly that you could not walk or hold. Your stories of victory were always narrated, said and told. You were featured in a magazine with your picture so bold. I can’t just get over the fun we had with you as I unfold. You gave great company to Amyra without a wink, Trust me little Brownie you will be missed and was never a weak link. Loads of cuddles, hugs and kisses… R.I.P
–Sunanda Gulati, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad
Bambie’s faith in herself, in us, in God was so resolute that it shone from her eyes. Her level of patience reached unimaginable heights. Her ability to surrender completely to us, to God and to nature came only from the fact that her faith was undying. There was never a flicker of doubt, anger, frustration or hopelessness in her demeanor. She continued to behave and live the way she always had when she was healthy, continued to be feisty, loving, funny and above all peaceful.
She knew that she will receive her share of tid-bits from our plates, knew that her schedule will be kept and followed. Knew that she will receive her share of love from everyone she came in contact with and she knew that her illnesses will be treated immediately.
Nothing got changed…
She had the knack of waiting patiently in complete faith without any behavioural changes. Never one to cringe from expressing and showering her love, she was equally demanding of ours. Such was her persona and charisma that everyone at home would almost always be in the same room as her. While we thought that we were reworking our schedules in a way that she was never alone at home, or that her routine was not disturbed, it was in fact her faith that caused the sequence of events to happen according to her needs and requirements.
Lessons about life…
Bambie taught me the beauty of living a life full of faith! She taught me that, while it was important to fight out unwanted situations, it was equally important to surrender in complete faith. To let go of situations that were beyond our control, and to try and see the positives instead. She taught me to believe in myself and the people who loved me, and above all, to have and practice unquestionable faith in God and in nature. I was lucky and blessed to share my life with Bambie, to share the good and, not so good phases with her, to love her and receive her love in return and, to learn from her some very valuable lessons about life.
If we look around us and observe our animal friends, we will realise that they communicate with us at all levels, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We only need to be open to receive their communication and learn from them. They are most in synch with nature and, it’s true, there can be no better teacher than nature itself!