Today we had a day off. Mimi and I love days off as we can go for long walks with Mistress. The idea is that we have fun doing nothing. Mind you we do a little work as well. Mistress had some challenging phone calls today and just our presence helped her feel calm. She would never shout or get cross in front of us she knows how we don’t like that. We could feel how grateful she was to us for our stabilising support. Things have been difficult lately, as one of the Survivors that we support in the charity has ended up in a Psychiatric ward in a hospital. We have noticed we are not stupid. Well I am not anyway!
This can be scary when someone gets locked up and we have to work harder to help Mistress to feel comforted and safe. One of our main duties is to prevent Mistress from feeling anxiety or fear. We know when she is as it is fairly obvious. Then we look busy by checking under furniture and in dark corners to see what is lurking there. Mistress knows she is safe because otherwise we would be barking. So we just snuffle around in a comforting way until she feels settled. Another thing I can do is to jump on the sofa beside her and cuddle up. We both love that. Then she can tap her shoulders and I will climb up and put my paws around her neck as I have been trained to do. I give her a bit of a licking and we look deeply into eachother’s eyes. All this really makes life worth living. One of the most important things for Mental Health and wellbeing is to feel safe. We know this is a necessity because if Mistress feels safe we do too. So we work hard to keep her stable not too happy, not too sad but just right. It is all about the use of certain pheromones, called calming or appeasing pheromones, can sometimes help relieve stressed dogs and they can help humans too. This is a hormone that we release that helps us all stay calm. Everyone knows how just the presence of a dog can help humans feel better. I am sure it is because we can show humans how to be still in God’s presence because we are so good at it. Partly because we don’t talk like humans do. We practice stillness regularly.
We were wondering today what we would have been like had we been born human. Mimi would have had special needs almost definitely. I would have been really clever and been to University. Mistress is really grateful that we came to help her as dogs. Being a dog can be a really humbling experience. Mind you Mistress makes it all worthwhile. She treats us so well. We get this lovely ‘salmon and potatoe’ dog food made by Harringtons. I have to eat this, as I am allergic to meat. She talks to us with real love. When she wants us to move out the way, this is because we live in a small Victorian Terrace so we are often under her feet, she points and says ‘walk on.’ We live in peace and as one because we are not shouted out or ordered about but asked politely and with love. We make Mistress feel good too by doing what she asks and immediately. This shows that we love her and she shows that she loves us by rewarding us by saying ‘good ladies’ or with a treat or my favourite toy. Have I told you about my toy? It is a scruffy duck that I got after I had my ‘spayed’ operation. Us RECOVERY Assistance Dogs have to be spayed so that we don’t get distracted from helping our Survivors.
We had a lovely evening Mass today. Afterwards we stayed on for ½ hour to meditate on the blessed exposition. At one point during the Holy Communion my tail was wagging so hard that it was banging against the pew. I felt we should share some of the wafer but we have to stay behind in the pews. As Noel Moules says it should be ‘Dominion with not dominion over.’ It should be equality for women, men and dogs. No one should be lording it over anyone else. How can the Lorders expect to find shalom, heaven, nirvana or any place of peace if they do? Anyway enough for the moment. Do hope you are reading and enjoying this blog.