“She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.”
Shelter dogs inspire me. They teach me resilience.
Life is full of storms. What gives some of us the ability to endure them in spite of sadness, loss, tragedy and suffering?
What strength of spirit lets an abused animal still trust enough in a human after a life of terrible neglect or abuse?
Resilience is a capability that some have that allows them to keep going, to endure. The more resilient one is, the better one deals with challenges. Resilient people and animals manage to keep going.
The stories of the resilient are important to our learning to heal. We can draw strength from the narrative of others to know we are not alone. We need to share our own healing stories.
We have human and animal companion travelers on this journey. We need to reach out to each other. Having a support system helps build resilience. Learning self-care techniques builds resilience.
Finding the right resources and people that can help is not always easy or quick. But I believe in synchronicity. What we need to learn, or who we need to guide us, will appear for us at the right time.
The way through a storm is to adjust our sails.
We can tell someone we need help, accept that help and somehow find our way though the storm. For inspiration, we can look at the courageous battles of women with breast cancer, those with chronic or terminal illness and those who fight the dark, dark storms of depression, mental illness or addiction. It’s a lonely , difficult journey with more white water than calm seas, but resilience is the difference between being a victim or a survivor.
When I need inspiration for resilience, I look to shelter dogs. I look at the shelter dogs who get adopted. They seek connection, a support system. They are proactive and approach prospective adopters with all the charm and energy they can muster. Others create “the look” that makes them irresistible.
Most of us who have been lucky enough to live with a formerly homeless rescued shelter dog, know that the loyalty expressed by a rescued canine tells us they don’t forget the past, but they are grateful and optimistic about the future. They work at creating their new future. They adjust their sails. They go on to learn news tools, new behavior that helps secure their place in their new family and home. Resilience has no age limit, for people or dogs.
Let’s listen to what shelter dogs can teach us about optimism, survival and grace . We have fellow human and animal companion travelers on our journey to resilience.
May we all find our way to safe shores.