Updated: Jan 17
As a dog trainer, I have had the opportunity to work with many dogs over the years, but there are three in particular who have left a lasting impact on my heart. These three dogs, each with their own unique struggles, were all incredibly loving and kind-hearted individuals. Unfortunately, their behavioural issues ultimately resulted in their deaths.
The first dog was a rescue who had never been properly socialized or taken care of before. He had a tendency to lash out when overstimulated and despite needing four weeks of training, he only received two. This ultimately led to an incident where he redirected his aggression towards a person, causing serious injury. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, I couldn't help but see the loving and kind soul underneath his defensive exterior as he lay on my chest to take his last breathe.
The second and third dogs also had serious behavioural issues that resulted from a combination of factors such as past experiences, environment, genetics and an inability to follow through with training at the level needed for the seriousness of their issues. It broke my heart to see them struggle and ultimately be put down because of issues that were out of their control and a complex interplay of different factors.
The loss of these three dogs has led me to reflect on our society and the way we treat each other. I can't help but see the parallels between the way we treat dogs with behavioural issues and the way we treat each other. We too often look for the easiest solution rather than taking the time to understand and connect with one another. We are quick to dismiss and discard those who are struggling, rather than offering support and compassion.
As I reflect on these three dogs, I can't help but see the similarities between their struggles and those of humans. Each dog, just like human, possess different personalities, different stories, different genetics that all go toward the make of their being. Their souls are similar to those I recognize in the human world, that I have watched suffer greatly at the hands of those close to them.
To be disconnected from self is to be disconnected to those around us. When we are disconnected from ourselves, it becomes easier to hurt those around us. It creates an environment for selfishness and a lack of commitment to doing what's necessary for those around us.
I see how easy it is relatively to euthanize a dog versus honouring who they are and communicating accordingly. I see humans doing the same to their human counterparts in much less definitive way, but arguably more damaging, as we have to live with the consequences.
The loss of these three souls in particular has shown me the importance of empathy and self-reflection in creating a more compassionate and kind society. We must strive to protect and honour the "most beautiful of souls" in both the human and animal world.
In conclusion, the loss of these three dogs has been a powerful reminder of the importance of empathy, understanding, and compassion in creating a more compassionate and kind society, not only for animals but also for human beings. It's important to honour and protect the "most beautiful of souls" in both the human and animal world.