They say dogs are angels sent down to earth to help people feel Unconditional love. Honestly, my first few dogs in the family didn’t touch me at all. I felt happy when I saw them and sad when they went but did we have a relationship, not more than just friends. My world changed when I met a girl and she had a dog.
The first paw print to be left in my soul was one from a Border collie named Xabi. This dog changed my life and opened the doors to where I belong in this world. The relationship between me and Xabi’s owner was a very fragile one and had many ups and downs. Xabi and I were best friends and there for each other at all times. You see at first I thought the problem was with me. However, when I looked in his eyes I could see he felt the same way I felt. The first time in my life where I felt I wasn’t alone. Where I felt and saw that my self and this brown-eyed lanky border collie were of the same heart and soul. This moment got me addicted to finding more. After about 12 months of this emotional roller coaster of a relationship, I started seeing the effect it had on Xabi, the choice between two people he loves. I didn’t want to case this dog pain and so I looked for my own set of paws that I could run with. Thus the second paw was placed in my soul.
This paw belonged to my dog named Altair. From the moment we met we were best friends and very soon we noticed that this was a relationship that was well beyond the realms of this world. I knew every thought that went through his mind, and he knew mine. We took the dog world by storm. He gave me a strength that would push me through an emotional suicide and life-changing adventure. This dog taught me things about dogs that I have never been able to learn or get explanations from any behaviourist or trainer. He was my angel that connected me to a world that was worth living in. The need for more brought the next paw.
Ksora, never have I seen a dog who thinks as much as she does. This little girl has refined my ability to understand a dimension of dogs that many people don’t believe exists. The rounded mind. Well, that is what I call it. In a simple explanation, it is the ability to see a situation, think of solutions, and assess the risks, alter the plan based on unexpected changes and not rely on being told what to do. At first, this came as a bit of a shock and frustration. I would ask for one thing and she would do another. It took me 20 000kms and training in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Croatia before I would find a way to work with this super intelligent mind. Did my dedication to this cause pay off? Well, we compete in dog agility internationally and are always in the spotlight, with judges around the world rating Ksora as the future world champion and competitors asking how I did it.
With my soft gentle soulmate Altair and my crazy smart Ksora, we would change the world. This mission started with a trip. A trip across the world to show people that there isn’t a reason great enough to separate an owner from their dog, besides the thought that we more important than them. We travelled from South Africa which is where our home was with all our family, to Europe. All this without a job, and income or stability. We would put ourselves in the most difficult environments that a family could end up in and we would show that there was a way to make it work. The aim was never to place my dogs needs below mine. What was to come of this trip has now become my purpose in life. But we will get to that later. I came to Europe to show people that there are no impossibilities when having dogs. This goal didn’t have any effect on people, but what did start taking effect was the people we were meeting on the way. We started changing the opinions about dogs where ever we went. Encountering many people who hated and feared dogs. Many people who saw dogs as just an animal that should be left in the garden and given food and water because that is all they need. These people meeting us in coffee shops or in the parks and experiencing the bond my pack and I have started something. They started seeing what is possible with a dog. It changed their reality. Created a spark in their eyes. I saw the tears of the old as they shared their stories of their dogs who once ran. I felt the struggle of the good-hearted who have rescued past problems. I have smelt the fear in the mistaken mothers. My trip across the world became about changing the image of dogs in a whole. To teach, touch and take people to the world where angels chase balls.
My dogs have not only changed lives, not only wowed those they encounter, but they have given me a route in life that makes this world seem worth fighting for. They have pulled me through depression, altered my ADHD tendencies, given me ears who listen and do not judge me, given me a reason to wake in the morning and experience life.
So are these animals just a mouth to feed and a form of security? Or do they have a world of good to share with us? Can they change who we are? Can they alter our soul? We know they touch our heart but are they able to change our being? Guide you to where you belong? My dogs have done all this and more. I will never stop showing the world the possibilities and try to eliminate this mindset that dogs are “just dogs”.