This is Neptune
He is an 88 pound mix of a weimaraner and another breed yet to be determined. Basically, he is a dog.
He came to my family a nervous pup, about 6 months old. Scared to be left alone. Scared to be detached from anyone he considered his family. He didn’t seem very smart. Just frightened of abandonment.
He also had an abundance of energy, a willful personality and a playful spirit, which when coupled with his anxiety, meant he was a very challenging pup indeed. Everyone including vegan animal advocates advised me to get rid of him because he was so much to handle. He needed a strong handler, they said. At times, I agreed with them.
He also had a sweetness to him that, when his needs were met, was lovely and irresistible. Weeks after I adopted him, his antics caused dislocation of my shoulder. When the injury happened, the initial reactions of my closest people were about what to do with the dog. The second reaction was how was I going to earn money with a recently dislocated shoulder. After questions about the dog and my job were satisfied, some asked about how my body felt. I put Neptune in the car with every intention of driving him to the humane society.
In the car, Neptune looked at me with all the care and concern that I craved from my loved ones, whimpered, and pressed his head into my shoulder. I didn’t believe in energy medicine then, but that didn’t matter. My heart healed in that moment, and I recognized the value of his life. I turned my car left instead of right, and took him to obedience training instead of the shelter.
Neptune is six years older now. He has been with me through several life changing events. We take daily walks through Atlanta near our home. After he does his doggie business, we both walk our route mindfully.
It is spring, and he can smell the buds that will soon blossom. He sniffs around bushes excitedly, wagging his tail with anticipation. When a flower has finally blossomed, Neptune puts his long nose right inside the bloom and breathes deeply. Yes, my dog stops to smell the flowers. As a result of his need for a long walk everyday, I too have the opportunity to stop and smell the flowers. I never knew how much I love flowers until I lived in this neighborhood with Neptune.
Neptune has an emotional intelligence that most people can learn from. He is still a big, goofy dog prone to excitement and anxiety. He really doesn’t know how to handle company inside our apartment. But when we walk outside, he transforms into a conscious soul who flawlessly reads his place in the energetic mist we walk through.
When we cross paths with someone who is dog friendly his ears go forward and his tail wags. He whimpers, hoping for some free head scratches and a new friendship.
As we approach someone who is afraid of him, he makes himself appear smaller by crouching down, and uninterested by sniffing the ground intently, turning his head away from them altogether. As soon as they pass, he springs up and it’s back to business as usual, walking ahead to the next interesting thing for a dog. He always looks proud after he does that.
When he senses someone has harmful intentions, he puts himself directly between me and them, with body expanded, hair raised, intent staring, not audibly growling but definitely emitting a vibration that warns me to hurry past this one. He always sneezes and shakes his body off after we are clear of that energy.
There have been a few times he read mixed signals. We have encountered someone who was afraid, just not of him, and he crept up cautiously to comfort them. There was a man who loved dogs, but after giving the customary doggie scratches, the man turned his intentions onto me, and Neptune switched the instant the man’s intention changed. People are complicated creatures. Neptune reads it all.
I walk Neptune for his benefit and mine. I enjoy the fresh air and sunshine abundant in Atlanta. I have this imperfect life form that not only protects me, but shows me how to move through the world working with energy. He shows me that no matter what is on the news, or what is happening at work, or who is watching us, that sometimes you just have to go out and smell the flowers, meet people where they are, and shake off everything that doesn’t serve us. He has taught me how to live mindfully wherever I am while staying aware of my surroundings. He has taught me to appreciate sensitive souls who seem broken, for they are the healers and helpers when given the chance.