Apr 20, 2019

Arunachala Animal Sanctuary's April Report

Welcome to our beloved Shelter.
Welcome to our beloved Shelter.

Dear People. Dear Animal Lovers. Dear Supporters.

Namaste'. I bow to your Inner-most Selves.

This is a Special Report. It is deep. Moving. Not processed. 

It's the beginning of the Hot Season here in Southern India. It's difficult for the animals. Hoping it rains some...or the water holds out.

These are my closing years of full-time/active work with the Shelter. Dr.Raja and Vishwa are really running things, and I am overseeing and advising. They are s-o-o-o good, it's humbling. At times, I feel inadequate. What a blessing they are.

In this closing stretch I'm focused on getting the Shelter into a much-needed larger facility...and laying a donation base that will go indefinitely into the future. 

In this Report I'm going to talk about "stuff"...deeper stuff...to give you a sense of the Specialness of our beloved Shelter.

Yes, the testimonials are impressive, several of which I'll talk about. And the statistics are impressive. But they don't tell the story of the Specialness. The totally transformed and uplifted quality of the life of animals on the streets shows the effect of the Work, but not the Specialness.  What we do doesn't tell the story.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN OUR BELOVED SHELTER IS HEART!  It's something that you really have to experience. I wish you could see the inside of our Shelter. It would gladden your Heart. Nevertheless, I'm going to try to tell you some of the things that give rise to the wonderful feeling of spaciousness and love you feel inside.

Sometimes when animal lovers are visiting for the first time, I tell them to close their eyes for a minute and just experience the feeling of the energy. I tell them that the softness, the quietness that they're experiencing is Grace. And that it's within this field of Grace that everything is unfolding. 

Sometimes, people visiting for the first time get teary, because they didn't know a place such as ours existed.

Sometimes, early evening, I'll just come and sit in the energy...experiencing the wonderful creatures around me...not focusing on anything in particular. Just...sitting. And it feels s-o-o-o GOOD...and so-o-o PEACEFUL...and it's s-o-o-o HEALING. 

THE DOGS AND PUPPIES ARE NOT KEPT IN CAGES, BUT RUN FREE AND ARE HAPPY. They are not simply "in captivity". They have a life. They have choices.

OUR STAFF IS DEVOTED AND LOVING. From the very beginning, they understood that deep healing would only take place if the animals felt safe, cared for, and loved. That it was they who gave the animals that love and caring. And that the expression of this was different for everyone, and each of them had to find their own way of that expression. They understood that the Furry Ones could tell the difference between someone being just "very nice', and someone who really cared. So it was important to be real.

OUR STAFF ARE SPECIAL,SPECIAL PEOPLE. Most have been with us five or six years, several longer. All of them, with no exceptions, truly care for the animals. But some Special Ones (Sekar, Supervisor Raja, Pandi, and Ramesh) I call the 'Pure Hearts'. And their attention alone can heal where medicine fails...The animals know this. The animals love them.

THE VERY CORE OF OUR WORK IS DEMONSTRATIVE LOVE--HUGGING, STROKING, REASSURING, KISSING. 

Over these years, we have gotten so many beautiful Heartfelt emails from people who have visited and experienced the almost/magical vibration. One of my all-time favorites is from a lady who didn't speak English very well. I want to share it with you--unedited for spelling, punctuation, or language.

  • i hope you understand my english... i want you to know…………..i spendt 6 weeks in india this time. i was feeding dogs everywhere and was very sad how they was treated by people. i cant understand this things, i love animals so much!..........i was travelling to Tiruvannamalai for 3 days to see, and hopefully to feel, this mountain and the ashram from Ramana………….a woman in the guesthouse told me about the animal sanctuary and i wanted to visit it before i leave to Pondycherry………………when i came in the sanctuary i felt, oh my god, i felt LOVE like never before! i felt freedom and coming HOME! after that, this love is still alive and wants to share!..................what i was searching in Tiru and all over the world I FOUND IN THE SANCTUARY!!!.............i love you, i love all of you!..................it is opening my heart like never before. unconditional LOVE! made so easy…it is the easiest thing in the world. one have only to GIVE and the hearts will understand this energy and react and learn how to GIVE. GIVING IS RECIEVING, its the same thing!.................and we learn it from people like you!”

For the first seven or eight years, Vishwa and Dr.Raja were my students. We worked very closely together. Day. Night. It was intense, always. Always. The motivation was pure. But they are no longer my students. They are on "their own legs", moving with their own strengths, and have taken things beyond where I could have possibly gotten them, even in my prime.

Often we moved thru Darkness. Traversing incredibly difficult terrain. "What," one might ask, "are the qualities that enable one to move thru these spaces?" I think the two main ones...the ones that must run deep, deep, deep...are Earnestness and Perseverance.

These beautiful, innocent, vulnerable creatures we serve have such difficult circumstances to go thru. In Eastern terms, it's called karma. Many succumb. It's just too much. Many are crushed. Many become crazed. Many fall into a deep pit of nothingness...depression...immersed in unrelenting pain. Having just to go on.

Our sole purpose for being is to lift suffering from these Precious Creatures. 

When we traverse these difficult spaces in doing the Work, it helps to remember that these aren't just "regular difficulties" we are encountering. This is the unrelenting battle to lift difficult karma from some of the Precious Ones'...to transform the wall of indifference towards them...and sometimes, the outright malevolence. 

As for us...we just have to keep going. It's never total "success". In those spaces, in those times where it's almost overwhelming, where the important thing is to somehow manage just to take the next step, it helps enormously to remember that we really are "lightening" it for the Precious Ones. And to see that we're actually making a profound difference. You can see it getting "lighter and lighter", "better and better" for them.

And it has unfolded here like in no other municipality of size in all of India...THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT HAS HAPPENED IS THAT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE HOMELESS DOGS AND THE PEOPLE AMONGST WHOM THEY LIVE DAY IN, DAY OUT, HAS BEEN TOTALLY TRANSFORMED.

Without that transformation, the impact of whatever else is done is significantly limited--the animals would be subject to the same indifference, the same absence of protection when they are in harm's way, the same unaided difficulties in their ongoing search for food and water. The same absence of affection.

One can experience the change by walking on the streets. Each year street conditions get better and better, and Tiru is amongst the very few municipalities of size where this has happened. IN THE POIGNANT WORDS OF LONGTIME TIRU RESIDENT DEV GOGOI WRITTEN AT THE TIME OF OUR FOURTH ANNIVERSARY PUJA. Public memory is short. Few can recall the rampant stray dogs everywhere, young and aged, starving and diseased, scavenging in the garbage heaps, fighting amongst themselves, ignored and abused by the human population, while remaining a menace to all including themselves. In four short years, the roads are more peaceful, with few strays to be seen, and the naturally loving relationship between humans and animals restored to its true state.”

FROM A PUBLIC LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT BY THE ANIMAL WELFARE BOARD OF INDIA WHO OVERSEE ALL THE ANIMAL SHELTERS IN THE COUNTRY. “In the short span of time that they have been in existence, they have established themselves as one of the very best animal sanctuaries, veterinary clinics, rescue shelters and hospices in the Nation”

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We've been busy since I've last written.  Our stats for January, February, and March are:

  • Clinic Visits.............................................1,659
  • In-patient Treatments...........................15,132
  • Emergency Rescues.................................201
  • Dogs Sterilized............................................85
  • Anti-rabies injections................................264
  • Animal Adoptions........................................13
  • Non-dogs treated.......................................215 
  • (62 cows & calves, 44 goats & sheep, 40 cats, 38 birds, 2 rabbits, 7 horses, 8 bullocks, 14 buffalo)                                                                                                                

 ============================= 

Some Shelter happenings.

  •  A well rescue.
  • We had a well rescue only ten kms out of town. Someone called and said a dog had been trapped for six days. Pandi and Premkumar went. But the well was 80 feet deep, and they couldn't reach the dog. (We don't know how he survived.) The Fire Department got him with an 80 foot rope ladder.  Pandi and Prem brought him to the Shelter. He was weak and dull, but had no significant injuries, and was otherwise in good health.
  • He was a sweet guy. Two years old. He recovered his energy in only two days. (I'm wondering if he was actually trapped for the six days they said.) 
  • He apparently had a good life, and really wanted freedom, quickly. So we set him free in his territory on the third day.

 

  • A puppy rescue.
  • We got a call that there were four 1 day old puppies whose mother had been killed in an accident. Vishwa went to check it out to make sure someone wasn't trying to dump the puppies. 
  • He brought them to a special facility near his house that we've been using for pups the last three months. (It's the parvo and distemper season so there are too many germs to keep pups in the Shelter.)  
  • Pups this young have to be fed every hour, 24 hours a day, and it gradually increases to where they're eating "normally" after a month. (We use special tiny nipples that we get from the States.) Vishwa slept with the pups the first four nights.
  • I just spoke to Vishwa. They're doing beautifully, and they're very active.

 

  • A very recent rescue.
  • Some kind souls brought a 7 month old male dog that they had found lying on the side of the road about 30 kms out.
  • He had been hit by a vehicle and his two back legs were totally mangled. 
  • Dr.Raja gave the sweetie strong painkillers that blocked the pain, and i.v.'s to hydrate him, and operated the next morning. It was a two hour operation, and he had to amputate both back legs.
  • Our Pure heart, Sekar, is taking care of this boy. We've had him a week now, and he's doing beautifully. In another few weeks dogs and puppies will start snuggling him. And in a month or so, he'll start "running around" with some friends.
  • He'll have a good life with us.
  • Om Namah Shivaya.

 

  • Sad news.
  • Lakshmi has passed away.
  • She was the dear, five year old white horse Dr.Raja had been treating for a metastasized malignancy near her eyes. 
  • Her final two months were sweet ones. Annette and Venkatesh had fallen in love with her, and took her on their 1 1/2 acre estate outside of town. It had large patches of green organic grass that she loved. Vishwa dressed her wound every day. Effective painkillers blocked any pain. And she had two months immersed in love and caring...and a peaceful passing.
  • We've put her on several powerful prayer lists. Say a prayer for her.
  • Om Namah Shivaya.

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  • Also a problem. Intense.
  • Most of you know about the rescue of the 37 cattle...for those who don't:
  • Late night, January 12th, a lorry illegally carrying 37 cattle being taken to slaughter in Kerala was intercepted on the road. The conditions inside that vehicle bordered on atrocity. One can only imagine what was done to those poor animals to be able to load them like that. (The legal max for transporting is six.) Prodding them. Beating. Kicking. Pulling by the nose... And it is difficult to consider the suffering that would have occurred on the long 20 hour journey to the slaughter house had they not been intercepted...Almost no air. No water. No food. Bumpy roads. The moaning...dying...crushing. Youngsters separated from their mothers. Awful. Awful. Awful.
  • The cattle and lorry were impounded by the police, and criminal charges were brought against the "cattle traffickers."
  • The cattle were turned over to us to care for them while the case was litigated.
  • At best, it's an involved process that can take several months. But, in this case, the mafia is involved and representing the "traffickers". And the weight of litigation has fallen on us.
  • We've found out they have strong connections within the police department, with the prosecutor, and within the Court itself. They may be able to prevent the case from coming to trial...I don't know.
  • At this point we've cared for the dear cattle for three months...but our initial estimate of $2,000 monthly was low. It's more like $3,300. We have them at two sites. If we're in for the long haul, we'll build to increase the capacity at one of the sites, and consolidate. That would bring the cost down to the original $2,000.
  • These are uncharted waters for us. The mafia in this area is powerful. We're not "babes in the woods". We have contact and support from some powerful forces. But it's intense. And always...in the background...is danger. 
  • If you're so inclined, we could really use your help for this alone, over and above everything else.
  • There are 14 young water buffalo, 12 bulls, 8 bullocks, and 3 cows. They are doing beautifully. Gaining weight. Feeling safe and cared for. And becoming affectionate...I'm sure it's the best time of their lives.
  • We couldn't even think of letting them go...and don't care what it takes. We will get these pure creatures to safety.
  • Please say prayers for us...Om Namah Shivaya.
  • Love, Leslie

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This brings us to the end of the Report.

Hoping that each of you is doing excellently...And if it's difficult inner-terrain that you're traversing, that it may bear great spiritual fruit. Hoping that you're unfolding beautifully and strongly inside. My Baba said that nothing is gained without some inner austerity. It seems that we have to go thru some inner burning to clear the way.

May each of us, no exceptions, be blessed with more compassionate understanding.

As in previous reports, I've included a collection of photos. Hoping you enjoy them. Remember...the theme is simply LOVE. 

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                  PLEASE...REMEMBER...DONATIONS.

THE PRECIOUS ONES NEED US...AND WE DEFINITELY NEED YOU!

             PLEASE...DIG DEEPLY...GIVE GENEROUSLY.

RECURRING DONATIONS, EVEN QUITE MODEST ONES, ARE BEST FOR US. THEY GIVE US STABILITY.       

With love, blessings, and wishes for all things good...May we All, each of us, do actions that emit uplifting, healing energy. These are difficult times for our beloved planet…and each of us can help in a major way.

 

 

 

Welcome to our beloved Shelter.
Welcome to our beloved Shelter.
Two of the Precious Homeless Ones we protect.
Two of the Precious Homeless Ones we protect.
A homeless sweetiepie just before her Rescue.
A homeless sweetiepie just before her Rescue.
He LOVED animals.
He LOVED animals.
Our beloved Staff--Here for the Precious Ones.
Our beloved Staff--Here for the Precious Ones.
Dr.Raja treating an in-patient.
Dr.Raja treating an in-patient.
Swami Muktananda...Head of Ananda Ashram in Kerala
Swami Muktananda...Head of Ananda Ashram in Kerala
Sri Mooji, blessing us with His presence.
Sri Mooji, blessing us with His presence.
Such beautiful eyes.
Such beautiful eyes.
What a beautiful face.
What a beautiful face.
And here's another Precious One.
And here's another Precious One.
Our beloved Sekar and Shivagami "simply caring".
Our beloved Sekar and Shivagami "simply caring".
Dr.Raja and Dr.Heera
Dr.Raja and Dr.Heera
Dr.Ramakrishna.
Dr.Ramakrishna.
This babe was brought in by the Forest Department.
This babe was brought in by the Forest Department.
This beauty is coming to see our beloved doctors.
This beauty is coming to see our beloved doctors.
This little one hurt her leg.
This little one hurt her leg.
Never too small for a good old-fashioned splint
Never too small for a good old-fashioned splint
Dear Ranjita...The mange was so bad.
Dear Ranjita...The mange was so bad.
The beginning of her care.
The beginning of her care.
Ranjita..4 months later..Have a good life sweetie.
Ranjita..4 months later..Have a good life sweetie.
Our front veranda.
Our front veranda.
Our back veranda.
Our back veranda.
We have been honored this year.
We have been honored this year.
They all, no exceptions, need more love.
They all, no exceptions, need more love.
Love is so important!
Love is so important!
It's the most important thing.
It's the most important thing.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
And it's important that we love each other.
And it's important that we love each other.
There is really not much more that can be said.
There is really not much more that can be said.
Jan 19, 2019

Arunachala Animal Sanctuary's December Report

They must feel safe, cared for, and loved.
They must feel safe, cared for, and loved.

Dear, dear People,

I'm at the Dreaming Tree, a wonderful rooftop restaurant in Tiru that has become my favorite place to work. So I'm overindulging, gaining weight, loving it, as I write this Report.

Blessings to All of You this Holiday Season. May each of us pass thru it in warmth, bathed in love-filled energy. May we all, All of Us, without exception, be blessed with more compassionate understanding this year.

The Shelter is going beautifully. A major topic these last two months has been puppies. Many, many of them. At one point we had forty. This created two distinct needs--caring for the Precious Little Ones, and finding homes for them.

The most important care is simply touching and babying them. And we have four village ladies--two in the morning and two in the afternoon-- whose only job is to cuddle and baby our Precious Ones, puppies and adults alike. If you saw these ladies, they would warm your Heart. They have little packets to help clean their fur babies' eyes and ears, and to remove ticks. They hold them, baby them and stroke them. It has really made a difference, so we're in the process of increasing our ladies to four in the morning, and four in the afternoon. Also of importance is that puppies have each other to snuggle, play, rest with, and touch. They're a real "Heartwarmer" to watch.

Finding homes for them, though, is a big problem and requires major, major effort. Vishwa has three students from the nearby college who go out up to 100kms looking for good homes…Then Vishwa goes to check the homes out. (About half are good.) The students can receive 500 rupees from us for each puppy placed…but they’re “deeply into it” and refuse to take any compensation other than reimbursement for their expenses. Our beloved Vishwa spends an incredible amount of time doing this. It’s not easy to find good homes. Sometimes a full day’s searching yields none. (At this point in time, since opening, Vishwa has remarkably placed over 1000 puppies in good homes.)

We’re concerned about the increasing number of puppies coming to us. So we’re doubling our efforts to sterilize the homeless dogs. We hope to do 100 to 150 a month. If that doesn’t bring the number of puppies being born under control, then we’ll have to radically increase our efforts from there.

==================

Many of you like to hear about our emergency rescues: (We do 60 to 120 a month.)

  • We received a call from a village 65 kms away. A dog with a horrible infected wound on its back leg was going to houses for food and being chased away because he smelled so bad. People in one house tried to kill him…Vishwa got there about 10am. Just outside of town there was a large, wooded area, making it difficult to find the dog. Ten village people helped Vishwa look for him all day and couldn’t find him…Finally, Vishwa left around 6pm, when it was starting to get dark. The next day he returned at 9:30am with Prem Kumar and Arunagiri. They looked until 5p and gave up…The third day, Vishwa took our beloved Pandi with him, leaving Tiru at 4:30a. They got there at 6am. At 8 o’clock, they found out that the dog in question usually turned up at a particular house between 8 and 10. They waited, finally spotted him, chased him down and caught him…He had hundreds of maggots in the wound. Scores fell off in the car….Dr.Raja said he was weak, depleted, anemic, and in pain. He gave the dog a painkiller and i.v. with neurobion for nutrition, and tended the wound. The poor babe was only five years old. We’ve had him for five weeks, now. His wound is almost fully healed. He’s regained his strength, and has several furry friends with whom he wrestles, rests, and sleeps. He’s doing beautifully, and in two weeks Vishwa will take him back to his territory.
  • The second rescue…Late night call. A cat had somehow fallen into a well...about 30 kms outside of town. The well was a deep one, sixty feet. Vishwa lowered himself on a rope. The cat was in an indentation in the side about five feet above the water. On the way down, (he was tired; it was 11pm), Vishwa lost his grip and fell about twenty feet into the water. But he reached the cat. (The poor baby was very scared.) He put him in a bag to carry him up - and the cat bolted to freedom as soon as they got to the top and opened the bag! (Enjoy your life little guy. We’re glad we could help.)

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The remainder of this Report is different than all the others. It’s mostly about the healing power of love, and about positive feelings.

Most of you know that my Main Teacher told me thirty years ago that the physician heals with the Heart. And we believe deep healing will only take place if an animal feels safe, cared for and loved. So the very core of our Work is demonstrative love—touching, stroking, reassuring, hugging, kissing. 

There are many stories of the healing power of positive energy---Hope…Love…Belief. 

For many years we’ve known thru the “placebo effect” that just the belief that getting (or doing) something that is beneficial creates a healing force. Medical science didn’t fully follow up on the implications of the placebo until the last twenty or thirty years. At this point in time, there’s been a lot of research done. 

I remember 35 years ago, a dear beloved friend of mine found out she had an advanced case of metastasized cervical cancer…and for months I dedicated myself to finding “a way”. It’s during this period that I became aware of the healing power of a “good inner-state”...

********* 

I came across the miraculous story of Norman Cousins. He had been the editor of the Saturday Review of Literature for over 30 years. The Saturday Review was quite prestigious and Norman was well known. 

He had been in the hospital with a life-threatening, potentially terminal illness. It was a good hospital and he had all the top doctors. After a period of extended treatment, they told him that there was nothing more they could do, and that he had only a month or two to live.

Norman, in consultation with a dear doctor friend, decided that he would stop treatment. Their thinking was that if negative emotions could precipitate illness, positive emotions might be able to cure it. So the two of them pulled together all kinds of uplifting movies (including Charlie Chaplin) and books and moved into a hotel. They ate good food. Laughed. Enjoyed. And his doctor friend who was monitoring his vital signs, saw that his vitals were getting better and better……End of story—HE RECOVERED. 

His story was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the States. And he became a lecturer at the University of California Medical School, expounding on the subject of the healing force of positive emotions. Om Namah Shivaya.

*********

Also in the 80’s, I came in contact with an organization in Los Angeles (supported by local doctors) that helped women dealing with cancer…They had considerable success. I used a tape of theirs for a dear friend who was getting chemotherapy. It guided her thru visualizations, recollections of things she loved, and meditations, as the chemo was being administered.All of it had to do with positive feelings. I believe it really helped.

*********

There have been a number of times when the condition of one of our Precious Ones in the Shelter was getting serious, when medication wasn’t working, yet we were able to reverse it just by focusing on being gentle and loving. 

I remember late one night when Vishwa and I were in front of the Shelter with a puppy who was clearly fading and wasn’t going to make it. In the darkness, I held the baby against my Heart, stroking and kissing him. Then I noticed a light start to come thru his eyes. Vishwa was going to take him home to spend the night. I told him to hold the tiny creature against his Heart. The young babe experienced a strong reversal, and lived. 

We have many, many such stories…The Power of Love…The Power of Positive Energy. 

==================

This brings us to the end of the Report.

Hoping that each of you is doing excellently...That you're unfolding beautifully and strongly, inside. My Baba said that nothing is gained without some inner austerity...It seems that we have to go thru some inner burning to clear the way.

As in previous reports, I've included a collection of photos. Hoping you enjoy them. Remember...the theme is simply LOVE.

 

                PLEASE...REMEMBER...DONATIONS.

 

THE PRECIOUS ONES NEED US...AND WE NEED YOU!

 

RECURRING DONATIONS, EVEN QUITE MODEST ONES, ARE BEST FOR US. THEY GIVE US STABILITY.

 

            PLEASE...KEEP YOUR SUPPORT COMING. 

========================================== 

 

With love, blessings, and wishes for all things good...May we All, each of us, do actions that emit uplifting, healing energy. These are difficult times for our beloved planet…and each of us can help in a major way.

Leslie, The Ageing Expatriate Warrior

 

Some of the Precious Homeless Ones we protect.
Some of the Precious Homeless Ones we protect.
More Homeless Sweetiepies just before Rescue.
More Homeless Sweetiepies just before Rescue.
Precious Homeless Ones playing.
Precious Homeless Ones playing.
This Homeless Babe isn't doing well.
This Homeless Babe isn't doing well.
He LOVED animals.
He LOVED animals.
Our beloved Staff--Here for the Precious Ones.
Our beloved Staff--Here for the Precious Ones.
We have been honored this year.
We have been honored this year.
You can't give too much!
You can't give too much!
Hold still sweet boy.
Hold still sweet boy.
Ramesh, and some Young Ones.
Ramesh, and some Young Ones.
She loved her swims...AND Supervisor Raja.
She loved her swims...AND Supervisor Raja.
A scene on the Veranda.
A scene on the Veranda.
No words. Just touching.
No words. Just touching.
What can you say...Sometimes there are no words.
What can you say...Sometimes there are no words.
Someone has to talk to Leslie about work habits.
Someone has to talk to Leslie about work habits.
Leslie trying to talk to some visitors.
Leslie trying to talk to some visitors.
A volunteer, loving and caressing.
A volunteer, loving and caressing.
Protector.
Protector.
Innocense
Innocense
Satya's Maggot infested wound. (See next photo.)
Satya's Maggot infested wound. (See next photo.)
Blessings dear Satya...Healed...We love you.
Blessings dear Satya...Healed...We love you.
Nothing too grand for a duchess.
Nothing too grand for a duchess.
Our beloved Sekar.
Our beloved Sekar.
This is called a turkey snuggle.
This is called a turkey snuggle.
Our beloved Dr. Raja.
Our beloved Dr. Raja.
Anniversary puja.
Anniversary puja.
Swami Muktananda...Head of Ananda Ashram in Kerala
Swami Muktananda...Head of Ananda Ashram in Kerala
There is really not much more that can be said.
There is really not much more that can be said.
Sep 30, 2018

Arunachala Animal Sanctuary's September Report

Our booth at Mooji's concert for the Shelter.
Our booth at Mooji's concert for the Shelter.

Dear People. Dear Animal Lovers. Dear Supporters. 

Namaskaram. I bow to your Inner-most Selves. 

This is a Special Report. It is deep. It is moving. It is not processed. Plastic. Or edited in a way to zip right along. I’ve never written anything publicly like this. 

Our beloved Shelter is going beautifully. To visit it is healing. One experiences Spaciousness and Love. Animal lovers experiencing it for the first time often get teary because they didn’t know a place such as this existed. 

The Voiceless Ones, except for those that are infectious and contagious, run free and are happy. They are not “in captivity” simply passing their precious lives. They have choices. Of friends. Of activities: To be solitary. To be social…To run. To play…To snuggle. To sleep…To pass the time watching the World go by…To be grumpy. To be loving…To simply be themselves—each day, throughout the day…To change, whenever…… 

The Staff. How special they are. How genuinely they relate to and care for the Precious Ones. It is truly a place…Of Love…Of Life…And, most of all, of Heart.

We are all very, very grateful it unfolded to be what it is. It didn’t happen thru any penetrating, deep planning. The motivation was always pure. From moment to moment, from day to day, it was always imbued with love, caring, and intelligence. And what happened, what evolved, is this wonderful, wonderful place. 

We couldn’t have worked harder, but almost all the important things happened magically thru Grace. I personally believe in a Divine Being, a Master of the Universe and I truly believe that this is a Divine Manifestation, not simply the result of our hard, dedicated effort…Those of you who don’t share my belief can say, “You’re off the wall, Leslie…You guys did a magnificent job.” And I say to you, “Okay, so you believe whatever you want.”  And being a liberal, giving space and credence for other opinions, I say back to you, “Fine. You guys believe whatever you want. But you’re so wrong. And that’s not the way it is!!! This place, this oasis of compassion and healing, is simply not the result of any person’s actions, or efforts." 

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In this Report I want to focus on one happening. One incredible, complex expression of compassion, caring, and Grace that unfolded so beautifully. I am deeply proud of the Staff that so lifted what could have been, what would have been, what should have been such deep suffering for six vulnerable creatures—Leo, Lady, Winnie, Oscar, Max, and Muffin—two 9 month old German Shepherds, one three year old Himalayan Shepherd, a five year old Lab, and two Indian dogs—an eleven year old, and a fourteen year old. 

It conveys some of the sensitivity and awareness with which we’re blessed that surfaces to handle things compassionately as we move from situation to situation…Om Namah Shivaya. 

This involves a lovely being, a lady, who had lived here for thirty-five years. She encountered some serious visa problems, real ones, not created by some “bureaucratic mind”. It happened feverishly fast—three days from the time she first heard ‘til the time she had to leave the Country. I’ll give her the name Eethera. 

She built a fine life here. Her footprints on the Planet were big, and thru her good works she was able to lift a lot of suffering. AND she was a total Animal Lover. She had these six whom she adored. She had each since they were pups. Leo, Lady, Winnie, Oscar, Max, and Muffin. 

We met--Eethera, Dr.Raja, Vishwa, and myself. For 2 1/2 hours. The situation was incredibly complicated and intense. We arranged to meet again the following morning. (She was supposed to leave the day after that.) It gave space for things to settle down and to move towards clarity. 

She called me that night, and I said, “Eethera, my mind is still confused. It’s too soon. Wait until morning.” 

She called me 7am the following morning, and said she couldn’t meet early because she had to go to the Police Department. I was not pleased. Our meeting was set for 3pm. I called Dr. Raja and Vishwa, and the three of us met in a local restaurant. 

I’m not usually affected strongly emotionally when we go thru very difficult things, I just do what’s needed, and focus on keeping my Heart and Awareness open. But in this situation, the night before, I got teary and was deeply afraid for her six Furry Ones, and what they might have to go thru. 

In the morning, though, once Vishwa, Dr. Raja, and I started discussing possibilities, things lightened, and it was clear that we could do a lot to soften the blow. 

One major problem was that her dogs weren’t typical “owner dogs”. 

For example, by typical, we have an older dog, Jingles, that we took in over a year ago. She was loved by her owners, but she wasn’t the center of the family or the center of attention. They went thru difficult circumstances where they simply could not care for her. Because they had done so much for the Shelter, we took her. After getting over the separation, she has a good life with us and is happy. 

Eethera’s life revolved around these creatures. She lived in a two story, non-traditional house that had a lot of nooks and crannies. The Furry Ones had the run of the house. And she was with them throughout the day. She kept two large tubs of water they could soak in to keep cool during the Hot Season. They had the run of the yard. The house itself was set in a sparsely populated area. It was ¾ km from a small lake. Every day they went for a walk and four of them adored the water. 

Eethera’s Precious Ones just wouldn’t fit into the Shelter. They’d be unhappy, and probably end up getting into a lot of conflicts. And it’s hard to find homes for adult dogs. But Vishwa thought he might be able to find homes for the four pedigrees. (It was critical.) The two Indian dogs, aged eleven and fourteen were more sedentary and might be happy in the Shelter.  

Just as an aside, when people are moving, we will not take in their dogs, and find homes for them. That’s not what we’re here for. We’re fully engaged with what we do, and don’t have the resources to deal with those situations, which they can handle (perhaps with some effort). But this was an exception, a circumstance we’d never before encountered. 

And this is the setting with perhaps the deepest, most complex, rescue you will ever read about.

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Dr. Raja, Vishwa and I decided to meet with Eethera on the upper floor of her house, and to take Venkatesh (from our Staff) along to start forming a bond with the Furry Ones on the ground floor while we met. 

We knew that we couldn’t just take them into the Shelter and let them run free. They had to be in a large retaining area. There was only one that was suitable. It had a high chain link fence around it (25ft x 30ft). There was a hut inside that had a good coconut leaf roof, and open entrance, and benches along the sides. It was in the center of the garden, so the dogs could run around and have a view of everything that was going on. Vishwa had it prepared. 

Eethera called around noon. We met straight away. At the meeting she “dropped the bomb”. It turned out she wasn’t leaving the next day but had to leave 7pm that very night. 

This now had the potential to be shatteringly traumatic for the poor creatures.

It was important that Eethera be present when they were moved. At 3:30pm Vishwa and Eethera took the dogs to the Shelter in a lorry. Their eating bowls had been taken to the hut, along with a few familiar pieces of furniture. Venkatesh was there to greet them, and was going to sleep with them throughout the night. (Actually, to stay with them continuously for the first 48 hours, and to sleep with them the first two nights.) Eethera had a caretaker that the dogs really liked. She was in Chennai when they were moved. But Vishwa picked her up 9pm at the bus stand that first night and brought her to the Shelter for a few hours. She returned in the morning, and was hired for the next three weeks. 

It went off beautifully. They were fed and given treats shortly after they arrived at the Shelter. 

Venkatesh, after the first two days, “double shifted” for two weeks so he was with them a number of hours during the day and night. 

Eethera’s food lasted for four days. Then they got special, special fare. (Pedigree, milk, eggs, rice/chicken). 

Vishwa arranged to take the four younger pedigrees for two walks a day on retractable leashes, each walk lasting one to two hours.

Vishwa was able to find good homes for the four pedigrees. Tho’ he had good homes for the two German Shepherds (Leo and Lady), he fell in love with them and they now live with Vishwa in beautiful circumstances out of town. 

Max (the Lab), and Winnie (the Himalayan Shepherd) went to beautiful homes. They were two families that lived outside of town in the country. Each had land. One had two children; the other four—between the ages of six and twelve. 

The dogs were all with us for a month. And each of the prospective adopters came to the Shelter between twelve and fifteen times. We had earlier decided that we would wait until the dogs were emotionally ready to be adopted. 

As for Leo and Lady, the young German Shepherds, their home at Vishwa’s is like heaven itself…There’s a lot of land and open fields behind his house…He has three children…But Leslie, his ten-year old (The name sound familiar?), has a special relationship with the dogs and they adore each other. And, of course, they love Vishwa and he loves back. On most days they’re taken to the lake near Eethera’s old house, for a swim…and he goes in with them…Vishwa said they’ve become so strong they almost overpower him…I pity anyone who tries to harm Vishwa if they’re around. 

Then there’s Oscar and Muffin, the two older Indian dogs, who are adjusting nicely to the Shelter. It takes time, but they’re given a lot of love and support, and they are content and increasingly into their new life…It really helps that they’re good friends…After the first week, we started introducing them to life on the Veranda. Starting with a half-hour, and increasing the time each day. We had decided that we wouldn’t place the other dogs until they were full-time on the Veranda mixing with more dogs, so they wouldn’t feel abandoned when the others went to their new homes. 

I am so, so proud of the Shelter Staff. This is just one happening. There are many, many. And all this is taking place with all the other activities happening…AND 200 other in-patient dogs. 

I place my head at their feet. 

Om Namah Shivaya

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This brings us to the end of the Report.

Hoping that each of you is doing excellently...That you're unfolding beautifully and strongly, inside. My Baba said that nothing is gained without some inner austerity. I sometimes think of it in wordly terms for myself as, "Growing up ain't easy!"

As in previous reports, I've included a collection of photos. Hoping you enjoy them. Remember...the theme is simply LOVE.

 

                PLEASE...REMEMBER...DONATIONS.

 

THE PRECIOUS ONES NEED US...AND WE NEED YOU.

 

RECURRING DONATIONS, EVEN QUITE MODEST ONES, ARE BEST FOR US.

 

            PLEASE...KEEP YOUR SUPPORT COMING.

 

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With love, blessings, and wishes for all things good...May we all be blessed with more compassionate understanding.

Leslie, The Ageing Expatriate Warrior

 

 

Dr. Raja with his magical hands and Pure Heart.
Dr. Raja with his magical hands and Pure Heart.
Our beloved Staff--Here for the Precious Ones.
Our beloved Staff--Here for the Precious Ones.
They may not look like heroes. But they are.
They may not look like heroes. But they are.
These are two of the Precious Ones that need us.
These are two of the Precious Ones that need us.
And these two sweeties, also.
And these two sweeties, also.
This Precious One's hair has recently grown back.
This Precious One's hair has recently grown back.
Her coat was like this Little Ones two months ago.
Her coat was like this Little Ones two months ago.
We treat any creature in need.
We treat any creature in need.
Any.
Any.
And I do mean, any!
And I do mean, any!
Love is so important!
Love is so important!
Without it deep healing doesn't take place.
Without it deep healing doesn't take place.
This is Robinson, Vishwa's son!
This is Robinson, Vishwa's son!
This is Eethara's Max in his new home.
This is Eethara's Max in his new home.
The land around Max's new home.
The land around Max's new home.
This is Eethera's German Shepherds, Leo and Lady.
This is Eethera's German Shepherds, Leo and Lady.
Vishwa giving Leo and Lady shampoos.
Vishwa giving Leo and Lady shampoos.
And this is Eethera's Winnie being loved.
And this is Eethera's Winnie being loved.
And this is Leslie (Vishwa's daughter) & Leslie.
And this is Leslie (Vishwa's daughter) & Leslie.
Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche...Blessings. Blessings.
Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche...Blessings. Blessings.

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