Now that's what I call a real hug!
Namaste' dear People. Good morning!
It's morning here and the hot season is winding down. Nights and early mornings are comfortable, tho' it does get close to 100 degrees midafternoon.
Our Precious Ones still cluster around the eight air coolers in the Shelter. Mornings, they're starting to get pretty active...chasing...romping...or, simply trotting around, solo, every once in a while stopping for a Furry One exchange.
There are aspects of it that are like a human community. The younger ones energetic. The more mature ones, having more civil-like, dignified exchanges. The older ones, a little more sedentary--sometimes lifting a critical eye as two or three of the youngsters bolt by. Friends "hang out" together. Some, going thru a healing energy/body period, lie close to one another.
We've been busy since I've last written. Our stats for April, May, and June are:
- Clinic Visits……………............. 1,592
- In-Patient Treatments............... 2,381
- Emergency Rescues................ ...180
- Dogs Sterilized…………………....188
- Anti-rabies injections…….............454
- Animal Adoptions………………......20
- Non Dogs Treated…………….......196
- (67 cows & calves, 55 goats & sheep, 37 cats, 8 monkeys, 6 birds, 8 rabbits, 1 parrot, 1 eagle,1 owl, 9 hens, 2 deer, 1 peacock)
The rest of this Report is about love. A few of you have seen the below write-up, but it captures the vibration of the Shelter. So, with joy, I repeat it here for all.
I used to talk about how our Voiceless Ones run free and are happy. And how beautifully our devoted Staff cared for them. And I would talk about how deep healing would only take place if they felt safe, cared for, and loved. From the beginning I regularly talked to our beloved Staff, telling them how centrally important the love and caring were. How it wasn't Dr.Raja, Vishwa, or myself that gave them that love and caring, that is was them. That no one could tell them how to do it, and that they had to find their own way. But that it wasn't just a case of being "nice, gentle, and attentive". The Furry Ones could tell the difference between someone that was just being "very nice", and someone that really cared. It was more important to be very real than to just be very nice. They, over time, found their own ways...and each has a different relationship with the Furry Ones.
For many years I viewed the main reason our Voiceless Ones were happy running free was our loving, devoted Staff caring for them.
But my understanding, only recently, has deepened. The foregoing is certainly true, but I no longer think it's the central thing. it's part of a much broader thing: that is, the energy of the entire place. Everyone feels good. And that is the overall setting these creaures live in.
The relationship between the doctors and Vishwa (and now, Elaine) is not structured...and their relationship with the Staff is not structured. Everything is flowing and moves around permeated with Heart. There aren't fixed layers of authority, tho' there are clear understandings of whose responsible for what, and who has authority. There are clear paths of communication. It's hard to describe. You have to spend a couple of hours here just observing. Nothing seems to be rigidly organized. Yet, everthing is getting done--not in a confusing way, but in a flowing way. There is no laxness. But everyone is comfortable going with the general energy flows that require them to rest, or take a break in some way (understanding that they don't have to be busy, just to be busy). When concentrated, coordinated effective action is needed, which happens frequently, it unfolds quite naturally.
Supervisor Raja has an incredibly light touch. In a real sense he's simply mingling as the day unfolds. There's no separation between him doing very basic things, and being aware of how everything's unfolding in the entire Shelter. He's the epitome of "ordinariness". And what a beautiful ordinariness! His energy subtly pervades the Shelter. The Staff are really close to him. Exchanges between him and directions to do something, unfold in the most ordinary way. He's one of our PureHearts. The animals adore him. He loves and is devoted to Dr. Raja. He and Vishwa are very close...Keep in mind that Vishwa is fully responsible for the overall running of the Shelter. Vishwa has a gazillion things to do, and he and Supervisor Raja are in communication a number of times throughout the day.
I tell my people that I could come into our beloved Shelter...and write volumes on what's wrong. I tell them, tho', that that's just "mind" coming in. When you walk into this place...This Haven...This wonderful, wonderful sanctuary...you could write a book on what could be done differently...But that is being blind to "What is"..."What exists before your very eyes"...My Baba used to say, "The world is as you see it...You can be in Heaven, itself, and have a whole litany of grievances of what's wrong...You can be in very difficult circumstances and have a collection of things that are right. It all depends on Ones Inner State."
It is a place of Love...Of Peace...Of Life. And above all, a place of Heart.
On a lighter note...Here are some of the Shelter Heart stories and vignettes that many of you tell me you enjoy and are moved by. Several of you have said that of all things I write about, this section is, by far, your favorite. Well...here it goes
Starting out with a really light one.
Deep well, maybe 20 to 25 feet. Vishwa descended on a rope to a ledge where the little, innocent-looking, gentle babe was stranded.
He lowered himself to the level of the ledge, and started talking sweetly to her. She wasn't very big, and seemed a little threatened. She didn't respond at first, but he went on, and slowly moved towards her...Then - suddenly - she let out a loud ferocious, terrifying (don't know what to call it,but let me use the word "roar"). It jolted and frightened our fearless hero, who let go of the rope and fell backwards into the water.
Then, more respectfully, Dharma, who was topside, got ahold of a blue plastic bin with a metal cover. Vishwa used it to capture the "little sweetie". They got her up and out, where there were thick bushes and trees nearby. And off she went. In a flash she was gone, without even looking back for a "civilized thank you".
Mongooses are formidable hunters. They're lightning-fast, and have razor sharp teeth. Their speed and agility in attacking poisonous snakes is legendary.
Pooja...Gentle...Good natured, Pooja.
She was young. Maybe eleven or twelve months. Half Dalmatian. Medium size. Slender.
She was first brought to us in the clinic when she was one month old. She’d been blind at birth. Dr.Raja tried to treat her eye disorder, but she couldn’t be helped. Some months later a small boy found her at the side of the road. So weak she could barely stand. And very frightened. The people who “owned her” had thrown her out.
We put her in a room off the veranda. To keep her in the room we put a 2 ½ foot high board across the gate leading to the veranda. Three puppies were kept with her so she’d have company and could snuggle when she slept. And there she stayed for over a month. Her strength and confidence slowly built, and she came to know where all the objects were.
She’d race in really tight circles without going anywhere. I thought because that way she wouldn’t run into anything. Dr.Raja thought it might be an emotional problem. Who really knows? (Just thought of a great animal psychic in Mt. Shasta California who would actually know.).
And then we unblocked the gate leading to the veranda. It took a week to start putting her paw outside the door, but quickly pulling it back. For her…anything could be out there…A chasm?...An endless field?...One day she stepped onto the veranda, and then quickly back. After some time she was wandering around amongst the other Furry Ones. They were harsh with her at the beginning as she walked into them or stepped on their heads while they were resting. The Staff gave her a lot of reassurance and support. The Furry Ones started realizing that something was wrong and that she simply couldn’t help it. She became joyful…and would run around bumping into everyone. Kissing. Sniffing. Sometimes moving back when another dog was irritated and started barking at her. Sometimes she barked back.
Sometimes I’d put her on my lap, gently, stroking and hugging her. She loved it. She was very happy, but I think the Shelter was too stressful for her.
We found a home. A quiet home, with a really sweet older couple.
Ten Calves Rescued from Slaughter.
The Shelter received a call that 28 calves, illegally bought for slaughter, were being held outside in the sun. No water. No food. Suffering.
I sent Vishwa. Told him to take photos. And to be careful, not to get aggressive until I got there. In the meantime, I called the Vice-Chairman of the Animal Welfare Board of India, and verified the law. (We didn’t have the authority to impound. Only the Police Dept. or the Municipality could do it.) I asked Dr.Raja to contact a police sub-inspector who supports our work to see if he could be ready to move quickly for us.
When I got to the scene, the Municipality had already moved to impound them, and were waiting for trucks to transport them. The Police Dept. was going to turn them over to the Shelter. The calves had been moved into the shade and given water and grass. We left and prepared to receive them at the Shelter.
We then got word that thru political pressure the Police Dept. had released the calves to the butchers on the basis of a written statement that they would be treated well and would not be slaughtered. (Right…They were going to keep them as pets?). Some “heavy hitter” political figures had intervened and we were unable to offset it.
We then got a pledge of 60,000 rupees to try to buy them. But it was too late. They were all gone…and probably slaughtered.
But then, miracle of miracles. A week later, totally unexpectedly (we still have no idea what happened except that the counter political pressure we put forth bore fruit), the police turned over ten of the calves to us on the basis of an order from the Court.
Thru an animal activist in Chennai we were put in touch with an organization that saves cows and gives them a good life. They had rescued over a thousand.
We had them for a week. Vishwa took beautiful care of them (what else would our Martian do)…Hay, green grass, oil cakes, etc…But most of all, and most importantly, they were bathed in love—tender strokes, hugs, kisses, massages. Veera, who loves cows, watched over them at night.
Vishwa then sent them off to Chennai in a large lorry where they had an enormous amount of room. He put dry straw on the floor so it would be soft. Good hay for eating. Arranged an elaborate cover over the back of the lorrey to protect them from the sun. Arranged to stop and give them green grass and water half way. Sent Veera along to reassure and care for them.
Almost anyone else would have stuffed them in an open back lorrey and just shipped them…That’s our Saint Vishwa.
A Sweetiepie Doberman Pup
She was only four months old, and had been throwing up and not eating. Her owner travelled 100 kms in a hired car so that Dr.Raja would be the one to treat her.
Dr.Raja took an x-ray that revealed a large mass of stones in her stomach. She had been eating them over a period of time.
The operation lasted 2 ½ hours. And it turned out to be about 40 stones weighing 1/2 kg.
She convalesed for two weeks. When her owner came to get her, you can only imagine how overjoyed she was.
A benediction I wrote at the time: You are a sweetheart…And your owner loves you…May all Beings benefit…Om Namah Shivaya.
This guy was about six months old. Some compassionate person brought him in.
I don’t know where they got him. But he was almost dead from malnutrition. Dr.Raja gave him neurobion injections for vitamins. We fed him fruit and veggies (bananas, carrots, etc.) and both raw and cooked rice.
When he gained some strength he liked to swim around in a large tub of water.
We kept him a month and then got him to a good bird sanctuary in Chennai.
May all beings gain compassionate understanding
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.
THE PRECIOUS ONES NEED US...AND WE NEED YOU.
RECURRING DONATIONS, EVEN QUITE MODEST ONES, ARE BEST FOR US.
PLEASE...KEEP YOUR SUPPORT COMING.
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.
One of the Precious Ones that needs us.
And this Sweetie too, who's not doing too well.
And, here are some more Precious Ones.
And, yet some more.
Our beloved Staff--Here for the Precious Ones.
A nice lick for Elaine.
Gentle Dr. Ramakrishna.
Pandi...a truly Fearless Hero.
Supervisor Raja feeding hungry rescued calves.
Frightened baby. Can't get out of well.
Mom. Almost hysterical..Vishwa got the Little One.
Vishwa on another deep, deep well rescue.
Sekar...Releasing an eagle we'd treated.
This Little One enjoys being an only kid.
He's feeling very safe.
Feeling safe and loved.
Leslie's our biggest kisser. Everything but cobras
He has a beautiful, pure Heart.
Getting close to the sweetheart.
Sugana's the Mom for all the infant monkeys.
My absolute favorite...Vishwa's daughter, Leslie.
They simply love Vishwa...All the animals do.
Leslie..On the streets..They need us..We need you.