Welcome... Welcome...to our beloved Shelter.
Dear People... Dear Animal Lovers... Dear Supporters...
Namaste'. I bow to your Inner-most Selves.
Such incredibly intense times...May All of Us, no exceptions, be blessed with more compassionate understanding. May we, and all our Dear Ones, be Guided and Protected.
This is a Report about lifting suffering...about infusing Light, Joy, and a sense of Well-being into the Community. This is a Report about Heart. About its healing power.
It's afternoon here as I write. I'm in a lovely, lovely restaurant called the Dreaming Tree. It's not very far from our beloved Shelter. Most at the Shelter are now at lunch...Vishwa, Dr. Raja, Dr. Ramakrishna, Dr. Heera, Supervisor Raja, Our devoted Staff... And dear, dear Sugana.
The doctors will be back for our afternoon Clinic. We, all of us, understand the admonition given to me by my Guru many, many years ago..."that the physician heals with the Heart". So love, tenderness, and caring infuses the treatment of all the creatures brought to us. As a doctor is treating one of our Precious Creatures, there is also a Staff person present--touching, stroking, reassuring--just to help the creature feel safe. Without the quiet "love/caring" emitted by the doctor...and the reassurance and touching by the Staff...it can be very scary. Being bathed in that energy helps open the creature's body and Heart to the examination and treatment.
There was so much suffering when we first opened fifteen years ago: Over 7,000 homeless dogs. The stray population was out of control. There was no small animal vet within 75 kms. No treatment facility. Rabies. And widespread abuse... There was unbounded misery: 350 suffering and dying animals on the streets--mostly dogs and puppies, but others too (monkeys, cows, squirrels, peacocks, horses, goats...) It was awful!
But using love, love, and more love...everything has been transformed. We have seven major programs:
- A sterilization/anti-rabies program. (We do 75 to 125 operations a month.)
- A busy, busy Clinic. (We have 400 to 800 visits every month.)
- A hospital.
- Sanctuary. If a creature cannot make it on its own. (Between the hospital and sanctuary, we have from 200 to 250 creatures in-house at any one time.)
- Adoption program. We have trained students going out up to 100 kms looking for homes for our Precious Ones... We have placed over 1,300 puppies in good homes.
- 24/7 emergency rescue. No matter what time, if it's in town we'll be there in 20 to 30 minutes. Sometimes it involves a creature in distress that is 100 to 150 kms out. Our doctors are on 24-hour call. And we have 40 to 80 creatures coming to us a month thru emergencies.
- Hospice. We are a "no-kill" shelter. If an animal is on the last stretch, we give love, caring, stroking, and protection from pain...They are snuggled by puppies. Kept company by dogs lying alongside. And chants are playing continuously... They are put on a Tibetan Buddhist Red Tara prayer list when they pass. Protective and guiding energy is sent to them for 49 days. Red Tara is the Tibetan Buddhist Goddess of Compassion...Om Namah Shivaya.
Today it is different! The homeless dog population is decreasing for the first time in forty years, AND it is rabies-free. There are no more suffering and dying animals on the streets. There are 10,000 fewer puppies born each year, almost all of whom would have suffered and died. There is no more widespread abuse, and thus few aggressive dogs, and only a small fraction of dog bites.
The Community's Heart has opened to the Precious Ones. The relationship between them and the people with whom they live day in, day out, has profoundly transformed. And that is the way to truly uplift the quality of their lives...You can experience it as you walk on the street...AND, it gets better and better every year. I think that there is no other community of size in the Nation where the relationship between the animals and the people is so good. Om Namah Shivaya.
When I'm speaking to the Staff, I tell them how important our Work is. How our efforts have not only affected the animal population, but the human population too... For when the Heart opens, it doesn't only open in "one direction", it simply opens more. And tho' you can't see it, people are being nicer to each other, also.
This is a way of uplifting a whole community. It's so difficult to deal directly with us humans to get us to be nicer to one another. We're so complicated. It's so much easier to get us to open our Hearts to the animals, and thru that, to be kinder to each other...Om Namah Shivaya.
Compassion isn't as elusive as we think. The Tibetan Buddhists have practices to deepen one's compassion. When I was first exposed to them, I thought they just wouldn't do anything. My feeling was that one is either compassionate, or not compassionate. But the practices actually worked, and they did deepen my compassion... I remember speaking to one of our doctors a number of years ago whom I felt could benefit. I told him/her to act as tho' they had a lot of compassion for the animal (and for the people), and that in doing this compassion would come... People exposed to people who are moving compassionately are moved by it. It reaches their Hearts, and affects the way they are. We all affect one another...thru interconnectedness.
I worry about Vishwa sometimes. He puts in unbounded effort, even when he's depleted. It's not unusual for him to go 100 kms at 2am to rescue a baby monkey at the side of the road, or to descend into a 60 foot well in the middle of night to rescue a creature that is trapped and injured.
Here are some recent happenings which many of you tell us you really like.
The first is the story of the rescue of a baby goat that deeply moved me. I want to share it with you in more detail than usual.
- It was 6pm, getting dark, and Vishwa was 25 kms out, returning from just placing a puppy in his new adopted home. He passed a baby goat lying lifelessly on the side of the road. He stopped the car to bury him, but when he got close, saw there was a shallow breath. The creature's stomach was sunken in and he was starving. The poor babe was only 1 1/2 months old.
- Vishwa gently stroked, kissed, and whispered to him as he picked him up. He took him to his house and snuggled him on his lap as he gave him a 100 ml nippled bottle of "room temperature boiled milk". The poor sweetie wasn't afraid and started drinking right away. He was too weak to move at the beginning, but enough energy remained to really drink...and he finished three bottles. After the milk, he was able to pick up his head and nestle into Vishwa's tummy.
- Vishwa called Dr. Raja at the Shelter, who sent some pills for the babe, I think primarily for energy and deworming. (The following morning, he had a full blood panel done.)
- Vishwa spread a padded bedsheet on the floor and lay down next to the little one and the two cuddled together with Vishwa's arm around him. About 9:30 or 10pm the sweetie took two more bottles of milk. Vishwa slept with him throughout the night. Whenever the babe woke up Vishwa would stroke him and softly whisper, "You're safe, sweetie. Don't worry. I'm going to take care of you...and you're not going to die."
- Vishwa had two other goats about the same age--a boy and a girl. Now, in the mornings, the three of them go out foraging...and when they come back, they steal Google's food. (Google is Vishwa's giant bull that he rescued a year ago.) But Google loves them, and lets them do it. Sometimes they play by running under and around him.
- In another two or three months, Vishwa will find a good home for them where they will live out a natural life.
- Om Namah Shivaya.
- We got a 5:30pm call from one of the "adoption guys". There was a dog with a ten inch wound on his back that had become infested with thousands of maggots. It smelled awful. Vishwa and Arunagiri went in the car. The dog was fast, and it took a half hour to catch him. Dr. Raja gave him a painkiller, and anti-biotic injections. It took him three days to completely clean the maggot wound. This boy has been with us for two weeks at the writing of this note. He's in cage 4, convalescing. His energy is good. Pandi has been treating and feeding him, and the babe has come to love him. He'll be released back into his territory soon. It's a good area...Om Namah Shivaya.
- Noon call from the railway station. A dog hit by a two-wheeler. Pandi and Seenu went out. The poor babe was only two years old. She had a seriously mangled back leg. She also had a bad spinal wound. Dr. Raja operated. He couldn't save the leg, but she still had feelings in her back behind the spinal wound. So they were able to bring her all the way back. After a week she started to stand, and then in a few more days, started walking... She made two dog friends on the veranda. They sleep and eat together, wander and play together. And they lay side by side. They mostly like our old office room which is almost like a closet. Sekar, Supervisor Raja, and Anu all bonded with them. (Anu secretly gets special food for them--boiled eggs and gravy. She thinks no one knows.) They'll have a good life. Om Namah Shivaya.
It feels so good inside our beloved Shelter. It's not something that can be arranged or structured thru practices, schedules, rules, and so on...
It isn't an atmostphere that is contrived, with everyone being "nicey, nice"...The relationships between the Staff and with those overseeing things is close and real. The animals are cared for in real ways. Everyone does it differently, according to their own essence. They aren't doing it as they were told to do it. It's REAL, and the animals know that, are a part of it, and feel safe and secure. They have choices. They have lives. They're not just in captivity with people "being nice to them"... You really have to experience it. I've mentioned to you that sometimes animal lovers coming for the first time get teary because they didn't know a place such as ours existed.
What a blessing this has been for me. Rarely, in life, do you have a chance to be involved in something that lifts so much suffering.
Dr. Raja...Vishwa...Such incredible Beings sent to do this Work... (In another Report I'll talk about Dr. Raja. Thousands of people love that man. Sometimes, joking around, I look at him, shake my head, and say I don't understand it.) But the two of them, who were my students for the first 7 or 8 years, are no longer my students. They are running the Shelter...and have taken it beyond where I could have gotten it, even in my prime... As you might expect, sometimes I feel inadequate!!! Om Namah Shivaya.
Our stats since opening in 2007 to the present are:
- Clinic Visits............................... 64,454
- In-patient Treatments................185,336
- Emergency Rescues................. 7,105
- Dogs Sterilized......................... 8,320
- Anti-rabies Injections................ 18,354
- Animal Adoptions..................... 1,277
- Other Animals Treated.............. 6,895
- "Other Animals Treated" includes: (2,064 cow & calves,1,805 goats/sheep,1,129 cats,1,064 birds, 234 rabbits, 233 monkeys / 114 horses/pigs/squirrels/peacocks/eagles/parrots/bullocks/deer / snakes/turkeys/ducks/chickens/mongoose/chameleons/turtles)
Sometimes it's stunning for me to see the stats...But the most important thing is HEART...HEART...HEART. It really is uplifting to experience it inside the Shelter, and it feels so good to see, on the streets, how the Precious Ones' lives have changed.
We are so grateful the way it has unfolded...We pray, and it is so important to millions of animals across the country...that the knowledge that has been given to us spreads...and that their relationships with the people they live with, day in, day out, may be transformed.
This brings us to the end of the Report.
I'm hoping that each of you is doing excellently.
These are such difficult times we're going thru. Let us remember, it's important for us to connect with the Light inside. And equally important to put that energy into the World.
May we all be unfolding. May we all be getting more and more space inside. May we all be getting closer to our own Hearts.
As in previous reports, I've included a collection of photos. Hoping you enjoy them. The overall theme is Love...
Say a prayer for us All...For our beloved World...That we be healed...That we be Blessed, Guided, and Protected.
THE PRECIOUS ONES NEED US...AND WE NEED YOU!
PLEASE...DIG DEEPLY...AND GIVE GENEROUSLY.
RECURRING DONATIONS, EVEN 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.... Leslie, The Ageing Expatriate Warrior
Enjoy....With love from Us and the Precious Ones.
Three of the Precious homeless dogs we protect.
Yet, another two.
And four more.
Some beloved Protectors.
Dr.Raja, Dr.Heera and their magical,gentle hands.
Dr.Raja and Dr.Ramakrishna.
They simply love Vishwa.
Loving and touching is so...so important.
She feels so alone...but safe, now.
I thought we bought these chairs for people.
He's feeling food. You can tell by the eyes.
Nothing too grand for a princess.
They told me I'd be beautiful again.
We really like photos.
They add shakti and warmth.
Another view of the Shelter.
And I love this shot.
Sometimes there are no words for scenes like this.
Well rescue. I sometimes worry about our Staff.
Vishwa on a rescue.
Dr. Raja on emergency call.
Anjali, sweetie, before treatment.
Anjali, three months later.
Poor Satya babe when he came in.
Dear Satya, several months later.
His dog was fine...But he was suffering.
The most moving adoption poster I've ever seen.
Sacred Arunachala. Worshipped for 1000's of years.
Our Shelter puja...
My Baba (Swami Muktananda) as a young man.
Again...My beloved Guru...Baba Muktananda.
Dr. Raja, Leslie, and Vishwa...Blessings.
Honored by Global Giving in 2018--7th out of 4000.
Dr. Raja on way home...
After a l--o--n--g day.