“The Black Dog”

It is like cruising through a sauna with the air so dry and hot as I travel to a home on my Jumanji, a 2004 Yamaha V-Star motorcycle, the nonprofit’s ‘Iron Pony.’  Her name is Jumanji because, well, that is a story for another time.

We pull up to a home in Phoenix, Arizona following the GPS on my iPhone to an address given by a Dog walking app.

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All I know is I am here to walk a Great Dane. When I am greeted at the door, the Great Dane sniffs me, the eyes shift, and she lunges to snap at me. What a blessing the owner is home and has her on a leash! 

You see, I have this “Black Dog” who shows up. The aggressive one. First time at an Animal Sanctuary in India. The ‘Black Dog’ was forgotten in a back corner chained, starved and ignored in a kennel. When I found him, I felt compassion for him. I sat with him, offering food and treats, and I got to pet him… briefly. He tried to bite me. I prayed with him asking for his suffering to end. He died that evening.

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The ‘Black Dog’ shows again in India at a second Animal Ashram. This time ‘Blackie’ accepted treats, and let me pet him one brief time, then bit me and a good one! An elder befriended Blackie. He got controlled outings, was loved, well-fed, healthy and being rehabilitated. I will never forget ‘Blackie’ standing on the porch gazing at me when I left the Ashram that day. It was like He was saying, “We are not done yet.”

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I return to the USA and am gifted a little Chihuahua. He had skin conditions and an attitude. The words “Anyone who is willing to take a chance with him, we are willing to take a chance on you. Good luck. He’s all yours,” as he is handed over to me.

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I remember the moment I turned to look at him and said, “OMG, you are the ‘Black Dog,’ and you are in my bed.” His name was Napoleon. Let us just say, we all have a ‘Napoleon’ or ‘Blackie.’ Remember the story of the young native who asks his Grandfather about feeling like having two wolves living inside of him? One White, One Black. The young native asks, “Which one wins?”

Well, it seems I starved mine once, turned ‘it’ over and now it is in my bed with me, literally…

I rehabilitated my Napoleon with a lot of love, understanding, reiki, meditation, spiritual mind treatments and compassion. The tools I have learned works miracles…within a two month period, Napoleon was ready for adoption. I got intimate with my own inner “Black Dog” inside me.

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So now, here I am with this Great Dane…

The owner acts all surprised; however, as we talk I realize the owner knows her Dane is aggressive but is embarrassed by it. I share my compassion and experience, and that I am willing to work with them. We set up a schedule.

I begin treatments right away…not on the Great Dane, not on the owner, but I begin delving into me again. I am the one attracting “Blackie.”. I am the aggressive Great Dane.

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As we do our two 30 minute walks each week, I notice when she begins to get aggressive, lunging and wanting to attack is when she gets unsure, frightened, or feels she needs to defend me. She would stop me frequently from walking by leaning into me, wanting reassurance that she is okay and loved…it was not long before I noticed She began emulating my confidence and enthusiasm ‘aggressively.’

I had 4 weeks with Dane. Interestingly enough She was harlequin…neither white or black…but both. Aggression itself is neither good nor bad, it is how we use it, constructively or destructively?  and where it is coming from…fear or love.

By the last week, we are trotting down the road enjoying our walking adventure, so I take off her muzzle. She is feeling free, confident, and I got the sweetest kisses ever! We were completely in love!  

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Several months later I get a Dog that has been walked before by other walkers. There is a list of warnings for the walker. “My Dog is very shy, will act like she’ll bite, please take your time.” A Dogue de Bordeaux and there is no owner. I take a deep breath, affirm MY Truth, remember Dane, get the ‘Vibration’ going we had and walk in. The Dog comes running to me! Full of kisses!  

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So, for me, instead of running away, starving, ignoring, turning over or even ‘blaming another’ for  “Blackie,” I made friends, no… I fell in love with my “Black Dog” and all ‘it’ has taught me…up until now.

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Rev MyShell Howler aka Ahowan ICrow is an Outreach RScP, OAC, and Humane Minister. President, Founder, and Spiritual Leader of Apithan Ministries, AHOWAN Traveling Spiritual Sanctuary and the Rashini Centers for Spiritual Living Study Group.

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