Friday, July 10, 2009

Canine Karma

Both Sprite and Princess have tagged us to post a picture that hadn't been posted before and tell the story behind it. I couldn't pick just one picture, though the first is definitely my favorite and one of my favorite pictures of me and Maizy (I actually may have posted this in an early entry, so my apologies if I did). It is a picture with a story.

In the summer of 2007, I had decided to go and participate in the Global Mala project in Philadelphia. As it was held outside, I checked to see if dogs were allowed because it is a shame to spend a lovely summer day outside with no dogs. As it turned out, they were! I wasn't really sure how Maizy was going to behave as this was a different kind of outing for us, but I brought her along and hoped for the best.

Thinking back on the event now, I realize that this day should have been my first clue that Maizy is a born emotional support therapy dog. The Global Mala event is a hatha yoga practice that includes 108 full sun salutations (what I affectionately call the "yogic squat thrust" for simplicity's sake).
In the past, I had participated in Yoga Malas and completed all 108 sun salutes with much focus and little physical problem, but this time was different. I enjoyed every second, including many, many breaks where I cozied up with my best friend. Other people would come over and sit down with Maizy and she helped them enjoy their breaks. She allowed everyone to enjoy slowing down, even if it was just for a few moments.
She was a good girl the rest of that day, with one initial exception in my mind. We had all gathered around under a tree to chant the gyatri mantra, complete with accompaniment on harmonium, when a squirrel started creeping down the large tree towards our group. With a mighty "woof woof woof" (nicely disturbing the meditative atmosphere) Maizy hopped up to chase off the intruder. I had to take her away from the goup and give her time to calm down so that she wouldn't bother anyone any further. After the chanting was over, I made a sheepish comment to a friend (then more of an acquaintance that I looked up to a lot) about Maizy's interrupting the chanting, embarrassed by her "bad" behavior. Without a second thought my friend looked at Maizy and said something that quickly changed my perception of canine behavior forever, "Protecting the group. Such noble dharma."


Princess said...

Cute story! I like it a lot! Good job doing your job Maizy!

Rinalia said...

Very nice story! Skritches to the Maizy-meister. :)

Stella said...

I love a dog that knows how to behave among lots of peoples and thats you, Maizy! Cheers for squirrel barking too!

My Mom would tell you I am fine with little kids, but in a big crowd of adults I would want to go MEET everyone, and she says that wouldn't be cool. So we stick to smaller groups!



Rachel said...

What a lovely story! Good old Maizy!

Elisabeth said...

Hi Nicole! I'm a recent fan of your blog (found you via the "i love my bad dog" blog), another pittie mom in Chicago. i was hoping to e-mail you with a question but i don't see a contact link on your blog. the short version is i have a hard-to-place foster dog and am at the point where i need to reach out to just about every resource i can think of. i'm hoping you might be able to help, either with contact info for other rescue workers or just a little advice. if you'd be willing to chat, please let me know - you can e-mail me at emgeier at gmail dot com.
thank you so much!

The Animal Doctor said...

your blog is truly inspiring!

Daisy Dog said...

Great story. Love the look on her face in that last picture!

Nicole said...

Thanks for the kind comments, everyone! I should have mentioned that all of the people in the pictures (other than me) were strangers. Maizy warms up to people very quickly and she is very protective over them in just a short amount of time. It's really amazing. :)

Elizabeth, I am not sure that I have any contacts that you do not have already, but you can email me if you like at nicolehopman at gmail (dot com). Is your foster a bully?

Flo said...

I remember these photos. She is such a good Yogini!'And I love that green top!