Saturday, October 30, 2010

Healing magic of dogs

I had the opportunity to volunteer yesterday with my therapy dog Ahnung at The Lab, an arts and wellness-based program of St. Paul Public Schools serving youth in special education in grades 7 - 12. We've been volunteering here for quite some time now. It's amazing to witness the healing and the transformation that takes place in the kids as Ahnung walks by ... her presence, her simple presence touches the souls of these kids. It's magical to witness.

I know for me I have personally experienced the magic and the healing of Ahnung's energy and way. We have 3 beautiful rescue dogs whom I love dearly ... but there is something truly special about Ahnung and her way to connect with youth, and in particular youth in special education. We all have a shadow side ... a wounded spirit. There is something about dogs that breaks down the protective layers around our hearts ... maybe it's their unconditional love, their ability to simply be in the present moment, and their ability to see not with their eyes but with their being ... no judgment, no expectations.

Yesterday I was reminded of the wounded spirit deep inside of me .... that shadow side I have tried to keep buried. How do we heal old childhood hurts, old wounds that are so deep with layers and layers of protection ... a wound with scabs so thick? I had the opportunity to volunteer with Ahnung yesterday to bring a smile and healing to youth .... I was then reminded of how much healing she gives to me and how she truly is my north star (her name Ahnung means star in ojibway). I was also reminded of how healing it is for me to volunteer alongside of Ahnung spending time with youth ...

Ahnung is an incredible spirit in the body of a dog ... who does amazing work as a therapy dog volunteering with youth, in hospice and she will also start visiting cancer patients undergoing chemo treatment. She shared more about her volunteer experience yesterday on her blog
There is something magical and healing about dogs. Ahnung shared the following Hafiz poem on one of her blog posts ... this morning I feel moved to share it on mine :)

I am So Glad
~ Hafiz

Start seeing everything as God,
But keep it a secret.
Become like a man who is Awestruck.
And Nourished.
Listening to a Golden Nightingale
Sing in a beautiful foreign language
While God invisibly nests
Upon its tongue.
Who can you tell in this world
That when a dog runs up to you
Wagging its ecstatic tail,
You lean down and whisper in its ear,
I am so glad You are happy to see me.

I am so glad,
So very glad You have come."

Thank you Ahnung for the gift you share with me and others in this world. Thank you for seeing beyond and for helping so many of us reach beyond our protective layers.

With my north star, Ahnung (aka nung-nung)

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