About Jarlath

God is there in the happiest moments and in the saddest moments because God is always Love.

“Good morning you all,” says John as he meets us on the sands and reaches into his pocket. I look up at him and twitch my nose. “You are getting more confident now, aren’t you Eivor?” says John.

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We are munching John’s biscuits when he whispers to our companions “Have you heard what happened to Jarlath?”

I cannot understand the words he is saying, but John is making pictures of Jarlath, a brindle rescue greyhound with similar markings to Ruby. He is walking on the leash with his companion when he gets attacked by a pit bull, who is off the lead. John’s breathing is getting shallow as he is speaking and tears are welling up in his eyes.

Our companion looks  tearful too and whispers “Oh my God.”

I see a golden star rise above Jarlath and know he has left his body. It is sparkling very brightly in the blue sky.

John walks on alone, his pockets full of treats for every dog he meets.

When we return home there are tears rolling down our companion’s face. She gives us dental chews and puts our leashes away.

When I walk into the living room she lights a candle and sits quietly.

“Where is God in this?” she asks, still crying. I sit beside her and press her arm down with my paw.

I tell her

God is in the love pouring out to Jarlath’s spirit and in the love pouring out to his companion.

God is in all the thoughts and support from others in times of loss and grieving.

God is in all the memories Jarlath and his companion created together.

God is in every moment Jarlath made his companion laugh and in every moment he made her cry.

God is there in the happiest moments and in the saddest moments because God is always Love.

She smiles at me and sends love and light to Jarlath’s spirit and his human companion.

I curl up beside her and fall asleep.

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In loving memory of Jarlath (2010-2015)

Sending love to you all,

Eivor

 

Keeping Faith in the Kindness of Others

The more you keep your faith in the kindness of others, the more kindness you will meet.

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The water is low and the white stones on the river bed sparkle in the sunlight. Ruby walks ahead and sniffs the ground. “What was it like for you when you were living on the streets?” I asked.

“It was very lonely, most of the time,” she said. “It took me a while to realise that I had been abandoned. I kept waiting in the same area for my former companion, but he never showed up. When night fell I looked for somewhere to stay out of the wind. I was feeling very tired by then. I slipped into an empty barn a few miles away and curled into a ball to stay warm. I kept one ear up in case of any danger and did not get much sleep.

When I heard voices the following morning I slipped out of the barn and dug around a bin where I found a piece of chicken and some bread. A tall man chased me away. I walked to the town looking up at people’s faces to see if they would give me something to eat or drink.

A young woman stood outside an office building with a cigarette and a mug of tea. She looked kind and I walked up to her, nudging her mug. She smiled at me and let me have some of her tea. I drank all of it.

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I could smell more cigarettes around the corner. A plume of white smoke whirled up above a young man who stood against the wall by the café. The food smells from the open back door were so overwhelming I stood there staring into the kitchen with my ears up. The young man went inside and got me two sausages. I licked his hand and leant into him for a while.

When the trees were in full leaf I wandered around by day, going back to the café and other places where people had clouds of smoke around them. I was given sandwiches, sausages and water, sometimes tea. On rainy days I had to raid bird feeders and bins for food. I dug up some carrots from a vegetable patch, picked raspberry and blackberry from the bushes and pulled apples of a tree. I slept in different places, always out of the wind.

One evening when the leaves started to fall I was looking for somewhere to sleep and saw a young man with long dark hair and a beard lying on some cardboard under the railway bridge. His face looked like a map carved from a life of rough roads and dead end streets. I sniffed it very gently. He half opened his eyes and stroked me under my chin. He lifted up his blanket and I snuggled up beside him. We kept each other warm and for the first time I slept really well.

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The next day I wandered around my usual places for food and went back to the railway bridge when the light began to fade. The young man was sitting up under his blanket and I sniffed the can of dog food as he pulled the lid off. He scooped some food out with his fingers and fed me from his hand. I licked his hands clean, gave him a soft nudge with my nose and rested my head on his lap.

He stroked my head as we sat quietly with the moon before going to sleep under his blanket. For the next few days I would always return to my new friend as evening fell. He gave me food and we kept each other warm at night.

Although it was not easy to be abandoned on the streets and getting chased away at times, I never lost my faith in the kindness of others. I hope someone reached out to that kind man under the railway bridge and helped him find a warm place to live.”

I hope so too. I am so grateful for all those people who showed you loving kindness during that time in your life. By staying so positive and looking for the good in people you were  creating our own reality again.

“Yes that is so true,” said Ruby.

I hope that you will keep your faith in the kindness of others. If someone has abandoned you I hope you will remember Ruby’s story. The more you keep your faith in the kindness of others, the more kindness you will meet.

I send you all much love,

Eivor.

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Loving Support

I know that rescue dogs recognise other rescue dogs. We recognise the vulnerability exposed by our experiences in life. We connect at the heart-level.

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As I am getting fitter and faster I have had a few near misses with other dogs and need to work on my steering skills. Seamus encourages me to stay positive and to keep trying. “Do not worry about being perfect, just do your best,” says Seamus.

I begin to run and am a bit nervous about losing control on my bends.

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Seamus encourages me to be braver and to swing left. His moral support and his love make me dig deep and I manage my first smooth left turn. After a few more spins to the left it gets easier, then I swing right and this feels better still. Seamus continues to guide me and he is smiling proudly now.

“You love helping others so much, have others helped you too?” I ask.

“I know how it feels when you are first in one home and you think that is your life. Suddenly, the people you think are part of your pack abandon you by the road side or take you to a shelter and you feel lost.

Seeing you, how nervous you were in the beginning reminds me of how nervous I used to be. I was afraid of shadows, just like you. There were kind humans who helped me and of course our companions who adopted us.

No one understood me better than the other rescue dogs I met. There was Betsy the Bedlington who taught me how to run, Suzy the lurcher showed me how to play. Alfie, another lurcher, gave me lots of confidence. Then there was Benji the retriever, Molly the collie, Murphy the cross-breed, Penny the kelpie and the greyhounds Romeo, Lexi, Thunder and Whisky. They sound like a string of characters out of a blues poem by Bill Herbert.

There were four animal shelters nearby and most local people adopted from there. In the shelter there are staff and volunteers who give you food, take you for walks and offer the type of loving kindness many rescue dogs have never experienced before. Some dogs cannot cope with a shelter environment, despite all this kindness.

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I remember a black lurcher called Danny. He was covered in cigarette burns and had stitches in his leg. His previous companion had thrown him out of a speeding car. The car behind just avoided him and stopped to pick him up and take him to the nearest vet.

At the shelter he kept throwing himself against the walls, bursting his stitches. The vet had to come back several times to re-do them. After the third time he said he may have to put the dog to sleep if he continued to harm himself.

Me and some of the other dogs wanted to reach out to him and sit with him in his kennel but we were not allowed near him.

Staff and volunteers took it in turns to sit with him for hours on end. I remember when, after many hours, he went to lie down next to a volunteer, put his chin on her knee and fell asleep. After that he slept and slept.

He was rehomed in the same town about six months after I had been rehomed. We bumped into each other on the hill. It was so good to see him happy with his new human companions. We played and ran a big circle around the castle.

Our companions and Danny’s companions got on very well and we would often meet up and walk around the castle together. Danny and I were very close.”

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I know that rescue dogs recognise other rescue dogs. We recognise the vulnerability exposed by our experiences in life. We connect at the heart-level.

As the sea breeze picks up we bump into a Spanish galgo who is walking her new companion on a slack leather leash. With a slight flick of her tail and a flicker in her eye it is as if we all know each other from some other, faraway place.

I am so grateful for all the humans who have helped me and for everything Seamus and Ruby have taught me.

I am sending much love and support to all the shelter staff and volunteers, all the dogs currently in shelters and to anyone else out there who needs it.

Eivor

whippet running on beach

 

 

 

 

Something Special Inside All of Us

So even if you feel like a small being in a big world, there is something special inside you that is unique to you. That special something can bring comfort to others you meet on your way.

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The sun is rising as we walk through the woods and we see small rainbows in the dewdrops. When we come to a clearing Ruby bends down and sniffs the grass. I bend down beside her and begin to sniff the grass too.

“See how much information you can get from your nose,” she says. There are so many different smells that I am not sure what they all mean. “Focus on the smell that is the freshest,” says Ruby, “that will tell you who was here most recently. You do not have to worry about the older, fading smells as they represent the past.”

greyhound and whippet sniffing grass

We both smell the same blade of grass. “Remember what you can smell here and see if we can pick up the same smell as we continue walking,” she says.

I look up at the trees and love the way the sunlight filters through in diagonal beams. My world was so small before I came to the shelter and I am getting used to a world which looks bigger every day.

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It feels as if I am getting smaller as my world is getting bigger. Seamus and Ruby have so much experience and so much wisdom and love to share.

“You have something special to share too,” says Ruby. “You lived with an old lonely man for the first three years of your life. That must have given you a great understanding of how loneliness can affect older people. Your company would have brought him the love that he was craving. He loved you enough to give you a chance of a better life when he realised he could not give you what you needed.”

We meet an old man walking by himself. I quietly walk up to him and look into his eyes. He bends down slowly and strokes me under my chin. I feel a connection between his heart and mine. He strokes me on top of my head, smiles and walks away.

I now understand that in my own way, I can be of help to others too.

So even if you feel like a small being in a big world, there is something special inside you that is unique to you. That special something can bring comfort to others you meet on your way.

Love,

Eivor.

greyhound and whippet snuggled up

 

 

Creating Your Own Reality

I hope that, whenever you are telling yourself a story or create an image that is not helpful to you, you will remember how I released my idea about shadows and created a new, more natural and more positive reality. It is the type of reality we can all create for ourselves.

The sun breaks through the fog and in this new light shadows appear on the path. I walk calmly beside my companion on a loose leash as we cross the road and continue along the harbour.

Three years ago we were walking in a forest and I leapt five feet in the air when I first saw a shadow. Seamus and Ruby looked at me quizzically, wondering where my fear came from. Another shadow appeared and I leapt in the air again, believing there was an abyss beneath my paws.

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I could not understand that the dark pattern created by a shadow did not alter the surface we were walking on. Seamus and Ruby calmly walked on and paid no further attention to my leaping like a frog. My companion stayed calm and did not change her rhythm. She made a clicking sound with her tongue and made me follow that sound. She visualised us walking on and me walking calmly beside her.

I could see the pictures she was making, yet continued to make my own negative pictures about the dark spaces on the path. She, Seamus and Ruby walked normally as if those spaces did not exist. I stopped leaping and began to cautiously sniff the ground. After some sniffing I let go of my negative visualisations as they no longer matched my new reality.

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I let out a deep sigh and began to relax into the walk and the shadows cast by the tall trees no longer phased me.

It seems strange today to think how scared I was of shadows. I know now that on a hot sunny day it can be very nice to walk in those cooler spaces. More than anything I learned that you create your own reality.

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When the reality you create for yourself is not helpful to you there are always other dogs and other people who can help you let go of what does not serve you and create a new, more peaceful reality.

My  pack supported me through this just by being there and by creating a loving space where I could find the answers in my own time.

I hope that, whenever you are telling yourself a story or create an image that is not helpful to you, you will remember how I released my idea about shadows and created a new, more natural and more positive reality. It is the type of reality we can all create for ourselves.

With love,

Eivor.

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Positive Visualisation

It IS easy, it DOES feel natural when you do something for the first time after you have visualised yourself doing it.

I follow Ruby on the sand and watch her as she launches herself after the ball and catches it in mid-air. I turn in the morning sun and begin to visualise chasing and catching a ball myself.

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Ruby smiles at me and gives another demonstration of natural and effortless ball catching.

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I look at our companion and she smiles at me. She visualises me running after the ball and catching it and saying ‘good boy’ to me when I drop the ball back by her feet.

All this positive energy makes me believe in myself. When our companion throws me the first ball I chase it and catch it in mid-air. I run back to her in a wide circle, beaming and buzzing. It IS easy, it DOES feel natural when you do something for the first time after you have visualised yourself doing it.

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Seamus and Ruby have such a lovely way of teaching me new things and encouraging me. They are generous spirits who seem to get as much pleasure out of sharing what they know as I am getting out of learning from them. I would love to help other dogs in the same way one day.

I feel so blessed to be part of this pack. When Ruby joined the pack, Seamus and Fergal were already living with our companions and they helped her settle into a home life after living on the streets. She had been a stray for a long time, abandoned by her previous owner when she was not good enough to race.

She is pure gold, our Ruby. It feels as if we were meant to be together.

Love,

Eivor.

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Rehoming Day

I sniffed the ground and approached them quietly, feeling more confident the closer I got to them.

Hello, I am a whippet called Eivor. I used to live with an elderly man who had bought me as a puppy. He never walked me and lost track of time. When he got the courage to see that he couldn’t look after me I was handed in at an animal rescue centre. By then I was three years old. 

I had never left the house before and was very scared at the kennels. I was often too scared to eat and lost a lot of weight. I was often too scared to sleep because of all the other dogs barking through the night. There were some people there who were kind but I was still shaking. They said they wanted to find a new home for me quickly because I wasn’t coping very well. 

One day, I heard a car arrive and a staff member put me on a lead in my kennel and walked me out to the forecourt. The chilly breeze made me shiver. There were two older, larger hounds with warm coats on. One dog was black and the other one was brindle in gold, white and black. The dogs had the kindest look in their eyes and a peaceful energy around them. Their human companions had the same energy around them and they looked like a very harmonious pack.  

I felt a little spark, a connection, and the two hounds approached me in a gentle curve, blinking and turning their heads away slightly to let me know they were no threat. I sniffed the ground and approached them quietly, feeling more confident the closer I got to them. Once our noses touched I knew we belonged together. 

I sniffed their human companions and looked up at them. They blinked at me and knelt down, gently stroking me under the chin. One of them put a warm coat over my back and fastened a strap under my tummy. The coat felt warm and cosy and I looked up at her and our noses touched. I walked around in it for a bit, I felt I was just like the other hounds now with their warm coats on, just a bit smaller. 

The two hounds jumped in the back of the car and I tried to lift myself into it with my front paws but wasn’t strong enough. My new companion lifted me up and now we were all in. The people at the shelter waved me goodbye and their faces looked happy. 

I saw fields, farmhouses and cottages flit by through the window and then we came to a road where all you could see to the left was water with little lights sparkling from the sunlight. The two hounds had fallen asleep. I snuggled up to them and the strong, relaxing energy of the sleeping dogs made me more and more relaxed and I fell asleep too. 

It was so nice to be able to sleep and feel safe. When the car stopped and the engine was switched off we all jumped out of the back and crossed the road to a small cottage. My companions opened the gate and I followed at the rear of the pack. There were large white birds flying overhead telling each other there was a new dog on the block.  

I followed everybody in through the front door, turned left into the living room, jumped on the sofa and carried on sleeping. I knew I was home.

Rehomed Post