This story may sound unreal, but it is true. My dog found me through the internet. I was in Turkey at the time, sitting in my hotel working on the computer. I was not doing anything related to dogs when a web page popped up: “Hello, my name is Chipper, and I have ten days to live,” with a picture of a dog and some description I cannot recall.
I am not looking for a dog; I work all over the world, already have a rescue dog at home that I feel bad about leaving all the time; certainly, a second dog is not in the picture. But something is stopping me from hitting that little red dot that will close the page. Let me look at this website; if the other dogs here have the same effect on me, I better hit that little red button.
But no, all the other dogs are just dogs. Same ten days to live, other parts of the US, different shelters, but no unique sense about them. OK, fine, so, let me copy this picture and put you on my Facebook page. I post that I will vouch for you: You are going to be a great dog for someone, or they will get lifelong free sessions from me. I finally close the page and go back to work. This is the best I can do for you.
Well, so I thought. Two weeks later, I am sitting in the car with my dog Savannah driving to Bakersfield to pick you up. Just temporarily, until I find you a permanent home, at least that is the plan. You had other plans all along, but I was still in denial. It took several failed adoptions: “What do you mean he bit your dog?” He never even growled at anything while with me. “What do you mean he pissed in your house?” “What do you mean he keeps throwing up on your furniture?”
After months, I semi-surrender. It is not until a year later, when Savannah finds a home, that I realized that this had been your master plan. Now you had me all to yourself! You did not mind my work (although you still make puppy eyes every time I pack my bags to go to work abroad), you did not mind the dog sitters and times apart, you had found what you knew all along when you popped up on my screen in Turkey. You wanted me and you were going to get me, no matter what it took.
So here we are. You have gifted me so much over the last ten years, and you are still a huge contribution. You taught me to trust, taught me about awareness, and showed me kindness and bitchiness all at once.
You have told me many things; you are not a dog of many words. When you talk, there is minimal vocabulary but a universe of awareness to describe, and a depth of wisdom and energy to share. That is what I am here to do. To put your energy into words; to share your wisdom. It is not as metaphysical as it sounds, it certainly is not as significant as it seems, you would say, “Stop fussing, you fuss too much!” It is about sharing a dog’s perspective of stuff. Not to lecture, not to convince, but to inspire, to give the possibility to have a different perspective, to create a future where people respect animals for what they are. Beings who are sharing this planet with us, beings who are asking us to consider, asking us to care. Not from the significance of it all but from the kindness that is possible if we choose to embrace consciousness.
So, here is Charlie and his way to see and describe the world.
Conversations with Charlie on people C: “You guys really don’t get us.”
S: What do you mean by that?
C: “You put a lot of interpretation into everything.”
S: So, it is not about what is going on, but what we think is going on?
S: How can we change that?
C: “Listen. You think too much. We know things. Respect us. Accept that we know.”
If you would like to read more on how Charlie sees the world and people, and other stories by the co-authors of this book, please go here.