The Day the Magic Died

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Yesterday morning, one day before my birthday, a tragically short five years and six months after Magic entered into my life, transformed it, brought wonder into it, brought unending happiness, brought his massive yet gentle strength into my life, brought his antics, his sense of wonder, his joy, his vitality, his total awareness of everything around him, one day before my birthday, my solace and strength in my isolation, my companion, the evanescent life of German Shepherd dog Magic ended. An as yet unknown person had carelessly or wantonly strewn rodent poison where Magic couldn’t help but find it.

Last night I knew that if I walked into the bedroom I would feel Magic happily trotting after me, eager to take his place on his blanket beside my bed. I did not want to wake up this morning and not feel his probing nose, Magic’s way of saying

:::come on alpha new day nothing but delicious food and chew toys and tennis balls and rabbits and seedpods and butterflies and birds up in the sky to chase sunshine and fun out there.:::

I sat on the couch in a semi-darkened room all night. I hoped to meditate, but how foolish, how could my mind not replay the years of Magic? Magic was his name because the word described his soul better than any other word could possibly describe it.

Magic is not a name you can just hand to a vital living creature. The first moment they look into your eyes, they announce in a matter of fact yet certain way, a way you will never doubt, that your life needs magic and they are that magic.

:::that’s me call for magic i’ll come running:::

Those eyes talk because a magical creature needs no words, dismisses them, cares not a bit about words.

:::that’s us together we’re magic we become one:::

Two large dark eyes look deeply into your eyes, their warm and gentle bearer yips and licks and wiggles

:::we found a home a mission a promise of unending happiness we found you:::

They say

:::just give us a tennis ball that squeaks or a piece of fresh chicken and we’re good to go never to leave your side there is no otherness all that we see hear and smell is one all of us are one endless web of unbroken vibrating energy eternally now without a past of sorrows don’t question it because we don’t question it as it embraces us all it is us it is a promise it is connection it is good:::

Magic continues

:::we’ll always remind you of something it is more important than anything in the universe even more than squeaky tennis balls and fresh chicken:::

To take you for a walk? To rub your belly?

:::foolish alpha without as much sense and knowing as we have know this there is magic beyond everything we all see or don’t see an unknowable essence of creation that makes all things has made all things from the beginning without a beginning and end that never ends our love proves it all connectedness demonstrates and glorifies it try not to forget the connection is forever call it magic:::

I brought home a warm puppy who matured into a prince of his species, like a mythical magnificent Pegasus, who embodied all of its charisma, and its legends.

That’s all I can say right now.

Magic Ghibor, 2 Oct. 2008 – 31 May 2014

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Ahava Tries Her Paw at Blogging

The writings of the Baha’i Faith also speak of our animal companions. So, I will try something very different for today’s short essay.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of the founder of the Baha’i faith, writes:

“Train your children from their earliest days to be infinitely tender and loving to animals. If an animal be sick, let the children try to heal it, if it be hungry, let them feed it, if thirsty, let them quench its thirst, if weary, let them see that it rests. Most human beings are sinners, but the beasts are innocent.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

AHAVAFEB03 I wonder what my dog Ahava would say if I ask her to dictate her blog to me. I am patiently working on this. Here’s what Ahava has told me so far today.

Two-legs-not-Alpha-not-Pack comes to den entrance with bag of uninteresting smells again. Our territory has peril now. We sound strong alarm. Two-legs-not-Pack run away. Alarm sound make two-legs-not-Pack go away. No danger now. Alpha open den. Alpha take uninteresting flat no-smell things. Not food. No care. We guard. Our toys are safe. We bury squeaky toy. Be safe.”

“We need place to rest now. Round and round in circles we must go. We rest now.”

“Alpha go away in four-round-leg moving den. We wait. Alpha back soon with food. The hunt is good.”

“Chicken smell. Food rattles. Yummie-yummie chicken-smell now. Alpha not eat our food. Alpha is good.”

“We need place to rest now. Find toy. Oh, Toy lost! Round and round in circles we must go. We rest now.”

Things that Ahava leaves forever not-thought:

“Did two-leg, no-tail Alpha make us? What is a dog? What is good dog? Is good dog a biscuit? What is Ahava? What is not Now? What is tomorrow?”

“Why Alpha-two-legs have no-tail, not furry like us?”

Alpha sit-look at flat no-smell window beep-noise long time. Alpha make click sounds. Why Alpha sit-look so long time? Alpha not eat. Should we worry?”

“When four legs smelled-like-me start to smell bad and not move ever again, where does four legs go?”

I offered Ahava the opportunity to write another blog but it was just frustrating. She only wants to write exactly the same thing every day of her life. Ahava lives only in the moment. Ahava is happy. PS, She doesn’t know it, but I edited out the part where she said she would like to eat a Chihuahua.

Ahava is an Israeli name which means Love. In the Old Testament, the derivation of Ahava is the name for Eve. Her AKC registered name is Ahava Shamira, which means loved protector. She is eight years old, exceptionally large for her breed, and weighs a trim 102 pounds (46 kilos). When she was a little puppy fur ball, she slept on my lap.

Sleep without a care tonight, little innocent Ahava.

“Briefly, it is not only their fellow human beings that the beloved of God must treat with mercy and compassion, rather must they show forth the utmost loving-kindness to every living creature. For in all physical respects, and where the animal spirit is concerned, the selfsame feelings are shared by animal and man. Man hath not grasped this truth, however, and he believeth that physical sensations are confined to human beings, wherefore is he unjust to the animals, and cruel.

“And yet in truth, what difference is there when it cometh to physical sensations? The feelings are one and the same, whether ye inflict pain on man or on beast. There is no difference here whatever. And indeed ye do worse to harm an animal, for man hath a language, he can lodge a complaint, he can cry out and moan; if injured he can have recourse to the authorities and these will protect him from his aggressor. But the hapless beast is mute, able neither to express its hurt nor take its case to the authorities. If a man inflict a thousand ills upon a beast, it can neither ward him off with speech nor hale him into court. Therefore is it essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Why does Ahava not think of questions?

“And the animal kingdom, no matter how far it may evolve, can never become aware of the reality of the intellect, which discovereth the inner essence of all things, and comprehendeth those realities which cannot be seen; for the human plane as compared with that of the animal is very high. And although these beings all co-exist in the contingent world, in each case the difference in their stations precludeth their grasp of the whole; for no lower degree can understand a higher, such comprehension being impossible.

“… And notwithstanding the fact that all these entities co-exist in the phenomenal world, even so, no lower degree can ever comprehend a higher.

Then how could it be possible for a contingent reality, that is, man, to understand the nature of that pre-existent Essence, the Divine Being? The difference in station between man and the Divine Reality is thousands upon thousands of times greater than the difference between vegetable and animal. And that which a human being would conjure up in his mind is but the fanciful image of his human condition, it doth not encompass God’s reality but rather is encompassed by it. That is, man graspeth his own illusory conceptions, but the Reality of Divinity can never be grasped: It, Itself, encompasseth all created things, and all created things are in Its grasp. That Divinity which man doth imagine for himself existeth only in his mind, not in truth. Man, however, existeth both in his mind and in truth; thus man is greater than that fanciful reality which he is able to imagine.
— ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá


Smokehouse Dog Treats (Update)

Before I begin here are today’s links:

First a blog by a puppy Ahava would love to meet. The human Buppy the Puppy owns was a classmate of mine in highschool.

And now a link that’s relevant to today’s topic:
“”What should you be feeding your pets? … from healthiest down to the nutritional dregs.”
http://www.sunherald.com/384/story/155203.html

A few days ago in my entry about my German Shepherd Dog, Ahava, I wrote glowingly about Smokehouse Chicken Treats for dogs. But I was wrong. This story got almost no publicity when it broke:

PetSmart, a national pet-product retailer with 38 stores in Palm Beach and Broward counties, has voluntarily pulled two brands of jerky-style pet treats made in China while federal investigators continue to explore if such products are making dogs sick.

PetSmart spokeswoman Jennifer Ericsson said all flavors of Pet ‘n Shape and Smokehouse Pet Products jerky-type treats — including poppers, tenders and chips — have been taken off the shelves and stored “as a precautionary measure” while the company conducts its own tests.

The company’s decision followed a warning about such products issued last Thursday by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the nation’s leading professional group for vets. The Food and Drug Administration also confirmed last week that it was investigating jerky treats for contaminants.
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/sfl-flhlpjerky0920nbsep20,0,6130730.story

Today 90% of the world’s vitamins and supplements are made in China, a country with few regulations or the oversights that exist in all Western countries. http://tinyurl.com/3domh7

Growing China produces most of world’s vitamins
China has cornered the global market for vitamins, and it is assuring a jittery world market that its tablets are safe.
SHIJIAZHUANG, China — If you pop a vitamin C tablet in your mouth, it’s a good bet it came from China.
In less than a decade, China has captured 90 percent of the U.S. market for vitamin C, driving almost everyone else out of business. Chinese pharmaceutical companies also have taken over much of the world market in the production of antibiotics, analgesics, enzymes and primary amino acids. — Miami Herald (url expired)

Most Synthetic Vitamins Are Now Made in China   http://tinyurl.com/27pjcx

“You may be surprised to know that China is actually one of the largest exporters of many drugs and vitamins. About 90 percent of all Vitamin C sold in the United States is from China, for example. They also produce 50 percent of the world’s aspirin and 35 percent of all Tylenol. Ditto for the majority of Vitamins A, B12 and E.
“Hot on the heels of the poisoned pet food scandal, and reported instances of toxic food and toothpaste, all eyes are now turning toward the Chinese vitamin market. How safe are they?
“The industry in China appears to be split between top-notch operations and bottom-of-the-barrel producers. Since the United States does not require country-of-origin labels for any of our drugs, foods or supplements, there is no telling where that vitamin you are taking came from.”

Ahava

 Ahava weighs 102# and has a slender waist that doesn't show in this picture well   I love large dogs. Luna, my nine-year-old German Shepherd mix died recently. Now I just have a seven-year-old German Shepherd, Ahava, who has been with me since she was seven weeks old. I’ve always given my dogs beautiful and meaningful names, for example, Tung Jen (Chinese:fellowship with man), Zhian Alpha (Persian:courage of a lion), Koh-i-Nur (Pakistani:points of light), Ahava (Hebrew:loved), Akimi (derived from Japanese:rosy as the dawn), Diamonds, Dreams and Jewel (the latter four were Siberian Huskies). I’m currently looking for a big healthy German Shepherd puppy as a companion to Ahava. He’ll be named Ghibor (Ghee-BOAR) (Hebrew:hero/strength/courage). Dogs love me and always follow me.

Ahava - ten weeks old   A few thoughts about Ahava:

My dog’s full AKC registered name is Ahava Shamira.

When I arrived at the airport in Tel Aviv this past Feb. one of the first things I saw was a giant billboard with a close-up of a woman’s face and a single word: Ahava. There’s even a website with that name. It’s a line of expensive cosmetics derived from Dead Sea minerals.

Ahava learned when she was a little puppy to block out and totally ignore sounds from the TV and stereo. She doesn’t even react to dog toys with sound effects because she understands that they’re not real. I hardly ever use spoken commands such as Sit or Stay because she somehow senses my thoughts. When Ahava wants something such as going outside she just looks at me with the expectation that I’ll know what she wants and I always do. This is the same little furball who slept contentedly on my lap when she was less than 12 weeks old.

Dogs are exceptionally good at reading body language and energy fields. They perceive the tiniest movements that we aren’t even aware of making ourselves. It’s been proven that dogs can actually sniff out cancer long before it’s discovered due to medical symptoms.

Ahava - four weeks old   Ahava instinctively knows when to manifest her inner aggressive Wolf. She’s friendly to delivery people for example but doesn’t approach them. She remains a few feet away and just observes them. When my possibly meth-addicted redneck neighbor walks down the country road I live on Ahava snarls at her even though she’s more than 110′ away. She can even tell when someone isn’t quite “right” over the phone such as telemarketers. That’s probably because she sniffs my reactions to them. German Shepherds don’t have to be trained to be protective because they’ve been bred for it. Only abusing them will cause them to become antisocial due to fear.

DOG FOOD

I feed my dogs healthy holistic food and not the popular brands which have been so tainted by recent scandals. A good read about pet food that will wake you up is Ann Martin’s Food Pets Die For.

Although I thought I was knowledgeable about pet food it never occurred to me to think about how it’s tested. Then I read this:
http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20070908/NEWS/709080318/1017/OPINION02/NEWS/Nutritional_tests_actually_torture
Excerpt:

“…for nearly 10 months, an investigator went undercover at a contract laboratory that performed “nutritional” tests on animals for Iams pet-food company and discovered terrified, unsocialized animals cowering in small cages in dungeon-like rooms; dogs that had gone insane from intense confinement; dogs left piled on a filthy paint-chipped floor after having chunks of muscle hacked from their thighs; dogs force-fed vegetable oil through tubes inserted down their throats…”

This is the full text of the article in the New York Times Magazine that the author is talking about (not for the squeamish!).

Next time you reach for a bag of Purina, Pedigree, Iams or other popular brands think about what really goes into the product and how it’s tested. Remember that the word “natural” on a product has no meaning. Many pet food products include Propylene Glycol (a derivative of antifreeze) which is a natural ingredient. It was banned from cat food by the FDA a few years ago because it tends to kill them. Dog treats and some food products still contain it. Arsenic is natural; so are cyanide, botulism, hydrocarbons, E-Coli, and HIV/AIDS. It’s a meaningless term. The term holistic on a pet food product means a lot more. Some brands are Newman’s, Blue, Wysong, Innova, and California Natural. Petsmart and Petco carry some of the holistic brands. Read the labels. You should avoid buying bags of food that include the word “byproducts” in their ingredient lists. Food Pets Die For (mentioned above) tells what that term really means. Basically if an ingredient doesn’t sound like something tasty that you might eat it’s not good for your dog either.

Ahava loves Smokehouse Chicken Treats which I buy at Petsmart. The ingredient list contains only one word: Chicken — no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. You can see and feel the texture of chicken that’s been roasted and dried. If I wasn’t 95% vegetarian I’d snack on them myself.