The Unspoken Words

The Unspoken Words between our dogs and us.

A pure bond where words are not required to communicate, but just eye contact is enough. The eyes are the windows to the soul – so so so true. It gives the opportunity to be completely present and available to whatever emotions are being conveyed.  

Dogs understand both, the meaning of words, and the tone used to speak to them – to a point. Though they do not understand full sentences, but the words we used to train them is what they attach the meaning to it. For example, the word “sit” is followed by teaching them how to actually sit down with the help of treats. But let’s not get into logic here.

I am pointing out at the emotional and funny part. Let’s start with the emotional one. As I have mentioned in one of my previous posts, there was a time when I wanted to end my life. I was all prepared and just sat one last time on the bed reflecting on all the life’s troubles and crying my eyes out. Somehow Casper understood what I was going through and immediately jumped on me and started licking my tears. He saved my life. He understood his Mumma was going through a bad time and his sloppy kisses would solve the problem. Indeed, it did – without me saying a word.

Even when I am unwell, and do not have the energy to play with Junior and keep attending to his demands of feeding him out of time food, he somehow understands and never bothers me. Somewhere he knows that Mumma is unwell and he should let me rest and recover. On other days, he doesn’t leave me alone even for a second. The moment I sit with my Tea, he feels that “how is she relaxing? She has to be on my duty at all times”. And he would keep tapping his paws on me till I give in.

The funny part is; I talk to my dogs in 2 languages – Gujarati and English. And they understand both of them (not in the literal sense). When I am in public and talking to Junior, it amazes people that my dog understands what I am saying.

But these are words that I speak. However, dogs do understand the emotions and we understand theirs. The unspoken words where we know that our dog is unwell or something is wrong, or when they need extra care and love, and vice versa. The eyes and the emotions behind it don’t require words to be spoken. And this can happen only if the bond is strong and pure.

Are the eyes soft, loving, compassionate? Is there hardness, anger, unspoken yet felt? What about fear, or frustration? Seen in the eyes, it’s so tangible in the air as well. Be willing to look deeply into those eyes, and take this wonderful opportunity to hold this dog with whatever intensities are expressed. It is an amazingly intimate opportunity for deeper relationship.

You dance; your dog dances with you. You are sad; your dog offers you kisses. You are angry; you dog sits in the corner of the room waiting for you to calm down. You are happy; your dog joins in to share the happiness. Same way, your dog is unwell; you get anxious. Your dog doesn’t eat; you skip a meal. Your dog is enjoying the walk; you are also happy.

In all this, no words spoken; just understood. The funny thing is, when we tell guests or non-dog owners that “my dog is hunger, or needs to pee or poop, or my dog is just playing”, and look at you with shock in their eyes, as if “how do you know?” We just know J

We can understand the silence and the emotions screaming loudly behind those eyes. Our bond is special, and it requires no words. Our unspoken words SPEAK THE LOUDEST.

I Feel Like Escaping

I feel like escaping. I live in a prison of my own thoughts. Imaginary or true, I have lost the touch of reality. My thinking keeps me away from the warmth of home. Confused, discontent, sad, I don’t have the answers. Only questions keep lingering for long. Is it the search for a greener grass? Or doubting if the shine I possess is not for me? Is it just in my head? Or my worst fears will come true one day?

Some days I am caged by the past. I sit and wonder, if I had done this, then that wouldn’t have happened. If I get a chance to go back and start over, I would do it a different way. Had I taken better decisions, then I would be happy now. Or if I would have waited a little longer, then I would be in a different situation now.

Other days I am consumed by the future. As the night falls, so does my motivation to stay strong. Many nights I am at the brick of falling completely apart thinking about the future. The overwhelming fear of the unknown; the uncertainty just scares me off. The dreaded thoughts of living without your loved ones, or suddenly going broke, or doing something incredibly wrong. Forgetting that Anxiety is a story teller, I still let it consume me.

Most of the days, I am completely cut off from the present. Just living! No motivation, no goals, no aims, just half in the past and half in the future. Self sabotage is a blade, one which I possess carelessly, always cutting, but never bleeding me out.

Am I the only one? Or are there others feeling and thinking the same? Does consistent bad time really play with our brain? Do we really get stronger and learn something? Or we just get used to living in survival mode. Is it always fight or flight? Or has someone seen the sun shining bright after thunder storms?

The desire to escape is fueled by yearning to run away from the unpleasant circumstance and situation. My problem is over thinking and trying to control the outcome. It’s a burnout feeling. When I was young, my dreams were to own a house, have a car, a family of my own and lots of money. Later it reduced to have at-least enough income to buy anything without seeing the label. Gradually it reduced to being healthy and seeing your loved ones healthy and happy. And now it’s narrowed down to having a peaceful mind and staying happy in whatever I have.

Sometimes life feels so overwhelming and claustrophobic that we long to escape, leaving everything behind and start new. Most dissatisfaction of our lives is fixable, or atleast can be improved. We know all the answers, yet we have too many questions. The resistance to change and trying to control the outcome is what puts us in a negative thinking cage.

I know it all. Yet here I am, trying to escape, drying up all the hopes some days for a better future. Feeling on and off has left me tired. Anxiety is bad. It tricks your mind into thinking that nothing will ever go right. It makes you think the worse case scenarios. A persistent state of worry and displaying excessive amount of fear leaves you drained.

But am I the only one? Is it really a tough time for many whether or not dealing with anxiety/depression? I know escaping is not the solution. And it should not even be. There are a lot of little things to be happy about and content with. For me it’s Junior and my family. However, some days I just feel like escaping. Just for a little while, to come back all charged up and face the world again.

The Hustle Culture

What is it that you are after? Are you taking care of yourself while you reach it? Why are you pretending to love your work? Will you be satisfied after you reach your goal, or by then you will need more? What is your definition for being successful?

So many questions, only one answer ­– the only thing waiting at the finish line is BURNOUT.

One of the biggest traps of this hustle culture is chasing what others deem “right.” What exactly is hustle culture? In short and clear words, it is more money to make, a bigger title, a higher promotion, etc. But what about, when you have achieved your goals? By then, you are extremely overwhelmed. By the time to reach the milestone, you are already unsatisfied and want more, most of the times because someone else has it.

Social media has played a very important role in promoting the toxic hustle culture. And why blame only social media, this kind of toxic behaviour has been infused into many families since childhood by comparisons. Mr. Sharma’s son got an A in his exams; you too have to study hard to get better. Mrs. Shah’s daughter came first in the race; you have to come first in the next.

Grind, hustle, work hard, etc. words like these have been glorified. Suddenly, talent has become secondary and success depends on long working hours. Time off is seen as laziness. If you are not hustling, you are failing. So damn toxic L

Always ON lifestyle with eventually lead to burnout and depression.

What has anyone got from this hustle culture? Ill health, stress, depression, anxiety, broken relationships, greed, etc. is what you get from nonstop grinding and hustling. Hustle culture started from toxic family behaviours and then it got its boost from social media. Even in my previous post I have mentioned how social media is being misused. The truth is, someone posted a picture of sitting in a lavish restaurant, but is struggling to pay utility bills. Someone posted a picture of living in a huge house or buying a big car, but is actually in debt. Someone posted a picture of a branded watch, but is actually a copy. And the list goes on.

But what do we do? We feel sad seeing all these posts and compare our present situation with theirs. We put in more hours to work to earn that extra money neglecting our health and relations. Only to show others that if they can do it, then even we can. The moment we take a break, people guilt trip us into thinking that we are lazy and we will not reach our goals if we rest.

Allow me to give you a fresh example of what a BIG LIE social media is. The gym that I go for workout, offers members a free a trial before paying for membership. One day when I was working out, I seen a woman come in along with a friend, used all the machines to exercise while her friend was recording her videos, and never showed her face at the gym again. Moral of the story, she used the free trail only to remove videos to post on social media. Do you get my point now!

Hustle culture thrives on stress, fear, guilt and shame. But we forget that an exhausted mind won’t be able to function. Hustle culture glorifies overworking as a badge of honour.  

STOP celebrating this toxic culture and take timely breaks. Do not compare your stage 1 to someone’s stage 3. Learn to be happy and satisfied in what you have while working to reach your goals. Slow down. Take it easy. Life is short. Life is fragile. Don’t bother about what people will say if you have rest days. Don’t take calls if you are exhausted. Eat slowly. Exercise. Have a lazy day once a week. Play with your dog. Get 8 hours sleep. Love the life you have while you are healthy, because in true terms, health is wealth.

Give rest to your mind body often. Because if you get carried away in this toxic hustle culture, your mind and body will automatically take rest, and that will not be an appropriate time for you.

I am possessive over my dogs

While dogs have evolved to be generally socializing animals, anybody who has owned dogs understands that pet parents do indeed develop a little possessiveness over their dogs. Humans are unpredictable; follow their own ideas and cultures. But when it comes to being a loving pet parent, we do tend to get possessive over our dogs.

We have all read about dogs being possessive over their owners. But in this post, I am going to talk about how I am possessive over Junior.

I love very hard and deep. Be it loving my siblings, parents, romantic partner or my dogs. I am protective in nature, but for Casper and Junior I am very possessive. I do not like it when they play more with other people (I am stupid I know).

Casper and Junior are very friendly dogs. They have never bitten anyone or even shown aggression. When people meet my dogs, they immediately fall in love with them. And that’s when my jealousy kicks in. I keep thinking, “No, you cannot love my dogs so much. Only I have the rights to love them a lot.”   

It’s been 12 years since I got my first dog (Casper) home. Ever since, I have learnt a lot from them. Especially what humanity means. Out of those 12 years, 10 years I have lived by myself with my dogs. Within no time I got very close to them, and also very possessive.

Though I love it when my parents and siblings pamper my dogs; but anyone else who over showers love and attention on my dogs, I get my guards on.

My dogs love meeting people and playing. I never stop them or dog friendly people to come home and have a good time. But because of my possessive and protective nature, I am always around and looking upon my dogs.

Sometimes, when I see someone offering treats to my dogs, but they place it on the floor; I immediately pick it up and feed my dogs the treats from my hands. If someone is forcing me to let them feed my dogs a bite from their plate, I lie to them saying my dogs will throw up. Even when a friend is clicking too many pictures with my dogs, I tell them that my dogs are tired and need to sleep.

Many a times when I see a friend getting over friendly with my dogs and my dogs reciprocating, I lie to them that it’s my dogs’ bedtime and they need to go. Please be informed, I do let my dogs play with people and other dogs, but after sometime, remove some excuse and take my dogs away. Jealousy is not the only reason, but sometimes my dogs get over exerted in excitement and my friends don’t understand that, so I have to lie to my friends and go away with my dogs.

One time, we had some friends come over. All of them were understanding and decent except one. He always had a habit to create trouble and act over smart. Since he is a part of the group; I couldn’t tell him to not come at my house. But as soon as he came, I warned him to stay away from my dogs or not irritate them. After an hour or so, this guy got into his old rubbish self and tried making Casper drink beer. Since I was on alert, I immediately got up and placed a tight slap across his face. Yes the evening didn’t end well, but I cannot tolerate anyone misbehaving with my dogs’ inspite of being warned.

I am Casper and Junior’s mother. Only I have the rights to call them mine. When I had a boyfriend, and he would claim to call my dogs as his, I had even told him that he can love them and care for them, but Casper and Junior are only mine…..hahahaha!

I don’t know if I am the only one who is so possessive about her dogs, but I don’t think my possessiveness will ever change. My dogs are my world. My life rotates around them. And I wouldn’t like anyone who spent 10-12 days or 2-3 hours with my dogs claim to love my dogs or my dogs loving them more.