The mice are not the only animals teaching me. During the same period horses, dogs and cats were also showing me the same message; we are not victims nor do we want human pity.
I remember a small female dog I was contacted to communicate with by the group of people who took her out of a puppy mill. The reason I was called; she was edgy, not eating well and had bitten volunteers. So I opened up and asked for her permission. She did not trust me as no other human had gotten her pictures and listened to her. She had pretty much given up.
I told her I would not push her, it was her choice, then I got quiet. It took a couple of minutes and she finally opened up to me and showed me her point of view.
She was angry with the humans who took her from the place of her job. The humans took her, no one asked her if she wanted to leave, they took her puppies and they hurt her. Within a day or so of being taken she was spay and given stings, that is how they see shots. There were humans touching her, something she had little experience with which was overwhelming.
The job of raising puppies was very important to her and was what she knew, it was her life. If you think about nature their bodies are hard wired to reproduce. It is not a thought process for them, it is instinct and hormones. She missed her job and she did not have much use for the humans who took her and turned her world upside down. She wanted me to have the humans take her back to her job.
I had an angry dog who had lost her job and a human who could not understand why this dog was not falling all over them in thanks. After all they had rescued her from a terrible life. There were two very different points of view here.
My work was to explain to the dog her job was gone due to the spaying and that the door to her job life was closed and the humans wanted to find her a human whose pack she could become a member of. In order to do that she could not bite. She did not care about the biting; she was a dog protecting herself, period.
The other side of my work was to explain to the human the dog’s point of view. At first the human did not think too highly of my communication skills. From her point of view no dog could be ok producing puppies in that horrible place.
It was a tough session. I went back and forth and at the end had the beginnings of understanding on both sides. Did I have a happy dog and human? No, we had some consideration for each others point of view. A start.
The dog saw herself as having an important job to do. The humans saw her as a victim to be pitied and rescued. A difference of 180 degrees. I am learning there is a place in the middle. It is about listening and being willing to see another’s point of view with no judgment or agenda.
Like with the mice it is respecting the beingness of another species whose way of looking at life is very different from ours.