Animal ‘Tail’ of the Month
Milo and The Cave of Forgiveness
Milo, a handsome white and red greyhound, has had a tough time finding his place in the world. He’d been in two homes and a foster home which left him with terrible separation anxiety. To relieve his anxiety he would pee inside the house.
It was at this point that Kathy found Milo. One look and she "knew" that Milo was the greyhound she was looking for. Milo came home and joined two other greyhounds, Twix and Casey. Even with the companionship of the dogs and Kathy providing a nurturing home, Milo was still having separation anxiety attacks and began peeing inside the house.
Milo was anxious when he couldn’t see Kathy in the house. She didn’t even have to leave the house for him to search out a place to pee to relieve his anxiety. Having Milo peeing in the house was not what Kathy had in mind, but she worked with him and anticipated situations which were going to make him anxious and redirect his attention.
Kathy’s commitment to Milo and willingness to work with him started to change his behavior. This is an important point. Though my work starts to shift behavior it wouldn’t be as successful without my client’s hard work and love. All of you are a part of the equation. Kathy discovered that Milo had no anxiety when she was out of the house as long as she put him in his crate.
Milo started doing much better, but Kathy was due to set off on a two-week trip to Brazil which caused her concern as to how Milo would react to her absence. He had only been with her a few months. I felt it was going to take more than the conversations I’d had with him to really ease his anxiety so I suggested a shamanic journey and that is how Milo and I ended up in The Cave of Forgiveness.
The Cave of Forgiveness
Standing before Milo and myself in the cave were 3 people. Each one of them was someone who had abandoned Milo in his past. The first person spoke.
“Milo, please forgive me. My leaving you behind was a terrible thing, and I gave no thought as to how it would hurt your feelings. Will you forgive me?”
The person knelt down and held their arms out towards Milo. Milo looked up at me, and I told him that it was for him to decide if he felt ready to forgive.
Milo thought for several minutes and then he slowly walked towards this person and sat in front of them.
“Please forgive me, Milo. I am very sorry.”
Milo licked the person on the cheek giving his sign of forgiveness and the two of them hugged.
“I forgive you,” said Milo.
The person wept. “Thank you, Milo. I am sorry I did not understand you.”
Then Milo walked over and stood in front of the next person who knelt down and looked Milo in the eyes.
“Please forgive me, Milo. My leaving you was not your fault. It was mine. I didn’t take the time to spend time with you and care for you. I wanted a greyhound, and liked the way you looked, but I was not suited to have a dog in my life. Please forgive me, Milo.”
Milo walked towards the person, and raising a paw, he placed it on the person’s shoulder.
“I forgive you,“ said Milo.
“Thank you, Milo.”
Next Milo walked to the third person and stood in front of them. Milo waited patiently for the person to speak. They could not even look at Milo keeping their eyes staring down at the floor. Milo walked closer until he was standing right in front of the person, and then he looked up into the person’s eyes with puzzlement.
“I thought you really loved me,” said Milo.
The person broke down sobbing, their arms around Milo’s neck.
“Oh, Milo, please forgive me. I hurt your feelings, and I am so sorry. Someone has left me and now I know how you felt, and it is very painful. Can you forgive me?” the person sobbed.
Milo laid his head on the person’s shoulder and placed a paw on the other shoulder. It was Milo’s gesture of forgiveness.
“I forgive you,” said Milo. “Never walk away from any animal ever again.”
“I promise, Milo. I never will.”
A fourth person had appeared. Milo now walked over and stood in front of the last person, waiting. It was Kathy. He looked up at her and asked, “Will you leave me?”
Kathy knelt down and looked Milo in the eyes and whispered into his ear.
“I will never, ever leave you, Milo. You are home now and safe with me and Twix. We love you for always.”
Milo leaned against Kathy, closed his eyes, and gave out a huge, long sigh. Within this sigh was the healing for Milo of all past sadness and anxiety.
Within 24 hours after the journey, Milo's energy and demeanor were more relaxed and peaceful. Two days later Kathy flew to Brazil leaving Twix and Milo home with the live-in dog-sitter. Milo did extraordinarily well in Kathy’s absence. He had no issues for the two weeks she was away.
Some time has passed and Milo will have an accident if he is really worried, but not with the frequency previously. Kathy continues to work with him and is learning patience for when she has children, she says.