Posted: Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:04 pm Post subject: A Dog as a Lover of God!
In the following anecdote, Mowlana Rumi refers to a dog as a lover of God!
Rumi was walking by the moat around the edge of Konya when a group of students from a neighbouring college posed a question they thought would confuse him, "What color was the dog who slept in the cave with the seven sleepers?" Rumi's spontaneous answer was, "Light yellow. A lover is always pale with longing, as I am, and that dog was a lover." They followed along then asking questions that were less impudent.
Near the market, Rumi began talking to people in the late afternoon one day. A large crowd gathered, but as the sun went down and Jelaluddin kept discoursing, they wandered away. He went on into the night, until finally he was alone with a number of the town's stray dogs, who sat in a circle around him whining and wagging their tails. "You understand what I say,"he announced to his canine audience. "Men have condescended and called you 'dogs,' but from now on, let your species be known as the seven sleepers, because of that blessed group in the Qur'an, which included one of you."
Source: Say I Am You RUMI Poetry Interspersed with Stories of Rumi and Shamsh translated by JohnMoyne and Coleman Barks
Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 6:48 am Post subject: A Pet's devotion - Tsunami
A Pet's Devotion
January 3, 2005 | 11:55 a.m.
A 7-year-old boy was saved from the tsunami's force by the family dog, who pulled the boy up a hill and out of the small hut where he had taken shelter. The boy's mother had fled with her two younger children, hoping against hope that her older boy would be strong enough to outrun the wave on his own. When the boy ran into the hut, the dog, which is named Selvakumar after the boy's uncle, nudged him back outside and up a nearby hill.
Posted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 5:40 am Post subject: Thank God for Our "Small-Brained" Friends
Thank God for Our "Small-Brained" Friends
Dogs do great things for humans every day, even if it's just being there for us when we get home.
By Eileen Mitchell
The email was in response to a dog column I write for the San Francisco Chronicle. The subject line read ďStupid dog freakĒ.
"Here's some news for you," the email read. "Dogs are JUST ANIMALS. They are domesticated wolves with small brains. They don't even know they are alive, nor can they appreciate a single thing you're doing for them. You should be helping your fellow man, instead of wasting your efforts on flash-in-the-pan lower species."
Let me get this straight: Because dogs are "just animals" they donít deserve to be loved or cared for? Loving animals has never prevented me from "helping my fellow man." I work at a nonprofit organization, religiously recycle, donate to shelters, and baby sit, pet sit and house sit for friends. I havenít yet found a cure for cancer, but hey, there are only so many hours in a day. Still, I'm afraid my humble efforts pale in comparison to our canine companions. Because the fact is, many of these "domesticated wolves with small brains" do more to help human kind on a daily basis than do most people in a lifetime.
Throughout the country, children are learning to enjoy books by reading to a nonjudgmental canine listener in programs such as Paws to Read (Pleasanton, CA), Dog Day Afternoons (Salt Lake City, UT) and Sit, Stay, Read (Birmingham, AL). There are service dogs for the visual and hearing impaired, police dogs, search and rescue dogs, and therapeutic companion dogs for seniors, shut-ins, and the clinically depressed. There are dogs that work as "medic alerts," predicting seizures, dangerously low-blood sugar levels, and now weíre discovering, even cancer.
A canineís sense of smell is generally 10,000 to 100,000 times superior to that of humans. A recent U.K. study found that dogs sniffing urine detected "a specific profile of aromas linked to the abnormal metabolic products of cancer cells." As a result, a dogís sharp sense of smell may one day prove to be a non-invasive way to detect bladder cancer. Sure beats the current detection methods, which require inserting a fiber-optic instrument into the bladder via the urethra.
Another article referenced studies that find a canineís sense of smell may also be used to detect prostate cancer in human urine. Not to mention several reports where guardians discovered they had a cancerous lesion (melanoma) thanks to their dogís persistent sniffing of the spot.
I contacted Dr. Marty Becker, the veterinarian correspondent for ABC-TVís, Good Morning America. He knows firsthand about the therapeutic value of pets, having spent 18 months researching the subject for his book, The Healing Power of Pets (Hyperion Press 2002). In our email correspondence he wrote:
"The late Dr. Robert Poresky was a human development and family studies professor at Kansas State University. His studies showed a small but significant increase in the IQ scores of children who cared for animals in their home." Dr. Becker also mentioned Dr. Mark Smith, a psychopharmacologist and National Institute of Health researcher who specializes in mood disorders.
"He talks about the ability of dogs to help people with manic-depression or Bipolar disease. Dogs can detect people in the earliest stages of mania, a time when people do things like spend their savings in a single weekend on frivolous purchases or have a weekend of sexual promiscuity."
Finally, Dr. Becker referenced a British study that followed a woman accompanied by a yellow Labrador retriever while she went about her daily routine for five days, and then for five more days without the dog. With the dog, the woman spoke with 156 people or more than thirty people a day. Without the dog, only fifty people or ten a day.
"The study found dogs serve as a social lubricant and conversation catalyst,Ē Dr. Becker said. "The positive interactions stimulated by the dog are key to a greater sense of psychological well-being for the humans."
He concluded: "You never come home and find your dog's suitcases packed or a note saying they don't love you anymore or they've found someone else. Dogs don't take the day off from greeting you at the door because they're mad at you or refuse to go for a walk because they have something better to do. Dogs don't posture for personal gain and have no hidden agendas. They just display unconditional love and limitless affection and loyalty."
And dogs arenít just good for the heart and soul: they may very well save your life. When I Googled the words "Dog saves" thousands of postings appeared. These included a Toy poodle whose barking alerted a sleeping Tennessee family to a house fire, a dog in the Philippines whose barking warned of an approaching landslide, a Golden retriever in New York who alerted a mother to her choking child, a Pit Bull in Alaska who saved a child from a burning home, and an Australian blue heeler in Florida who protected his injured guardian from an approaching alligator.
Dogs do great things for humans every day, even if itís just being there for us when we get home. This is precisely why many people would choose a dog with a small brain over a human with no heart any day of the week.
Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 11:53 am Post subject: Dog Funny
A butcher in his shop, and he's real busy, and he notices a dog in the
shop. He shoos him away. But later, he notices the dog is back again.
So he goes over to the dog, and notices he has a note in his mouth. He
takes the note, and it reads "Can I have 12 sausages and a leg of
The dog has money in his mouth, as well." The butcher
looks inside and, lo and behold, there is a ten pound note there. So
he takes the money, and puts the sausages and lamb in a bag, placing
it in the dog's mouth.
The butcher is well impressed, and since it's
close to closing time, he decides to shut up shop and follow the dog.
So off he goes.
The dog is walking down the street, when he comes to a level crossing.
The dog puts down the bag, jumps up and presses the button.
Then he waits patiently, bag in mouth, for the lights to turn. They do, and he
walks across the road, with the butcher following him all the way. The
dog then comes to a bus stop, and starts looking at the timetable.
The butcher is in awe at this stage. The dog checks out the times, and
then sits on one of the seats provided. Along comes a bus. The dog
walks around the front, looks at the number, and goes back to his
seat. Another bus comes.
Again the dog goes and looks at the number,notices it's the right bus, and climbs on. The butcher, by now open-mouthed, follows him onto the bus.
The bus travels through the town and out into the suburbs, the dog
looking at the scenery. Eventually he gets up, and moves to the front
of the bus. He stands on 2 back paws and pushes the button to stop the
bus. Then he gets off, his groceries still in his mouth.
Well, dog and butcher are walking along the road, and then the dog
turns into a house. He walks up the path, and drops the groceries on
Then he walks back down the path, takes a big run, and
throws himself -Whap!- against the door. He goes back down the path,
runs up to the door and -Whap!- throws himself against it again.
There's no answer at the house, so the dog goes back down the path,
jumps up on a narrow wall, and walks along the perimeter of the
garden. He gets to the window, and beats his head against it several
times, walks back, jumps off, and waits at the door.
The butcher watches as a big guy opens the door, and starts laying
into the dog. Yelling and swearing at him. The butcher runs up, and
stops the guy.
"What the heck are you doing? That dog is a genius. He
could be on TV, for heaven's sake!", to which the guy responds,
"Clever, my foot! This is the second time this week that he's
forgotten his key."
The following anecdote conceived as a joke gives a different spin on why dogs and cats were created!
And God Created Dog and Cat
A newly discovered chapter in the Book of Genesis has provided the answer to 'Where do pets come from?'
Adam said, 'Lord, when I was in the garden, you walked with me every day. Now I do not see you any more. I am lonesome here and it is difficult for me to remember how much you love me.'And God said 'No problem. I will create a companion for you that will be with you forever and who will be a reflection of my love for you so that you will love me even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourself.'
And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam. And it was a good animal. And God was pleased. And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and it wagged its tail.
And Adam said, 'Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal.'
And God said, 'No problem. Because I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him Dog.'
And Dog lived with Adam and was a companion to him and loved him. And Adam was comforted. And God was pleased. And Dog was content and wagged his tail.
After a while, it came to pass that Adam's guardian angel came to the Lord and said, 'Lord, Adam has become filled with pride. He struts and preens like a peacock and he believes he is worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught him that he is loved, but perhaps too well.'
And the Lord said, 'No problem. I will create for him a companion who will be with him forever and who will see him as he is. The companion will remind him of his limitations, so he will know that he is not always worthy of adoration.'
And God created Cat to be a companion to Adam. And Cat would not obey Adam. And when Adam gazed into Cat's eyes, he was reminded that he was not the Supreme Being. And Adam learned humility.
And God was pleased. And Adam was greatly improved. And Dog was happy.
- Narrated by Abu Huraira: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "A man saw a dog eating mud from (the severity of) thirst. So, that man took a shoe (and filled it) with water and kept on pouring the water for the dog till it quenched its thirst. So Allah approved of his deed and made him to enter Paradise."
- "Abu Huraira" is a name was given by the Prophet (PBUH) to Abu Huraira because he was carrying a kitten.
Abu Huraira means (the kitten's father) because of his love for a kitten he looked after and fed, and which used to stick to him wherever he went. (the kitten was his pet)
It's funny how dogs and cats know the inside of folks better than other folks do, isn't it?
-Eleanor H. Porter, Pollyanna
From "Unconditional Love: Healing from Pets" by Jill Neimark, Spirituality & Health Magazine (July/August 2005):
A survey by the American Animal Hospital Association found that three-quarters of pet owners say affection is their petís most endearing quality. Now a review of the research from Stanford University shows that the love goes both ways and suggests that our own altruistic behavior makes caring for pets so beneficial.
"The attachment we feel to our pets is similar to the unconditional love a parent feels for a child," says Marivic Dizon, a postdoctoral candidate at Stanford University. "Acts of kindness and compassion directed at animals are authentically altruistic. There are few social benefits to such actions beyond the possible reciprocation of love from the animal." Dr. Dizon explains that altruism is linked to improved mental and physical well-being, and the care and nurturing we give animals offers similar benefits. Whether youíre rescuing an injured bird or stroking your dogís belly, you will likely be boosting your own health and well-being.
Dizon reports that adults and children who feel empathy towards their pets manifest stronger feelings of empathy toward other people. In Project Pooch, incarcerated youth who learned to care for dogs that had been abandoned also learned greater honesty, empathy, nurturing, social growth, respect for authority, and leadership. A study of women in prisons who trained dogs to help the handicapped found that the womenís self-esteem increased significantly.
One long-term study on pet ownership found that adopting a pet is associated with almost instantly improved physical and emotional well-being. This may be in part because caring for a pet connects us more strongly to society.
'My Pet Is a Blessing'
Some angels have fur, not wings, according to Beliefnet members.
Does your pet impact your spiritual life? When Beliefnet asked readers that question last year, we were inundated by inspiring and unusual stories. This year, we'll once again be highlighting your pet stories throughout October, the month when many religious traditions honor animals. If you sent us a photo in September, check back each Tuesday this month to see if your pet is featured.
The Gift Mary Gave Me"
Trigo is a Spanish Shepherd dog. During my four-month pilgrimage from Holland to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, I was struck by a statue of Mary. When I was praying for the welfare of pilgrims and all those who gave prayers to me to carry forth to the tomb of St. James, it seemed that Mary answered and said, "Do not worry... I shall take care of you and your worries."
The next day a stray dog came on my path and continued to be with me. A priest along the Camino de Santiago asked me whose dog it was. I said it was mine more or less as I found it. He answered, "You didnít find that dog. The dog found you!"
Only later I understood that this was the gift Mary gave me...If Trigo wasnít in my life, I would have given up hope long, long ago.
Jason Schindler says he wouldn't be alive if it were not for his dog, Dude. The 27-year-old rural Cataract man said the eight-year-old mixed-breed hound jumped between him and an attacking black bear last Thursday night, saving his life but giving up his own. The animal sustained at least 28 puncture wounds, he said.
"I'd hate for someone else's dog to go through what mine did," he said.
Schindler said he heard the dog barking loudly Thursday after dark and went out to investigate. Suddenly, "all I saw was this dark thing lunging at me," he said.
But his dog jumped between the two and was quickly snatched up in the bear's jaw, he said.
"If not for the dog, I wouldn't be standing here," he said.
He returned to his house, grabbed a rifle, returned to the scene and fired, possibly hitting his target before the bear fled into the woods.
He said Dude was the last of a litter of puppies available at the local animal shelter when Schindler adopted him.
Another week in the shelter and he would have been euthanized, Schindler said.
"I saw him lying there alone in his cage and I felt so bad for him," he said. "In a way he was a miracle dog."
Love for pets knows no bounds
Owners spend thousands on funerals, medical care
Sunday, March 04, 2007
CREDIT: Leah Hennel, Calgary Herald
"When you have an animal, you have to care for it," says Tammy Laframboise, above, who has spent $7,000 on chemotherapy treatments for the family's golden retriever, Remington, seen here with her children Sarah, 8, and Ben, 5.
Chelsea Dawn was laid to rest on Super Bowl Sunday in a pink, satin-lined oak casket.
At the funeral, friends stood at the front of the chapel, sharing favourite memories of the 14-year-old's life.
Someone read a touching poem about an animals-only heaven. Guests, as they passed the open casket, placed roses next to her body.
Chelsea, who was euthanized last month, was a mixed-breed spaniel -- and this was her pet funeral.
"I really hate to say this, but my dog's funeral was almost as nice as my dad's," says owner Heather McNamara, a 36-year-old Calgarian who works for a phone company.
"People probably think I'm weird and that's OK. She was my child. I couldn't do anything less than the best for her, after all she'd meant to me."
Including a plot in a Calgary pet cemetery, McNamara spent $2,000 on her dog's funeral -- a fraction of the nearly $24,000 she'd doled out on medical bills during Chelsea's life.
Full-fledged funerals similar to the lavish one McNamara held are becoming increasingly popular.
As dogs and cats secure their status as family members, expenditures on everything from doggie funerals to cosmetic surgery are blurring the line between pets and people.
"For some people, there's a stigma attached," said Arnold Paterson, a former funeral director who operates Pet Heaven Crematorium and Funeral Chapel in the city's southeast, "but others go all out because (the pet) meant so much in life, they want the same in death."
Some animal experts embrace the trend, while others warn that owners are compromising their pets' health and even interfering with their human relationships.
Owners say there's nothing unhealthy about caring for a pet.
Tammy Laframboise, 34, is proving her devotion to her dog by spending nearly $7,000 on chemotherapy treatments for her golden retriever, Remington, who has cancer.
"It's about caring, but it's also about responsibility," she said. "When you have an animal, you have to care for it."
The Alberta Veterinary Medical Association says dogs and cats enrich our lives.
"Man's best friend is giving us unconditional love that many of us do not have," said Ken Hubbard, president of the province's veterinary medical association.
"The pet is no longer a commodity -- living in a house out back -- but a significant part of our circle, sleeping on the king-sized bed."
Such close bonds can be seen in the explosion of pet funerals at places like Pet Heaven Crematorium, which opened for business a little more than a year ago and has handled 10 full-fledged funerals.
Animal or human, Paterson treats the services about the same.
"Funerals are less about who has passed away and more about the people left to mourn. It makes no difference if the body in the casket is an animal."
In Calgary, the bodies or remains of nearly 3,000 animals are buried at a memorial park at the Country Club Pet Resort south of the city.
Owner Don Brooks said the remains of four people are also interred alongside their pets in the cemetery, a final sign of the undying bond between pet and person.
"That's not for everyone, but there are folks who want to be with their pets after they go," he said. "So, we open the grave and honour their wishes."
Today, Canadians are forking out nearly $4 billion annually, between pet day cares, pet clothes and food, medical expenditures and, finally, funerals.
But a former veterinarian says pet owners have gone too far.
"It's absurd, self-centred and egotistical the way we use pets to fill voids," said Charles Danten, who lives in Montreal.
In 1998, Danten left the profession after 20 years -- 11 in private practice -- as pet owners increasingly asked for cosmetic surgeries.
"People started developing weird relationships with pets and my whole world disintegrated," he said.
"If we didn't have this emptiness in our social lives and had better relationships, we wouldn't need to hold funerals for our dogs."
Pet owners, however, say the truth about cats and dogs is less complex --they simply love their animals and their animals love them.
"My house feels empty without her," McNamara says of losing her dog Chelsea after 14 years. "I hadn't expected to be this heartbroken."
Everything I Need to Know I Learned From My Greyhound, Elvis A new study says that people choose dogs that resemble themselves. Some might find this odd. I say, it's a good thing.
By Eileen Mitchell
The newspaper clipping on my desk was titled, ďStudy: People pick purebred dogs that resemble them." I was at work, sitting at my desk with my co-worker, Paul. We were discussing a presentation when I saw his eyes glance at the article. Then he looked behind my shoulder over at my computer, which had kicked into screensaver mode and features a photo of my greyhound, Elvis. Then he looked at me. Then back at Elvis. Then at me again.
"Yeah," he nodded nonchalantly, "You do look like your dog...."
Not a jury in the world would convict me. I was about to ask, through clenched teeth, if it was the long nose or floppy ears he thought bore the most resemblance when he added, "...you're both tall and skinny."
Had he said "skinny"? Well, alrighty then.
But actually, resembling my dog wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. With his long, delicate limbs, soft, golden hair and chocolate syrup eyes, Elvis exudes a gentle Audrey Hepburn sweetness not always applicable to my own sometimes questionable demeanor.
The article Paul had spied on my desk noted, "When people pick a dog, they look for one that, at some level, bears some resemblance to them." While the study referenced physical traits, wouldn't it be an improvement if we resembled the personality traits of our dogs?
I wish I could love like a dog, unconditionally and with total purity. Elvis won't notice if I'm wearing brand new Manolo Blahniks or 10-year-old Birkenstocks. He doesn't give a hoot about how much money I make, whether I'm Christian or Jewish, black or white, pro-life or pro-choice, Democrat or Republican. Do I drive a Beamer or a Bug, live in a condo or McMansion? Am I partial to Richebourg Red Burgundy from France or Two-Buck Chuck from Trader Joe's? Maybe I battle chunky monkey thighs or am blessed with a bod like Beyonce. Doesn't matter. Not important. Elvis is wholly and utterly devoted to me for one reason and one reason only: because I'm me. OK, that and I can work a can opener.
I'd love to wake up each morning absolutely thrilled for no reason other than it's yet another day. Sure, I'm in good health, have wonderful family and friends, a roof over my head and food in my cupboards. Yet still, I complain. Where's my whirlwind romance, best-selling novel or Caribbean cruise? Why can't I make more money, lose more weight, have more fun? And is it Friday yet?
Ah, but to a dog each and every boring, monotonous, repetitive day is an absolute adventure. Just the mere appearance of their guardian is enough to elicit an unbridled joy that's the human equivalent of winning the lottery. And what about a ride in the car? A walk in the park? A scratch behind the ears? Suggest any of these simple, mundane activities and I usually have to steer clear of Elvis' tail, wagging so ferociously it practically slaps each side of his ribcage. Happy tail, one friend calls it. Indeed, a previous issue of Berkeley's Bark magazine features two pages of smiling dogs. Silly, happy, goofy grins that capture that blissful, joyful essence of all that is dog. If only we could all be content with so little.
I'd love to work and play like a dog, with total dedication, purpose and concentration. Like the service dog that carefully guides his guardian across a busy street or through a bustling crowd. Observe how seriously a border collie will try to herd playing dogs in a dog park. Watch how focused a golden retriever remains on that airborne Frisbee. See how vigorously a labrador swims through water. Nothing lackadaisical or halfhearted here. Dogs aren't mulling over their walk tomorrow, their meal tonight or their nap in 10 minutes. Dogs live in the moment. Enthusiastically, they embrace each second of the here and now, be it a day in the field guiding cattle, a Sunday in the yard chasing squirrels or simply a restful afternoon snoozing in a pool of sunshine. Suddenly, dog-tired sounds more like an aspiration than a complaint.
When mistreated, dogs forgive. When ignored, they still love. When abandoned, they remain loyal. When neglected, they don't judge. They want for one thing only. To hear their human's voice, feel their human's touch, revel in the nearness of the person they love so unconditionally. Without prejudice, bias or discrimination, our canine companions epitomize the best of human nature. Or what human nature should be.
All of which leads me to believe there's a reason why it's often pointed out that dog is "God" spelled backwards. Because both deity and dog have traits we human beings should all aspire to resemble.
How many ismailis would like to declare to their friends, fellow employees and business associates that they have secret word (bol) given by their God that will open the gate of heavan?
In general Ismailies are tolerant thatís why no one replies you and wants you to recover!
I do like to discuss my faith with the people who have knowledge because I want to learn, understand and practice it! You or any of your associates can read my posting I have openly written everything about my experiences, I explain my faith to everyone around me and I donít fear anyone not even God because God loves me and I have no reason to fear God. I help people who misunderstand my faith but to misunderstand one should first understand, in your case its not possible cause you have doctors certificate that ur not in any position to understand anything not even your perception of God. If you live in Europe I can try to spend time with you on weekends to help you recover. I have respect for Christians and Jesus, me and my Muslim friends alone with our non Muslim friends went to famous Notredame Church in Paris on 24th dec and stayed there whole night celebrating Christmas with our Christians friends. I am pound to be an Ismaili my faith have given me education and thank god I implemented it to bridge gap between my friends who come from different religious back grounds, When we joined Management School we were Muslims and Non Muslims but by the end we were humans as well as Management Graduates.
You have two choices 1st to live in depression and complaining or to live happily accepting facts of life! One more thing I want to tell you ďThanks You cause you help me to learn, Your Posting motivate me to learn more about my faithĒ Thank You May Gods Bless you.
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