Yesterday I was out for a power walk on a busy street in Van Nuys when I noticed a big, gorgeous husky roaming the other side of the street with no human or leash in sight.
I called my boyfriend and asked him what I should do. “Get a hold of his collar and see if he has tags,” he advised. “If so, they might have contact information.”
I was a bit nervous about this. I have never had a dog of my own and until then I had never handled a dog that didn’t belong to a close friend. But thanks to my boyfriend and his family, I knew that huskies were generally sweet dogs, which gave me some confidence. However, just as I hung up, the husky started mixing it up with dogs on the other side of a gate to an auto body shop. I worried that he would be too riled up and might bite me. Carefully gauging the situation, I crossed the street and approached the gaggle of goggies. Someone from the auto body shop came out and corralled the understandably upset dogs.
I summoned my inner Alpha Dog and called out to him: “Hey, baby! Baby! Come here!” I slapped my leg.
To my astonishment, the husky stopped paying attention to the other dogs and approached me. He was so sweet and gentle that he let me cuddle him and kiss his head. I reached under his chin and found his tags. There was a phone number and the name “Kody.”
“Good boy, Kody! Good boy!”
I called the owner and left a message. I told the owner in the message that I would love to take the dog home for safety, but that I have cats. I hoped he could call me back right away. Fortunately, he did within a few minutes. My heart fell in my stomach when he said he was in New Orleans. He then explained that the housesitter must have accidentally let the dog escape. After I told him where we were, the owner called the housesitter.
I didn’t have high hopes that this person was about.
Meanwhile, Kody had other plans. He broke away from me and started running down the sidewalk towards the gas station. As I ran after him, I vaguely remembered something about a friend who had lost her dog and whenever anyone would chase it, it would run away even more. I stopped chasing and instead yelled, “Kody! Come here, bebe. Come here!” I slapped my leg again.
To my immense surprise, Kody returned to me reluctantly. (Wow! Try that with a cat, won’t you? No, because they would LAUGH AT YOU. Maybe not outloud, but secretly in their little kitty head. HAHAHAHAHA stoopid human!)
I had to get a grip on his collar, but how? I dug my fingers into his massive mane et voila! A black collar emerged and I held on for dear life. Kody then trotted down the sidewalk, dragging me along. (I did mention this was a very large husky, didn’t I?)
The owner then called back and said the housesitter was on his way to where we were. Within a few more minutes, a man wielding a blue leash appeared from nowhere. He thanked me profusely for catching Kody. He explained that Kody had escaped when Girl Scouts had come to the door.
“Kody said, ‘Busy! Blowin’ this popsicle stand!’ Huh?” I laughed. “I’m glad he’s going to be okay.”
The man then said, “You have a lot of good karma coming your way.”
As I left, I responded, “I hope so!”
But that really wasn’t what I meant and I felt badly for saying it. What I meant was that I have been through a lot of rough things lately, mostly with my health, and that I hoped something good would happen — not because of my good deed but simply because. I’m not sure that I even believe in karma, at least not the American understanding, which runs contrary to the original Hindu concept. In Hinduism, karma is merely the principle of action and reaction: whatever you do will have repercussions, either this life or the next. You could conceivably do something of great moral virtue that comes back to you negatively. It’s just a system of influence; spiritual physics, if you will.
In America, though, people tend to think of karma as an Eastern version of The Golden Rule: do good and good will come back to you, but if you do bad, bad things will happen to you. Americans want some kind of spiritual justice system and understandably so. Our world is so full of injustice and cruelty, we’d like to think that doing good works will produce more of the same, one way or the other. It’s as good a philosophy to live by as any. Whatever works, right?
When I told a coworker this morning about my doggie adventure, he responded that the owner should have offered me something. Perhaps that is true, but it never occurred to me. All I could think of was the sick feeling in my stomach as I imagined one of my own pets missing and possibly getting hurt. I could not wish that on anyone, animal or human.
And isn’t that enough? To believe in the power of preventing pain? To have compassion? The word compassion in Latin means “to suffer with.” Wouldn’t it be an infinitely better world if we simply learned how to suffer with one another and thereby be inspired to heal whenever we can? This is how, although Pisces and Virgo are opposites, they work together. Pisces breaks down the barriers of Virgo so that we can sense one another’s joys and sorrows, and then Virgo builds them back up so that we can develop habits that heal.
I just hope that for every metaphorical doggie who gets lost, there’s a metaphorical cat lady willing to be adventurous. The world would be a much better place.