Our first dog had nothing in mind at first but escape. He was four years old at the time we got him and knew only to refer to himself and trust nothing and no one but himself. Being hidden alone in the woods at that time would have been the ideal state that would have brought him the most peace.
Our second dog, which we got six years later, had nothing else in mind but the connection. He would never have dreamed of running away. He would not have known where to go. Alone, he was nothing. He would not have been able to make any independent decision. The only thing he knew was that he needed someone to tell him what the world was like. He was also four years old at the time.
Both were street dogs, both may have experienced similar things in their lives and yet they are so different in their relationship to receiving. Our second dog Sunny only wants to receive. From us humans and also from our first dog Pia. He needs direction and the only important thing for him is to figure out and follow what we deem desirable. Our first dog Pia is not so good at receiving. She receives our wishes, makes her thoughts about them and tells us her – often differing – opinion. Nevertheless, we can overrule her in the meantime and she then does what we consider to be right, despite a different opinion. For our sake. For no other reason. She receives differently than Sunny. She doesn’t receive out of principle, but she receives out of trust and respect towards us.
So Sunny receives from Pia, Pia receives from us humans and we humans receive from… no one, because we are self-determined individuals and the masters of the world, above whom nothing stands anymore! – we long for the solitude of the forest because we don’t see who we can trust. Because we say, „Better alone than in confrontation with our fear!“. And because we cannot trust, we are afraid to receive without reservation and to confide without worry. We would rather be the early distrustful Pia than the always equally trusting Sunny. Pia has realized with time that it is better to be back in the community and that it is better to receive and trust again once. She realized that the helping hand was there and took it, even though there was nothing stranger to her than a human hand. Perhaps it would also do us good not to always think of the lonely escape into the forest, but to see from whom we may receive. To find out who is actually holding out his hand to us all the time and wants to welcome us into his community. Perhaps this hand is so unbelievably strange to us that we can’t bring ourselves to take it at first.
The distrustful Pia we could only put down after six months. The trusting Sunny after three days. How long do we want to stay on the leash? When will our trust be so great that we would no longer disappear into the woods at the first opportunity? When are we ready to receive from that which stands and watches over us? When are we ready to be self-determined and free?