Recognize the Wonderful Nature of Animals
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Florida, U.S.A., June 6, 2001
(Originally in English) Videotape # 714
Dogs say hi to everyone; it's so beautiful. They know what you need and are very therapeutic because they know who needs love. For example, there are programs in hospitals and homes for the elderly and for sick children where they bring dogs in to just love the people. Whoever the dog puts its paws on or licks feels much better afterwards, because they feel loved. Animals love unconditionally! Even though they might never see you again, they'll give you everything, the whole thing. A dog licks whomever he loves.
Dogs and cats especially know exactly what's going on. So they come and touch the people who need it. The dogs who visit homes and hospitals are already trained, so they're not too unruly. They just come to visit the old people or the children or the terminally ill and make the people feel great. The patients love it so much that they keep asking for more. Because dogs have this gift: They can communicate love without having to say or do anything. We can keep saying "I love you" the whole day long and still no one believes us. Maybe it's because we don't mean what we say!
Most people can't know the inside of a dog because dogs don't talk. We can't even understand each other as humans so it's very difficult for a human to understand the inside of a dog. That's why, after a while a person might say, "This dog is no good," and throw the dog out. The animal shelters are full of dogs ready to die. If people don't adopt them, after only one day to a week, they can be killed.
People don't take time; they just want to kill things. They don't understand that it's a living being, and after a while, the dog messes up. If you don't train them well, they misbehave. Then the person gets fed up because the dog might chew the furniture and other things. Most people don't even know that dogs need toys. They also need company and time to play with their owners, and not just eat food and guard the house. Even guard dogs need affection just like anyone else.
Especially if you take in a lone dog or a cat, they in turn take you as a partner or family member. Sometimes they even fall in love with you or at least become very, very attached to you. So if you're the one who's the partner and you don't care for his or her emotional needs, of course he'll become destructive or depressed and grow to be very undisciplined. And then we blame the dog for being bad.
How can a dog be good if it's tied at the neck all day long sitting in the sun, unable to go anywhere or do anything? The dog doesn't have company and doesn't have love, only food. Even we humans don't live just for food. Also, we know of many things we can do; we can do anything we want. We have a lot of choices to help diffuse our depression or loneliness, and even then we complain that we're lonely, isolated and so on.
We have so many choices. We can pursue as many activities as we want, but dogs can't! If you tie a dog to a tree, what's he going to do? Or, what if you cage him all day long until you come home at night or just lock him up inside the house eighteen hours a day? Then you come home, give him a little food, pat him on the head and say, "Good boy" and then "Good night!" So, a lot of people just take dogs or cats in, thinking they're like toys. They call them pets or toys, but they're not. They're wonderful beings. They have so many gifts that we don't have. People don't realize that, and they treat animals really badly.
In the Bible, God said, "I will make the animal as your helper," meaning our friend. That's why we should never eat them or mistreat them because God's intention in creating animals was to help us. They help in different ways, similar to a shepherd. But you have to train them in their profession. Even with a shepherd, you have to train him in how to herd your sheep.
Most people train dogs for hunting, killing and so on, which is no good. If people leave their dogs outside and don't really take care of them, they can become flea or tick infested and they suffer a lot. But since they can't talk and can't take care of themselves, they rely only on their owners. And they're so loyal and faithful that they won't go anywhere, even to seek help. So if we're the solely responsible person and we neglect him or her, it's very cruel. It's not human.
If you don't want them, you'd better not have them, and if you have them you'd better treat them nicely. It's a lot of work, but the reward is that they love you eternally. They'd lay down their lives for you if it came to that.
When I read stories about animals, I can't help but love them. Apart from having love for all beings, these kinds of stories touch your heart and make you love them more. So the people who neglect animals or who don't know how to treat them properly are just ignorant. They don't know about dogs, about the inside nature of these wonderful beings. They think they're just animals. Maybe because they're smaller than we are, we look down on them. But that's not right.