All Things Bright and Beau­ti­ful

Mus­ings are thoughts, the thought­ful kind. For the pur­pose of th­ese ar­ti­cles, a-mus­ings are thoughts that might amuse, en­ter­tain and even en­lighten.

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Michael Walker

When I was a child in my Methodist Chapel, I sang with gusto the words to the hymn ‘All things bright and beau­ti­ful’. It was only when I grew up that I re­al­ized that things were not that sim­ple. But al­low me to re­mind you of the words. For the sake of space I have squeezed the verses to­gether.

All things bright and beau­ti­ful, All crea­tures great and small, All things wise and won­der­ful: The Lord God made them all. Each lit­tle flower that opens, Each lit­tle bird that sings, He made their glow­ing colours, He made their tiny wings. The pur­ple-headed moun­tains, The river run­ning by, The sun­set and the morn­ing That bright­ens up the sky. The cold wind in the win­ter, The pleas­ant sum­mer sun, The ripe fruits in the gar­den, He made them ev­ery one. The tall trees in the green­wood, The mead­ows where we play, The rushes by the wa­ter, To gather ev­ery day. He gave us eyes to see them, And lips that we might tell, How great is God Almighty, Who has made all things well.

It’s not bad as hymns go; there are many much worse. This one at least is full of joy and ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the sim­ple won­ders of the world that we too eas­ily take for granted. The trou­ble is, of course, that we take too much for granted. Take Man’s Best Friend, for ex­am­ple. Just look at the way dogs act around their own­ers, their be­hav­iour, per­son­al­ity, de­meanour, re­silience, their un­con­di­tional love, loy­alty, and com­pan­ion­ship down to their very last breath. How many hu­man friends can com­pare to that?

Your dog doesn’t judge you; he doesn’t care how you’re dressed or if you’ve just had a re­ally bad day. Your dog is al­ways happy to see you and greets you with the same en­thu­si­asm each and ev­ery time you walk in the door. Dogs live in the present. They don’t re­gret the past or worry about the fu­ture. If only we too could ap­pre­ci­ate and fo­cus on what’s hap­pen­ing here and now, our lives would be much richer.

My wife and I have col­lected dogs ever since we moved here per­ma­nently in 1990. We have res­cued many a dog on its last legs and carted it off to Dr. Keith for ini­tial care and first aid af­ter which we took it home al­ways vow­ing to find a good home for it. The dogs al­ways de­cided that our home was good enough for them so our pack grew larger and larger. The most we have had at any given time was 16. If you have never ex­pe­ri­enced the thrill and plea­sure of an early morn­ing walk ac­com­pa­nied by 16 dogs you have never re­ally lived.

Emily was our pack leader even though I felt I was leader of the pack. What Emily said counted. No­body stepped out of line. One glance, one low growl and or­der was im­me­di­ately re­stored. I will re­mem­ber Emily to my dy­ing day. She was a Rot­tweiler-Dober­man mix, the sweet­est tem­pered dog you ever could wish for.

Dogs know what’s re­ally go­ing on. They pay at­ten­tion to body lan­guage and en­ergy. They don’t hold grudges. There’s a re­mark­able lack of con­flict in a pack of dogs be­cause mem­bers re­solve the sit­u­a­tion when dis­agree­ments arise, then move on. Imag­ine what our world would be like if we dealt with all con­flicts be­fore they es­ca­lated out of con­trol. For a dog, ev­ery morn­ing is Christ­mas morn­ing, ev­ery walk is the best walk, ev­ery meal is the best meal, and ev­ery game is the best game.

Dogs ask for noth­ing. They do not ask to be aban­doned. They do not ask to be mowed down by mo­torists. They do not ask to be left foraging for food in piles of waste, yet there are so many home­less dogs in Saint Lu­cia.

SLAPS, the Saint Lu­cian An­i­mal Pro­tec­tion So­ci­ety, takes care of aban­doned an­i­mals, mainly dogs and some cats. This vol­un­teer or­ga­ni­za­tion works won­ders and de­serves ev­ery bit of sup­port we can give them.

SLAPS proves shel­ter for home­less an­i­mals. Vol­un­teers feed them and care for them. They try to find homes for them. Some­times they neuter them in or­der to con­trol un­wanted preg­nan­cies. They even bury them when they die.

Take a mo­ment to check out this video and oth­ers on Youtube: ‘Help­ing The Help­less - St Lu­cia An­i­mal Pro­tec­tion So­ci­ety’­pqhZ0. Per­haps you might be moved to help.

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