Letting go; a dog lesson.
Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go. Hermann Hesse
Nuneaton in Warwickshire is a town about 100 miles North-West of London. It’s firmly in that part of England known as the Midlands, encircled by such places as Birmingham, Coventry, Rugby and Leicester. It is also the home of the Nuneaton & Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary So what, you might ask?
On the Wildlife Sanctuary’s website, there is the story of Jasmine,
Jasmine was a rescue dog who lived at the sanctuary until her passing in 2011. She was no ordinary rescue dog, she was the most amazing greyhound in the world!
She was only a young pup when she was locked in a shed and abandoned. When she was discovered by the police many days later she was emaciated, mange ridden and terrified. She was taken to the RSPCA quarters in Coventry where Geoff just happened to be visiting several weeks later. They were introduced and as they say ‘the rest is history’. She came to live with Geoff at the sanctuary. Each day her confidence grew and her personality flourished. But the most amazing thing was yet to come….
It turned out Jasmine was a natural ‘Mother hen’. One day a young fox cub was brought in to the sanctuary. She had been tied to railings and left to die. She was very small and weak and the outlook wasn’t bright. That was until Jasmine sauntered over to the fox cub’s basket and started to lick her. Geoff was immediately concerned, followed by bemusement, followed by amazement as he saw before his eyes the fox responding to Jasmine’s touch. He quickly realised that Jasmine was acting in the same way the fox cub’s mother would have done in the wild!
Over the next few days Jasmine continued to ‘mother’ the fox cub who Geoff had named Roxy. Roxy grew strong and grew up. She lives at the sanctuary with Jasmine who is mum and best friend all rolled into one.
Jasmine was truly one of a kind. She mothered many of the sanctuary’s residents back to health including Bramble the roe deer, Humbug the badger and two of the other sanctuary dogs, just to mention a few.
Sadly Jasmine passed away in 2011. She is greatly missed by all at the sanctuary.
So what’s Geoff’s story? That is beautifully explained here,
In February 2001, an injured swan was taken to a veterinary clinic in Warwickshire. The swan was injured, but needed only a week of rest before it was able to be released back into the wild. However, there was nowhere in the area for the swan to rest and receive care, so it was put to sleep. This was when Geoff decided to set up the sanctuary.
Geoff had worked as a security guard for many years but was injured at work and forced to retire. He used his savings to transform his garden into a haven for wildlife and has never looked back.
As of 2011, the Sanctuary has been open for ten years, and has had 6,500 birds and 4,250 animals.
The Sanctuary relies on the work of our dedicated team of volunteers; who accompany us on fundraising events, talks, and shows to help raise money for the Sanctuary.
So let me close by thanking Suzann for sending me the video link to this beautiful story. And do make a note to look in on Learning from Dogs next Saturday to marvel at yet another example of the way dogs (and Geoff!) throw off their pasts and rejoice in the present.
In the end these things matter most:
How well did you love?
How fully did you love?
How deeply did you learn to let go?