Survival of the fittest

I’ve been watching the dogs, lately.

Dogs, those brown-eyed, tail-wagging comforting companions are more than pets. To some of us, they are best friends. They are protectors. And to others, they are children.

But these four-legged creatures are more. They are survivors.

I’ve watched them in the wild and surviving conditions that make the wild shudder. I am awed by their survival skills and by their kindness.

Recently, I met Roxanne, a powerful and beautiful German Shepherd that could have become a police officer’s loyal companion. Her early life was not lucky for her, though. She survived, walking away from an abusive situation on three healthy legs and a partially severed fourth. Since then, she’s found a happy home where she is the mother hen to other rescued dogs.

On this trip, I’ve also met wild dogs, some that live far from human contact, others that still thrive on the kindness of humans. One such dog had a frayed rope tied around her neck. She would take kindness and food from us, but we could never get close enough to remove the rope that seemed to be cutting into her neck.

I’ve met dogs that are happy in their existence and others that are merely getting by. I’ve met dogs with tortured lives far in their past and others that are just escaping their torture.

The thing about dogs is they don’t complain. They survive and if they are ever rescued, they are eternally grateful.

They are so resilient.

I can’t help but compare their existence to our human condition. Some humans live lives in the lap of luxury without realizing it. Some humans have had rough lives of conflict and pain. Others have been left alone and ignored to fend for themselves – to sink or swim, in a way. Some have drifted from the pack and have fought against asking for help when they hit rock bottom.

Some humans are resilient. Others, however, seem to be waiting to be rescued. Sometimes it’s easier to rescue dogs. Humans are expected to be able to rescue ourselves. Too many times, however, we put the needs of others before our own, like our loyal companions do.

An admirable trait, I know, but I wonder if we can be loyal while living our own truth. Too many of us exist in an illusion we are afraid to shatter in order to find what makes us truly alive. We’d rather wait.

I’d rather shatter the illusions that hold me back. I’d rather hobble away on three legs than simply survive on four. Of course, I’ve never been in such a torturous existence. I don’t dare judge those who have managed to survive.

After all, survival is the goal, isn’t it?

Peace and love to you, my friends,

The Dragonfly’s Student

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4 thoughts on “Survival of the fittest”

  1. Love this post…noticing that loyalty is becoming a trait that is being replaced by societal judgements – constructs of appropriateness. In some instances, it’s good; in others, not so good. It’s getting increasingly complicated!

      1. Very interesting thought – humans losing loyalty towards each other. When is a lack of loyalty a betrayal, when is it expediency, when is it pure selfishness, when is it legally correct, and when is it morally correct? Does it matter? Isn’t loyalty just loyalty regardless of an issue? If loyalty is conditional, is it loyalty?

  2. Great analogy between man’s best friend and man himself. I found it very thought provoking.
    In this said to be “doggie dog world”, one would may question the existence of true loyalty.

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