Ingo Meckel, Germany
I became acquainted with my life companion, Rosi, during a teacup hour with ECKists, members of Eckankar, in Germany. She had recently adopted a former street dog from Hungary.
A Hungarian animal organization rescued this stray dog and knew what a rough existence he’d endured. They named him Zockny, from a word that means socks in the Hungarian language, maybe because they felt this guy was as poor as a sock.
Rosi found a photo on an internet listing and immediately fell in love with the dog in the picture. Her heart opened when she saw him pressing his head against the latticework fencing at the animal rescue.
It took three weeks, filled with bureaucratic hurdles and many phone calls, to get a permit for Zockny to exit Hungary and enter Germany. During that time, Rosi wrote the dog a letter, asking him to keep trusting that she would bring him home.
Her perseverance was rewarded when Zockny arrived at the airport in an animal carrier with six other dogs. When the driver opened the carrier, Zockny immediately seemed to know Rosi as she embraced him.
He was emaciated and had the strong smell of a suffering and neglected body. But the promise of love fulfilled was unbreakable between the two of them. After she gave him his first bath at home, the way was open for Zockny to begin a wonderful life.
Our First Meeting
In his former life on Hungarian streets, a dog like him had to drink from water puddles and engage in a daily fight for food. When stray dogs tried to forage, men protecting their property often chased the dogs away by frightening them. Consequently Zockny had a terrible aversion to men.
The day soon came when I needed to meet that wild animal I’d been hearing so much about. Rosi forewarned me that he feared men, so I arrived at her house bringing a package of Wiener Würstel sausages. When I set the sausages by my foot at the doorstep, which by now Zockny viewed as his territory, he loved them right away and ate with high speed.
After he’d finished eating, though, I experienced what must have happened when any man approached him. He barked and barked and barked. I gave him more Wiener Würstel to eat. The sausages disappeared at once into his mouth. He barked more. Rosi was making coffee in the kitchen, and the dog was still barking. What to do?
I said to him, “The sooner we become friends, the better for both of us.” Then I remembered a spiritual tool I’d learned in Eckankar. Singing HU, a sacred name of God, could connect me Soul-to-Soul with Zockny.
With love in my heart for this poor dog, I sang HU. And then it happened. Zockny started to become quiet and calm. He pushed his nose against my leg. I took this as a sign that he wanted me to pet him, so I started to stroke his head with my hand. There was no more barking.
Rosi, curious about the sudden silence, came out from the kitchen and asked, “What happened?” I told her about my spiritual exercise with the dog and said, “Now we are inner and outer best friends.”
Zockny and Me
Today Zockny accompanies me on activities I do in Rosi’s house and garden. Even when I turn on the lawnmower, which previously used to scare him, he stays with me and watches in spite of its terrible noise.
The dog’s trust in me has evidently expanded his consciousness and dissolved his fears. His new confidence extends to handling other social situations. Now he can be in crowds of people and ride with us on buses, where he likes to make the acquaintance of strangers. Love and joy shine from his face.
When I come to Rosi’s home and whistle for him, he wags his tail, runs into the house, and announces my arrival. While Rosi and I walk hand-in-hand, he loves to squeeze himself between our legs. People passing us smile at his strange habit, but we know this is his way of showing love equally to both of us. I have learned a lot about love from that dog. He’s always showing me that Soul equals Soul and God is love.
Our favorite walk is one in which we walk toward the Light of ECK with Zockny and listen to the sound of the river Isar.
We Go to an ECK Seminar
Rosi and I were able to bring Zockny to the pet-friendly hotel where the ECK European Seminar was held in Biel, Switzerland. We loved sharing this very special occasion with our relaxed and quiet dog.
Because dogs were allowed in this hotel, he accompanied us into the main hall where the seminar program took place. Thousands of loving hands stroked him and said, “Welcome to the seminar.” That weekend, this dog, who had come through so much, was a star.
As we listened to speakers and creative-arts performers, he lay at our feet and watched, content and calm. I think we were all enjoying the inner presence of ECK and the Mahanta. This moment in time with Zockny became unforgettable. He was no longer a “poor sock,” but a beloved and treasured family member.
—Photos by Rosemarie Stuehler