By Teresa Rogers, South Carolina
I spend a lot of time in the kitchen these days. I make my own food and care for a house full of aging animals—dogs, a one-eyed cat, and a cranky parrot. Yet, the Holy Spirit delivers experiences to open me to life when daily challenges close my heart.
Sometimes I carry canned attitudes that run in the back of my mind: Oh, poor me, or Oh, no, what will happen if . . . ? When I forget I have a choice, I act from this mixed goulash of unwanted feelings and thoughts. It is as if they are cooked up without skill and awareness, and they’re not too tasty. I chew on this stew until love gets through and wakes me up to the freedom and joy of who I really am—Soul, creator of my own attitudes. My dog Tonka is often the vehicle for a divine wake-up call.
I love all animals, but Tonka is special. He’s a big, goofy German shepherd and a gentle giant. He’s old and stinky and sheds a lot. I love him dearly. His hips hurt, so he has to take medicine on a full stomach. Mealtimes for the critters go like this: First, feed and water the parrot, because if Apple doesn’t get her food first, her shrieks will painfully remind me to return to the proper order of service. Then, fill the cat dish and feed the dog. After dinner, it’s time for Tonka’s pills. Finally, treats for everyone.
The pill-taking routine is always a struggle. Initially, I tried all kinds of tricks, such as hiding the pills in foods like butter, sausage, or cheese. But Tonka was never fooled. He’d wiggle his head back and forth and work his tongue around until the pills popped out and the food was swallowed. Eventually, not having the time nor creativity to explore further methods, I took to opening his jaws and pushing the pills down. I worry this might irritate his throat, yet the job needs to be done.
As soon as he’s done eating, Tonka winds and weaves around the house to escape. I follow and hold the pills in ready position between my fingers until I catch him. Even though Tonka remains patient with me, I feel so sorry for what I must do to keep him healthy. It’s so stressful!
One session was particularly difficult. My fingers were wet after trying multiple times to give him the pills. Still, he looked at me with those liquid eyes of love. I felt our bond of divine love and trust expand. My heart opened. I gave him a big hug and a rub. And down went the pills.
A few feedings later, I noticed Tonka voluntarily coming to me for his pills. That’s when I realized he was really coming for the hugs. Now he no longer wanders off to escape after meals. He stays for the love. When I give him his pills, it’s a love fest instead of a chore and (almost) a pleasure for us both.
For me, divine love is the secret ingredient in life’s recipe for daily living. As honey sweetens the pot or soothes the throat, a dash of divine love can harmonize and balance the rough patches in the stew of living. When I forget, I’m reminded by Tonka, one of my greatest teachers. God loves me, and I share this love with an open heart.
When love flows, all life responds with quiet miracles, and I feel happy. Order prevails in the kitchen. And the dog takes his pills.
—Photos by Teresa Rogers
Loved this, and your writing
Is so well done! Really helped me thank you. Loved the story
What beautiful pictures, Teresa. Tonka does look like a barrel of love!
Thank you for sharing your experience. It reminded me of the years of taking care of Buddy, our Airedale-Lab in his last few years. He did the same as your Tonka. There is a special bond that develops when caring for an older animal. The connection is direct Soul to Soul. I have felt this with all the pets we’ve known over the years. We don’t have pets anymore having reached an certain age. However, I cherish the love given freely by my furry friends.
Thank you for reminding what divine love is!
Thank you for reminding me of Divine Love. My senior cat Ziggy has translated but he always loved sitting next to me when I sang HU. This is a wonderful story.
I liked your story very much, it was all very recognizable. The daily mind traps and the tools how to get back on the spiritual track. Thank you and the lovely Tonka for sharing this beautiful story about divine love. It is truly a reminder!!
Beautiful story of love Teresa! Thanks for sharing, and how joyful love is to help our hearts with challenges like pills for our sweet family friends.
C’est vraiment merveilleux d’être disponible pour donner notre amour aux autres Âmes comme canal du Mahanta et c’est surtout merveilleux de recevoir l’Amour venant de ces Âmes dans la peau des animaux. Merci pour votre partage.
Caring for our beloved animal friends at the end of their lives is a deeply moving and bittersweet experience. Teresa, you have described it so well. We are right there with you in your kitchen with your loved ones! Much love to you and your dear friends.
Dear Teresa, when I look in Tongas eyes, I look into the eyes of Soul. Knowing what you write about, I had three German shepherds. Thee dogs one Soul, and how do I know? Only the ECK/ Mahanta kann give me such information. These dogs are almost like humans. With my dog Tell, the last one, we could talk Soul to Soul. I was the slow one sometimes in catching on, but I told him I am learning what to you comes naturally. Then I got a little kiss, he felt guilty for being impatient. When he was gone he left a big void in my. Only the Divine Love could fill this. Another wonderful thing that we have in ECK, we meet in the inner Worlds many times. How blessed we are as the Chelas of the Mahanta. May the Blessings be.
What a wonderful story full of love. I appreciate it. Thank you for sharing.
Martin from Germany
Thank you Teresa for sharing this wonderful story with Tonka and divine love ❤
Beautiful love story ❤️
Great story. Animals are so smart and know what is most important in life.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful story Teresa.
I loved your story. It so nice to have critters in the house to remind us it’s all about love.
A beautiful story Teresa, and having dogs, preparing there meals, walks in the woods, their patience and love is unending. Soul to Soul, my heart opens with greater awareness that love is all.
Thank you for sharing. Most animals who allow us to bond with them teach us unconditional love.
What a wonderful story, they come for the hugs!
Very heartening and inspiring… thank you for this story.
Beautifully told with such heart-warming attention to the great key of Life. Love the magic potion for all living creatures. Thank-you.
Love is a wonderful and invisible pill. It brings us together and takes us back home to God.
Thanks for sharing.❤️
so beautiful , Teresa!
You are great. The inner voices, that are going on and on … do infakt have a very imprtant message for you, as I lerned : they are there to remind you to your core values, they serve to protect your true values, in order to maintain healthy relationships with whomever. The question is : which of my values do I want to protect here ? There is always a very precious hint.
With blessings. Christine
Thank you so very much for this well-written and poignant reminder of how wonderfully our pets remind us of the totality of the Love in ECK!
Dr. Dee, Corpus Christi, TX
A lovely reminder of the importance of love and an open heart. Tonka sounds like a very special teacher. Thank you both!
Oh my what a beautiful story filled with light and love. Food for thought and nourishment for soul. Thank you!
Thank you for a reminder about love. Thank you, Tonka.
Thank you for your story Teresa. It’s a beautiful reflection of how God’s love is shared Soul to Soul. Love is the divine link. Tonka is a beautiful Soul in a German shepherd body. I love your story.
Thank you for sharing your lovely experience with divine love. Very inspiring.