She is a successful professional, respected by her peers. Though not loved by everyone, she is not without love. She turns her affection toward endangered animals, dogs in particular. She finds them wherever they are, cares for them and, when possible, finds them new homes. She continues her work today, bringing unwanted dogs into her home when there’s no other place for them.
But recently she told me a story that I have a hard time getting my brain around. Perhaps you can help.
It seems that one of her rescued dogs was especially difficult. It was a large and violent dog. There was no way to get this dog to settle down. Any person or other animal that came near this dog was in jeopardy. It became one of those rare and hated occasions when my friend considered having the dog put down — not a bad choice given the likelihood that it would hurt someone sooner or later.
But before that, she tried one more thing.
She heard about a woman in South Carolina who could change dogs, communicate with them, cause them to behave. So she called her to tell her about her troubled dog. At this point, let’s make up names for these players so it’s easier to keep the story straight. Let’s call my friend Bonnie. The lady in South Carolina will be Jennifer. And the awful dog: Satan.
Bonnie leaned over to me at a recent social gathering to tell me the story. Jennifer sent a message to her dog, she says — telepathically. Jennifer did not come to Virginia. She never left her home in South Carolina, and the dog was not sent to her. Satan stayed in his cage. Jennifer and Satan didn’t even talk over the phone, or the Internet.
Anyway, Jennifer said that Satan told her he’d been abused all of his life, which resulted in his behavior. Then Jennifer explained to Satan that if he didn’t behave, he would have to be put to sleep. At this point I’m rolling my eyes because we have a lady in another state having a conversation with a dog in Virginia. The story continued.
Satan listened to Jennifer, apparently. And immediately Satan became a loving, well-behaved dog. Satan was now happy and adoptable, and played in the yard with other dogs. If the story had ended here I would have gone to the kitchen for another brownie. But the story continued.
Bonnie said that one day while Satan and other dogs were playing, a hostile dog — or perhaps a coyote — came into the yard and attacked one of the smaller dogs that was playing with Satan. Satan immediately came to the defense of the small dog, and in his fight with the hostile dog — or perhaps a coyote — was killed. Satan, the once terrible dog, had given his life to save another. What greater love. And the story ends there.
But I am left with it, and give it credence only because I have known Bonnie for many years and she’s an intelligent person, not given to fantasy that I know of. Does she really believe the story she told? Is it possible that a human being can communicate with a dog, hundreds of miles away, through energy in the air? Can the dog talk back — and can the two carry on a conversation?
I think it all depends on you. Some people are given to the unseen, the unknown, the energy in space of which we know nothing. They believe that they can affect things with their thoughts, or be affected by someone thinking of them. Many of them believe in prayer, devoutly. They wake up in the middle of the night knowing something has happened far away, and often it has. How do they know?
But it happens. In this case, we’ve brought a bad dog into the belief, and he not only spoke through the wind, but also was blessed by it.
Stories that come second or third hand usually have been enhanced along the way. A good story has a way of getting better with time. But is that reason to discount it?
What do you think? S
Gene Cox is an author and inventor, who retired from a 35-year career as a television anchor in Richmond. Connect with him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at genecoxrva.