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Thread: Frustrating Compassion

  1. #1

    Frustrating Compassion

    We have a high strung dog. We didn't know he was going to be high strung, my wife and I just wanted...I just wanted our other dog to have a friend to discourage him from pooping on our floor when ever we left.

    The devil we knew was better.

    Milo turned out to be a hunting dog. A walker / blue tick mix. We later found out that even the dog whisperrer can't "control" this type of dog, and says something along the line of "good luck."

    For 9 years now he has destroyed carpets, drapes, window screens, toys, possessions, sleep, couches, more sleep, ears.

    Side note: Hunting dogs howl because GPS wasn't invented 100 plus years ago. The dogs would howl to get there master attention. That howl can be heard one and a half miles away.

    But right beside your head isn't a mile and a half.

    I've looked into getting rid of him but the country boys i work with says he'll be dead in no time as most hunting dogs don't live that long. I can't do that to him.

    With his high strung nature and bite first attitude I feel I can't take him to the humane society, or a dog rescue. I always picture a dog rescue for mistreated dogs. Milo is well fed, walked, bathed...

    And only occasionally do I yell "oh dear god please stop yelling at the squirrel! Please stop!"

    I don't hit him. I don't "rub his nose in it." I don't tell him to get off the furniture because it keeps him quiet.

    Showing Milo compassion is frustrating. I can't go for the alternatives, or attempt to dump my responsibilities for Milo on anyone else.

    This is more of a story than anything else. My little story on my heart giving my head an ache.

    But it seems a good ache.

    Anyone else find compassion frustrating?

  2. #2
    I had a dog like that, he lived to be 19. When he was young and behaved badly in the house he was banished to the doghouse in the yard. He was a quick learner -). I don't think any sentient being ever pushed my patience and anger buttons more than him but the later years was just pure love and understanding.



    Kind regards. /\
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Frustrating Compassion

    Nobody ever said the practice of compassion came easy - particularly at four AM!

    Milo is doing what he is supposed to do....

    And you are being wonderful for caring for him, howl and all.

    It wouldn't be compassion if it was smooth sailing. I live in a house with three boys (two in college), one fourteen year old lab, two cats (one is a Maine coon cat who has scratched up our furniture and wood moldings, and just when you are about to strangle him he gives you a look that melts your heart and you end up looking for some virgin molding to scratch) and a fiery passionate ballerina with bright flashing eyes. We all agreed long ago that we are all crazy, but that most importantly, we belong together. Our rough jagged edges fit together like pieces in a puzzle.

    Compassion can be frustrating, but it also give you that good ache.

    Sounds to me like Milo is a teacher and he is lucky to have you.

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Last edited by Yugen; 03-29-2014 at 03:20 PM.
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    I don't think any sentient being ever pushed my patience and anger buttons more than him but the later years was just pure love and understanding.
    Beautiful Rich!

    Compassion is life, life is frustrating ... each different, yet the same. Milo is your teacher and you are his. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Yes, I'm with you... We've got a pet, small but destructive in its own way. Many times I've come close to giving her an early exit, but I always stop short of the deed. Very frustrating, thousands of dollars of damage over the years, and surely more to come. But we always find something to focus our aggravation on. Getting rid of one, another soon fills its place. I just try to accept her for what she is, and try to live up to my responsibility to care for her. But it ain't easy.
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  7. #7

    Frustrating Compassion

    My house has caused irreparable damage to my dogs over the years. She has entitled my dogs to act like little children instead of animals in the wild. I have punished my furniture, carpet, shoes and many other things around the house by replacing them to no avail. I guess it is what it is. A house is a house. Can't do anything about it. I just have to learn to let my house be a house if I am going to own one. :-)

    Gassho, Jishin
    Last edited by Jishin; 03-29-2014 at 11:02 PM.

  8. #8
    As Yugen says, compassion would not be compassion if it were easy, a kind of walk in the park.
    It has to irritate even hurt simetimes.
    That is the sad and interesting fact.
    The first thing it shows us is that we are not the super compassionate cool Zen guy we imagined we could become one day.
    And it is already a great humbling insight.

    Gassho

    Taigu
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    As Yugen says, compassion would not be compassion if it were easy, a kind of walk in the park.
    It has to irritate even hurt simetimes.
    That is the sad and interesting fact.
    The first thing it shows us is that we are not the super compassionate cool Zen guy we imagined we could become one day.
    And it is already a great humbling insight.

    Gassho

    Taigu

    C

  10. #10
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Well, I've got to admit, I find your compassion pretty inspirational and I'm hanging my head a bit in shame right now. I have two cats, I don't want them. They belong to my kids. They gallop around the house late at night, shed, litter boxes are disgusting to clean out, and the one has this annoying meow that drives me nuts. I will admit, I'm not nearly as patient as you are, but thanks for this post as it's a reminder that these two little sentient beings are my teachers as Milo is yours.

    Gassho,
    Joyo

  11. #11
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Compassion for living beings can be frustrating and sometimes even infuriating!

    But you know, it's all zazen. We learn to be patient, have an open heart and mind. Your dog is doing what we humans bred him to do. The more you resist this fact, the more you'll suffer.

    Just surf the waves, don't swim against them and soon you'll reach the shore. Who knows, maybe Milo would turn out to be the best friend you'd ever had.

    This comes from me, who owns a cat that enjoys scratching her nails and sharpen her teeth in my arms and hands.

    And I love her. When she's done munching on me, she sits zazen with me every morning.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  12. #12
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Yes!!.. Crazy pets, crazy people, crazy life, always showing us that we are not "there" yet, that all the time we fail to be compassionate, we fail to have patience, we fail at doing good, we fail in soooo many ways to follow the Path....and at the same time, we still walk it, we still sit zazen, and we still try to do some good, and to be compassionate and act wisely when we stand up and go trough the day.... sometimes we hit the mark, most times we don't, then again, fail, and again and again.... it hurts and it's sad, but no problem, sit, stand up, and try again.


    Yesterday one of my dogs drove me crazy, yelled at her and she was sooo scared, and a minute later I felt terrible. Today, she rests in my bed, as I get ready to take her out on a walk. She wags her tail quietly, happy and without judgement of how bad I was to her yesterday...she is the Teacher, I thank She for being patient with me...lets walk


    Gassho
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    P.S. Yup, I know, my English sucks

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Koshin View Post
    She wags her tail quietly, happy and without judgement of how bad I was to her yesterday...she is the Teacher
    So true Kōshin, animals have an amazing ability to teach us about unconditional love, non-judgement, and forgiveness. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  14. #14
    To paraphrase Ajahn Brahm, you have Ajahn Milo.

    But, if you're interested, I'd be willing to trade you Milo for my next door neighbor.

    Gassho,
    Lee

  15. #15
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    I find it a bit disconcerting how ready some are to turn to euthanasia as a fix for hyperactivity and/ or poor training.
    迎 Geika

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