Monday, July 8, 2013
The Soul of All Living Creatures
I am reading this wonderful new book by Vint Virga, D.V.M. a distinguished expert in veterinary behavioral medicine. Yes—behavioral medicine for animals. You know by now that there is nothing silly about this specialty. Veterinary Behavioral Medicine is a branch of animal medicine and while I knew that Dr. Vint Virga is at the top in his field I didn’t know until reading this book that he is also an incredibly compassionate and compelling storyteller.
The subtitle of “The Soul of All Living Creatures” is: What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human. And, if you are an animal lover, you might say, “Well, duh, been saying that for years.” And yes you have. We talk about unconditional love and patience and having our own hearts opened wide by the creatures we love. But Virga goes beyond that and shows –in his gentle but powerful teaching stories—how animals—cats, dogs, horses—can teach us about mindfulness and intuition and generosity.
So maybe, like me, you buy lots of self-help books about mindfulness and intuition and you go to workshops on the same topics—here is a new way to get a very visceral lesson: spend time very quietly and very close to an animal. In his book Virga explains exactly how he watches and discerns the needs of the animals he is consulting on.
In this beautiful book Virga takes “therapeutic” and “companion” animals to a new level of consideration. I could feel my own anxiety slow down and my breathing deepen just reading about his work with the soulful creatures that he cares for.