Honoring Munai

This article is a departure from my usual “Insights,” but I think you’ll understand why I’ve shared it today.

honoring-munaiIt has been a little more than a week since Munai passed. Based on the kind comments many of you made on my Facebook page, I know that you understand deeply the significant relationships we have with animals and their heartfelt impact our lives.

When My Chow-Chow, Waiki, passed two years ago, I wrote about what she taught me. Now I’m doing the same for Munai.

Beth and I first saw her in the Pima County Animal Care Center, where we had gone to find a pack member for Waiki. We had lost our Golden Retriever, Wiser, about two months before and decided that we would adopt a rescue dog.

Well as many of you know, in a shelter setting a dog as much chooses you as you choose it. Munai was a six-month old little lab mix being kept with two other dogs. When she saw us she immediately came up and said in Doggie language, “I want to be in your pack.” She wasn’t the only one, but she was the most persistent, so we decided to bring her home.

After being spayed and treated for kennel cough, Munai came home. She was initially scared, but she settled in quickly as a result of being held close and Waiki’s willingness to welcome her into the pack. Her personality emerged. She was playful, loving and always a little scared, but she managed her fear by seeking reassurance.

We also discovered two other traits: she was very protective, and she was an exceptional hunter. One time we saw Munai catch a pigeon in flight by launching herself into the air and snatching it six feet off the ground. (We were able to release the bird, which then flew off.) She also never met a lizard she didn’t chase. The funniest memory of this particular characteristic was the time she caught a mouse in the house. We saw the mouse just as she did. It looked like she had it cornered, but then it disappeared. We thought it got away, but then we looked at Munai sitting quietly and noticed a tail emerging from her mouth. I told her to “OPEN,” and she did, only to have one scared and lucky mouse leap out and run off. I think it moved out of the house that very moment because we never saw it again.

With puppies and small dogs Munai was always loving and gentle, having a natural mothering aspect. She expressed this time and again. She was also affectionate and playful with kids and interacted well with other people, except when she sensed that Beth was concerned or wary about someone. In that case she was protective and fierce. She also used to support Waiki in the job of protecting the neighborhood from strange people and dogs.

What Munai was absolutely best at was being a loving friend. She would want to be there in the same room, close but not suffocating, just enjoying the closeness. She decided early on that her place at night was sleeping on the bed next to Beth; she wanted that connection. Munai did this until she was older and couldn’t jump on the bed any longer.

Munai also especially enjoyed the kitchen experience, where she took on the tough job of chief taster, a role she was not willing to relinquish to anyone else. When Beth and I changed our eating habits and went on an anti-inflammatory diet, that included a muffin made without wheat or sugars—one that had lots of fruit as its main component. Well, after one taste, Munai decided that this would be part of her diet, patiently waiting for her share every morning.

So what lessons did we learn from sweet Munai?

  • Once you make a choice of the heart, do all you can to make sure that you honor it.
  • Enjoy physical touch.
  • Stay close to the people you love.
  • Fully enjoy your relationships.

I like to collect stories about belief change experiences. If you have any interesting ones, please share them below so I can comment on them in future posts. 

P.S. Do you want to share this post? Please do. Just be sure that it remains intact and includes the following bio.

About Terry: Terry Hickey, M.S., is a Certified NLP Professional Coach, Business Trainer and Consultant, a Certified Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the co-owner of NLP Advantage Group. Originator of the Belief Breakthrough Method™, Terry specializes in teaching coaches and entrepreneurs how to rapidly resolve limiting beliefs about wealth and success. His tips and strategies can help you launch yourself into the future you want… NOW.

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