The call of nature to those who follow the path of The Craft is strong. You may find yourself surrounded by orphaned animals, or unusual sightings of uncommon creatures. Your home may host plants that can survive no where else. It’s because these children of Gaia know that you are a healer. Witches heal the earth and the earth heals us. But sometimes we need a little help.
Recently we had this 16-year-old Australian Shepherd wander onto our property. Now, we live in a very rural area. Farmhouse after farmhouse. Farm dogs wander, but they always go home. So when they wander onto our property, we normally greet them without objection. However, it doesn’t take long for our own two dogs to exclaim annoyance with the interloper and loudly. To keep the peace, we calmly tell our farm dog visitors to go home. And they depart with no fuss.
Saweetie, as we would come to call her, kept coming back. Repeatedly. Our two dogs, Granny Shadow and Ms. SnickleFritz, were not happy with the visitor, who was calm and clearly unbothered by our smaller dogs. When she came back the third time, I noticed she was walking kind of crooked. She wasn’t aggressive or even crying. Just not looking like a dog should, even a senior one.
When she came back the third time, I called the Viking from his shop and asked for assistance. Anyone who knows my spouse knows he’s a big animal lover and very much a dog whisperer. He has mused often that he would be happy to be reincarnated as one of our dogs. What a great life they lead! Without hesitation he leaped Into action regarding Saweetie. She easily came to him and we leashed her and tried to assess if there was a collar or tags or what not. She was not in good shape. Her hair was matted badly. She was in need of a bath. Her nails hadn’t been taken care of in a long time. When we tried to give her water, we began to suspect that she couldn’t hear or see very well. And then there was the matter of looking like she might be injured because of the crooked way she was walking, which was very slowly, and her constant panting, which can indicate stress in a dog.
The only tag she had was a rabies vaccination tag. So The Viking called our local Humane Society. It was the weekend and we were thinking it might be not until Monday until our message was answered. We began to create plans to house Saweetie until we could get her help. Before we could even set up a dog house, the Whatcom County Humane Society called us back. They had received another call reporting Saweetie missing. Not too far from our home as well. She was a farm dog, like we suspected. They offered for us to take the animal back to the owners, or have the owners come to us, or they would dispatch an officer who would come out and retrieve the dog and take the animal back to its human.
We chose the third option because we felt that once the animal control officer saw the animal, some counseling to its owner would be more well received from them rather than The Viking and Some Crone Witch lecturing said alleged neglectful owners. We also had no idea if the people who have had this animal for 16+ years were some how unable to care for her appropriately. Whatever the case, if more was needed for Saweetie or her humans, the Humane Society said they would help. That sounded good to us. Within the next hour, the animal officer arrived at Villa Westwyk.
The officer arrived quickly and observed all the factors about Saweetie’s situation that we did. Such a good dog in not a great state. Next up was to return her to her licensed owners and provide some feedback to help Saweetie live out her life in a bit more comfort. This isn’t the first time we have rescued an animal and how the officer handled Saweetie showed what a good natured animal she really was. She even got to ride up in the cab with the officer because she wasn’t taking her far (less than a mile) and the dog was too injured to get into the kennels in the back. Saweetie went home and was reunited with a grateful family, which learned some valuable lessons about the needs of their lovely pet.
I share this story with all of you so that if you are in a situation where you want to help animals but can’t be a full-time care giver to one, then supporting an agency like your local humane society — and wow! is ours a great one — is definitely a path to helping animals on the daily. Along with our local Habitat for Humanity’s program of Homes for Hives, we will be supporting this local agency in as many ways as we can. Not just because of the good work they did this weekend at Villa Westwyk, but all over counties everywhere.
If you’ve had an interesting animal encounter lately, let me know in the comments. How did it align with your path of The Craft?