More than twelve years ago, catapulted by the extraordinary joy I found in living with three great German Shepherd dogs, I wrote a collection of essays under the title, “The Joy of Dogs: Managing the Multi-dog Home.” My purpose was to record and share the happiness and spiritual balance that animals can help us attain. Finally able to live my life-long dream of having my own pack, I wanted to help others create a proper environment for their canine kids. Dogs are all about fun and this book was great fun in the making.
As a contemplative nun, I had lived for seven years among the famous German Shepherds of New Skete; my first Shepherd, Natasha, was a New Skete dog. By the time I had a pack of my own, I lived alone in the wilds of Brooklyn’s often untamed neighborhoods. There I created a new kind of contemplative life, unbounded by monastery walls, the streets of the city my cloister. The long solitude of these years as an urban hermit was lightened and enlightened by the dogs that shared my life. Their message of love and hope, unconditional and free, eternal and without compromise, led me to write the essays that later were trimmed, re-shaped, and molded into the book that became Who Moved My Bone: A Guide for the Multi-Dog Home. My literary agent and dear friend, Sara Camilli, and my terrific editor at Adams Media, Kate Epstein, helped me to open new channels of discovery as the book evolved to include not only remnants of memory and meditation, but gradually became a brief compendium of canine care, training, and companionship.
Writing Who Moved My Bone was far more pleasure than labor; a process of learning and sharing that joined me to the greater fabric of life, the unity of all creation. Throughout this effort, my energy was continuously restored and revitalized as I traced the heritage and needs of my own dogs and those of other dogs I knew and loved. Never-ending forays into the study of canine breeding practices, famous bloodlines, animal health in general, and dog training techniques broadened the possibilities of improving the lives of my own pack and others. I was hungry to learn everything dog! I gnawed intellectually on every clue. I followed the trail of dog activities – both work and play – from Florida to Canada, New York to Seattle, basking in the fun and future of dogs and their people. My spiritual journey, the journey of my heart, is interwoven with dogs whose incorruptible beings manifest the Great Spirit, Master and Creator of All.
1O THINGS YOU NEED FOR A MULTI-DOG HOME
1. Deep and persistent love for dogs.
2. Dogged determination to accept them for what they are and train
them for what they can become.
3. Willingness to learn how to live with the pack.
4. Realistic ideals about dogs as companions and fellow workers.
5. Powerful sense of responsibility for creatures entrusted to your care.
6. Space for dogs to play, sleep, and eat comfortably.
7. Financial security to provide proper food, shelter, toys and veterinary care.
8. Courage and competency in facing challenges and opportunities.
9. Abiding respect for non-human sentient beings.
10. Owning a vehicle helps but is not totally necessary.