Prompted by questions posed by a Species Link Journal reader, regarding animals' views on declawing and bobbing of tails and ears, I sought the opinion of Willow, an Old English Sheepdog, whose own tail was bobbed many years ago, whilst in a previous home.
~ ~ ~
['Smiling'..] Hello Jane [she responds with smiling mock formality & a knowing of my now opening to communicate with a particular issue in mind..]
Willow, as I've mentioned earlier, I have some special questions to put to you & I would greatly appreciate your responses in fullest detail...Are we ready to go?
['Smiling'..] yes, Jane..
I would like to ask you about your tail, Willow. What can you tell me about this?
It is 'half' the size it was. It has received many comments. It is 'shortened', but so to extend my life. I like to think of it as...well.. a means to an 'end'.(!)
Okay, can you explain more...how you mean....'but so to extend my life..'?
I knew I would be more 'wanted', more desired at the outset as a puppy if I were to have the, then, 'desired' operation. It was fashionable then, it held not such a stigma as its' process does today. The energy of it was different then; it is only now that others may look & exclaim 'my, how drastic. How sad'. [& with this, by analogy, conveys the sense of a great architectural building & of how, in order to supposedly 'make way' for the 'new' – sometimes the 'old' is demolished- but then later, incredulity of such a thing having ever been allowed to have happened is expressed].
Thank you, Willow. Okay. I understand (then) that... when you were a puppy that your natural length tail was partly removed ('bobbed'). What can you tell me of this?
It was, Jane. I carry this latter energy now wherever I go. It is commented on, but too, it is as such part of my history; a tradition of sorts which I am representative of. Today, as you speak, this, I understand is rarely allowed . It is of a (cosmetic-ly enhanced) feature, which not all would assume was an enhancement. Yet it is a matter of opinion – would one not say?
Thank you, Willow. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the strongest feeling of pain). How 'painful' was this?
[She does not respond initially towards the scale indicated... but instead conveys description..] It was swift. It was almost instantaneous. It was a shock at the time. Yet then it is over. It cannot be rectified to put it back or righted to as it was before. It is to assume the pain of the time will pass, that the shock of the 'cut' will heal. And yes, largely it has. [With this, conveys the thought of pruning trees; of how so many assume the docking of their 'limbs' is any less than 'regular'. That it comes to all individuals, a 'cutting down to size', either mentally or physically]. It is to cope & take upon oneself the nature of the purpose. If the perpetrator means it well, it tends to heal in faster time in human terms - than otherwise - when listless energy of random action needs gathering up to put you 'back on track'.
[I later go back & address the 'scale' again]
[ She conveys a sense of... 'off the scale'. But again, with emphasis on swiftness].
Thank you, Willow. And now – how does it feel to you? (on this scale of 1-10).
[Of this 'scale' she conveys a blankness, as if of no sensation...& responds:]
It is comfortable, Jane. It is...just..not there [& she replies with a shrugging-like smile...]
Thank you, Willow. On a soul level, were you 'prepared' for the bobbing of your tail whilst a puppy?
I knew I chose to become the breed of dog I am['smiles' with a quiet sense of dignity]. I [sighs..]yes, did realise the docking was then 'part of my breed'. It is...it is okay sometimes. The rituals of an ancient culture (in relative terms) are born & continue to preserve the very energies they initially represented.
Can you explain this, Willow?
Yes, Jane. The 'sacrifices' of Self or of others' mutilation (as it may be termed) is significant in a way of historical energy content. To follow ideas and idioms which represent a lineage of tradition, it is sometimes overtaken in terms of 'pain' by purely & simply what it 'represents'. To 'suffer' so to be 'accepted' on full terms somehow makes it 'acceptable'. I feel 'this' type energy regarding my tail.
Thank you, Willow. From a spiritual significance can you describe what undergoing this procedure (bobbing) indicates/signifies?
I think I have explained this slightly. It is of an indigenous almost 'tribal' aspect of sacrifice to mark & or make a mark of acceptance in your society. I realise when times & old traditions have changed, so too will supposedly (barbaric) procedures such as docking & bobbing. Then, (to) be surpassed by other more 'complete' oriented energies.
Now-a-days it is more of a 'completeness' ; the whole energy of today. It is, & was of a previous generation & mindset that to conform that you should sacrifice or accept 'less' so to be accepted.
Today is of abundance in mind; it is of generosity & more..& more... & More! [& by analogy & in contrast to bobbing conveys the concept of hair extensions]. It is a society of More. And less is concentrated on making sacrifices or taking others - or of others – so they are in conformity.
Thank you Willow. How does having undergone this procedure('bobbing') affect your mind?
I realise it is of a mindset now outdated from the energies I meet & who observe my being. I do have & hold an historical interest in my soul incarnation as Willow. And it was my way to incarnate as an Old English Sheepdog with 'traditionally' shorn tail part. I do not have less of a 'wag' ability though – as has been observed & appreciated..though do I..! [she 'smiles'].
Thank you, Willlow Does this occurrence & resultant 'bobbed' tail bring back any prominent thoughts if(/when) it is mentioned today?
No. Only that it is part of my way of being. If anything it makes me more individual & again a part of history to comment on. I know I am still beautiful in my own way. It is, well, a decision & an incision which made me 'me' in this incarnation.
Do you now-a-days feel 'complete' in yourself despite having undergone this procedure ('bobbing')?
Yes, Jane, I do.
I am complete as Willow, as the Willow I chose to be in this life-time. If I were to grow or have had my tail remaining long, I feel it would have led me different paths of experience & I chose to go the way I have. And I am happy. [& she wags, a vibratory beautiful intense big stumpy wag].
Can you advise me from a dogs perspective what to suggest to any breeders who may still believe alterations such as bobbing are okay to perform?
It is of a different time frame now, Jane. More is understood from an energetic & animal/human perspective of the implications of this procedure. It is no longer 'necessary' a ritual to perform; it is of 'ancient' times [& the concept of ancient aboriginal tribes performing scarring is conveyed]. It has no place in today's society. But it is a reminder of old energies & ways and of interest in its own right.
Thank you, Willow. And regarding wagging your tail now...how do you feel in your capability to demonstrate this?
[Her stump then wags profusely... as if to comment for itself... And, as I have observed so many, many times, its tail energy is not lessened whatsoever. The vibration & enthusiasm of its few inches seems akin to observing the motor part of a wildly waving electronic flag; but no matter nothings waving in the breeze – just look at the motor working! Her wagg-iness is more intense, as if a hundred times over...]
Thank you, Willow. Do such operations ... other animals may have endured of similar procedures...also hold the same implications/representations you speak about?
Yes, Jane. Again, it is of a necessity supposedly of societies conformity. To be 'accepted', sometimes an individual will endure all sorts [& by analogy conveys the human endurances of high heels, hair removal, cosmetic surgery & crowded transport endured to be 'accepted']. However, today's more individualistic society is more embracing of our differing ways. Individuality is encouraged. 'Conformity ' (to society) itself encourages self-expression & variation.
I am glad really, Jane. I may have 'waved the flag' for traditionalism, but my tail is in essense at its 'root', for which I am grateful. For it is at the base of any essence where truth is found. To 'cut to the quick', 'touch the base', ultimately leads to a better grounding,understanding & realisation of capabilities & realities – for which no 'fancy' pretence can be allowed.
I am proud of my tail – (tale) [she 'smiles'] for it now dispels connection of the old way & yet brings appreciation of the new. And most importantly, I, - & it – can keep moving .
[And she wags;an intensely lovely stumpy wag... Its intenseness seemingly mounting, & somehow making it even faster than any sweeping wag a longer tail might manage. A faster vibration, indeed.]
Bless you & thank you, Willow.
[She 'smiles'; flattens her lovely ears, tips up her chin in the way she does on 'smiling' & wags her historical tail end profusely...].
Copyright Jane Summers 2012