Buddhism for Pet Lovers

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       July 18, 2017


Author  David Michie

Distributor:      Allen and Unwin
ISBN:                 9781760294496
Publisher:         Allen and Unwin
Release Date:   July 2017  

Website:    https://www.allenandunwin.com 

Every pet lover, regardless of what sort of pet they have, will immediately relate to the contents of this latest look at Tibetan Buddhism, how it correlates to our pets and their bonding or influence over us, their humans! It also takes a serious look at the benefits we as humans receive, as well as the lessons often learned, from these beautiful, beloved creatures.

Anyone who has ever been privileged enough to have a special buddle of fur, feathers or other in their life, including pets as small as hermit crabs and the like, appreciate that extra something they bring to their lives. It is special, it is a bond and it has the power to change often dire events in life with unconditional love – mainly from cats or dogs that give and keep on giving in so many ways, instinctively knowing just the right moment to connect.

In Chapter one Michie looks at the transition of what were once wild creatures into creatures that are happy to curl up on your lap, greet you with a furiously wagging tail on returning home and bring so much joy into your life, absolutely unconditionally unless of course, you are the proud Human of a cat, who considers you privileged to have them reside in your home!

This makes for fascinating reading and also sets the stage for the connection to the Buddhist beliefs, which flow on to the benefits of really beginning to understand the special nature of pets and there intuitive connection with humans.

Throughout the book there are a number of stories relating to the point, which even Science is beginning to recognise and accept, that animals are conscious beings, that in many instances their minds are a great deal similar to the human mind.

Each of the chapters is woven around one of the underpinning philosophies of Buddhism; Particular attention needs to be paid to Chapter three, Guiding Principles as they relate to how we deal with our pets, what value we place on not only our lives, but also our pets. Cause and effect is also addressed, as is the simple and yet complex matter that ‘pets are not in our lives by chance!’

Beautiful stories are dotted throughout every chapter of the book, with pets learning to enjoy meditation with you, bring comfort to the sick and terminally ill, deliver joy to the elderly and care and compassion to many to others.

As further studies are undertaken as to the benefits of dogs in particular, making a huge difference to people with health or disability issues, improving their lives in so many ways,  scientists are fast discovering they bring far, far more into the relationship than what they are trained to deliver.

Sadly though, pets simply do live as long as humans and there comes a day when a sad goodbye must be undertaken; Michie talks in great detail about the best way we can help our beloved pet through their final days, to be able to say goodbye with love and compassion.

As always with David Michie’s books, the thread is there to a better and more detailed understanding of the many aspects which make up the Buddhist philosophy, that will help and guide you along your life journey; it is just in this instance, with the care and guidance of those very special friends, those beautiful, sentient beings, our beloved pets.

A lovely reflection to consider are the words from His Holiness the  Dalai Lama when he says, ‘True happiness comes not from a limited concern for one’s own wellbeing, or that of those one feels close to, but from developing love and compassion for all sentient beings.’