I don’t know about you but the world today sometimes terrorizes me. It seems like everyday we’re hearing about, reading about or learning about something that we should be worried about. The evening news is filled with fires, deaths, muggings or murders. The morning news is equally depressing. I watch it only to see the weather and 9 out of 10 times they get it wrong.

And then there is social media. Yes, it’s true – Rex’s Place uses Facebook to share our day with you but to be honest, I don’t use it personally. I fear that we no longer have conversations – we talk in short hand and text. I obviously am not a very with it person because I don’t have a single naked selfie of myself – let alone sharing it with everyone to see. Do you? Am I the only one that has concerns about all this?

I rather like writing this blog because I get to reflect on thoughts I have and share them. I get to have a conversation with you when you come in and share your thoughts or leave me a comment. Not ALL technology is bad; I actually like technology. I just worry sometimes about the way it is used. So Martin Luther King Day has me thinking, which some might say is a dangerous thing.

When I was growing up, the world seemed a little simpler – although we had our own disruptions. We too had war on the news. The Vietnam War was front and center; but politics seemed nicer. Or was it that I was a kid? I believed you respected the President, even if you didn’t agree with him (one day her?) and was saddened when John F Kennedy was shot. I cheered when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon and watched and listened as Martin Luther King fought for civil rights and economic justice.

I just saw a TV commercial about animal rights where they used, what they said, was a quote from Dr. King. The truth is, he never said those words. His son and widow say he was for animal rights, but he didn’t speak about them directly. He did say the following:

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.”

“Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.

It was when I read the last quote that I knew what this blog would be. In my “new” life, I have to admit that hanging with our dogs keeps me sane. They are so easy to understand. If they are hungry – well let’s be honest – they will very rarely turn food down. When they want a cuddle or two – they will let you know. If a bathroom break is needed you’ll know that too. They don’t ask for much but what they want is clear and unequivocal. What you get back is unconditional love, and I rather like that.

And the last Dr. King quote perfectly describes what we do. We don’t speak the same language as our dogs (although as you saw, Julia regularly sings with them) but we DO understand them. We DO communicate with them and we ARE able to share the language of the heart with them. My staff and I are lucky people. I have a feeling you understand and have a similar relationship with your dog(s).

Martin Luther King day is celebrated as a day of service, and I’d like to suggest that we do that more than one day a year. There are countless opportunities within the animal community, whether by volunteering at a local animal shelter or helping underprivileged or elderly neighbors care for their animal companions. Some of you foster and we are working on our literacy program for kids and dogs. Dogs are as special as the owners that love them. You must be special too. How do I know that? I know your dog(s).