Those of you who are connected to me via Facebook may have noticed an increase in my postings there lately. To be honest, I’m hooked. I waste—or rather, invest—a couple of hours on it each day. My activities are varied: from oohing and aahing over cute puppy pictures, to sharing my adventures in trying to get published, to asking complete strangers if it’s silly to cry over Superbowl Clydesdale commercials. But one story really caught my attention.
A week ago last Saturday Tasha, a friend, and I were walking on Greenwood Avenue, when a complete stranger stopped us and handed us a flyer. “Have you seen this dog?” she asked. We told her we hadn’t. She then said, “Keep your eyes open. She even has her own Facebook page.” I put the flyer in my pocket and looked, but I didn’t find the dog. The retriever mix’s sad eyes still haunted me the next day, so I visited her Facebook page, hoping to learn she’d been recovered.
I was far from the only person who visited “Joy lost in Ballard.” Literally hundreds of people followed the discussion and offered to help. I shared the page on the studio’s and my personal pages and forwarded information on when I could.
The odds of a happy ending weren’t good.
Joy had moved to Seattle from an out-of-state shelter just three days before she disappeared. She was easily frightened, and she hadn’t fully bonded with her new forever home. Worse yet, she slipped her collar, so she had no tags, and she didn’t yet know her name. Joy was more likely to run from someone trying to help than come to them.
I continued following the story. My husband warned me that I was l annoying my Facebook friends by continuing to post updates. Yet shortly after he chided me, I caught even him checking for Joy sightings and considering joining the search. Like me, he was hooked.
I don’t know if anyone involved in Joy’s story has ever done yoga, but they are all yogis. Complete strangers volunteered to get up at 3 AM to check humane traps, kept waders and dog treats in their cars “just in case,” discussed dog capture strategies, and created Joy sighting maps.
These kind strangers were living examples of two yoga principles: sangha (community) and active compassion. The Yoga Sutras say that when yogis encounter suffering, they should respond with active compassion. In other words, yogis shouldn’t waste time feeling bad, we should help. The teachings also promise that in community, we find energy and healing we can’t find alone. That group of electronically-connected strangers demonstrated both of those concepts perfectly. They restored my faith in humanity.
Ten days after she bolted, Joy was reunited with her family. She’s healthy and happy to be back home. We may never know what transpired during her adventure, but her travels touched the hearts of all those who helped her. And the people who helped her definitely made a mark on mine.
Thanks to all of you who helped Joy and sent her positive energy. May you continue to find your own Joy in Seattle.
PS–I truly love getting to know students and fans on Facebook! “Friend” me at https://www.facebook.com/tracywe
Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle!