Kintsugi is the art of repairing broken objects with precious metals that accent the breakage rather than hide it.
Dogs are masters of this art, or more accurately, its spiritual equivalent. A broken object or a broken person is not something to be ignored or tossed aside. An old toy is beloved with all its frays and tears. A dog sees the beauty in the broken bits. And most humans have broken bits, which is why they need us dogs.
This happy little yoga-practicing frog had an unfortunate encounter with a big pink yoga ball.
Suzanne fixed him. But she had read (she is always reading) about kintsugi and was inspired.
So after waiting for the glue to dry, she added gold to repaired joints.
Suzanne said the internet said the proper materials for this practice is gold dusted lacquer. But she didn’t have that. She used nail polish with real gold flakes. I guess her philosophy is to use what you have, to heal the best you can.
I am happy to say that kintsugi frog has moved from his low position on the floor among the plants to a higher point on the bookshelf where he is sheltered from rogue yoga balls. He brings joy to Suzanne and reminds her that healing is possible and scars can be beautiful.
Every scar is a story and not something to hide!
A dog can be the gold that repairs a human.
Emotional support dogs and service dogs are specially trained for this, and do a lot of fancy stuff. But most dogs are good at helping humans feel better and heal their broken bits, even without special training.
But don't fake it. You can read Suzanne’s rant about people who try to pass off their untrained dogs as service animals here.
As for me, I practice my own form of Kintsugi by greeting everyone. I acknowledge everyone who crosses my path because they might need a little dog spirit to heal whatever is hurting them.
I don’t jump on them, or insist on getting their attention. But I give everyone a happy greeting, with my big brown eyes and my wagging tail.
Some people ignore me, but I don’t let it bother me. I just move on to the next person.
If you have some broken bits (and who doesn’t?) find a dog to pet. Your neighbor's dog maybe. Or if you see me in the park, stop to pet me. I love when people do that.
And if you can, maybe you should rescue a dog. There are lots of pups in shelters who need a home. You could repair a dog’s broken bits while he repairs yours. You can heal each other and be stronger together.
If you want to try kintsugi with objects instead, you can learn how here.
I am just going to keep doing what I do. Offering spiritual kintsugi to everyone I meet. After all, that is my ikigai.
Copyright 2020 Suzanne Grosser