Day Three Filming – Temple Beth Shir Shalom, Santa Monica

Written by Dr. Lo Sprague

“Lo” is the current President of The Guibord Center. She has dedicated her life to enabling others to find and follow the best within themselves. A recently-retired Jungian-oriented psychotherapist, she lives with her two "Little Lions" and works passionately to protect the lives and freedom of all animals.

“The Moment That Said It All”

The dog said it all just in the way he stood there. His face caught in the lights. Standing by his human’s feet.

While the Rabbi and the Director were deeply engaged in getting everything perfect right there in the middle of the Temple, the dog was engaged in simply being present. Animals are like that. They carry a real power in their presence.

Everyone in this room, in this sanctuary, is doing their best to tell the story, to find the words that might change even a single mind, open a single heart to end ignorance and cruelty towards animals.

We are their voices, the ones who can put human words to the value and vulnerability of their existence. Everyone connected to this project feels an urgency to speak on their behalf.

Only the dog is peaceful. He lies at Rabbi Neil’s feet, content simply to be there. The trust between the two is palpable. Neil’s voice is animated. We hear the strength of his soul in every phrase, every story. This is a teacher, a man who clearly cares deeply, who choses his words deliberately.

Like the dog beside him, he, too, is fully present. Engaged. He doesn’t just speak. He watches to see if those he is speaking with are also engaged, listening, with him.

They are a team: this man and his dog. It’s clear. I listen to him speak, weaving a story of the relationship that God intended way back there in the Garden, back in that beginning. As I watch, I am aware that right here before me, right now, I’m witnessing that very dream of relating to one another fully, lovingly, compassionately, that God intended so many thousands of years ago.

The man. The dog. The crew. The camera. We are present, fully present, with one another in listening to and caring about each other.

May we somehow be capturing this on film.