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I ran over a dog last night.

It was dark and I was driving to the airport to collect two friends visiting me on the island. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a dog running across the freeway…

I slammed on my brakes, trying to keep the car from skidding out of control, but the dog kept running. Seconds later I felt a series of loud thuds followed by shrieks of terror and agony as the dog got dragged underneath my truck.

My heart started racing and time slowed down to a standstill as adrenaline pumped into my veins.

“Oh s#%t”, I thought to myself…

as I looked in the rear view mirror and saw the injured dog writhing in the middle of the freeway.

The dog’s agonized howls penetrated my car even though I had music playing, the windows were shut and I was 100 meters down the road.

I’m not proud to admit it, but my first thought was:

“There’s no way that this dog is going to be alive much longer… Another car will probably hit it again in a few seconds. I’m going to keep driving to the airport, pick up my friends and forget this ever happened…”

I kept driving for another 10 seconds, but the dog’s agonized howls haunted me like the sound of a baby crying for its mother.

I didn’t want to take responsibility for having hit the dog. By most people’s standards, the accident was the dog’s fault and that justifies leaving the dog to die on the side of the road.

I’ll come back to my story in a moment, but before I do, I want to ask you an important question:

Have you ever hurt someone, lied to someone or stolen something and then didn’t own up and take responsibility for it?

If your mind is telling you that you have never done a thing like that, it’s lying to you.

Think of that time when you hurt someone, lied to someone or stolen something and then didn’t own up and take responsibility for it…

Got it?

Remember the guilty feeling immediately after you did the ‘bad’ thing? You knew you’d done something wrong.

Perhaps the memory of that event gnaws at you the way I could hear the howling dog yelping and see it writhing in the rear view mirror.

Consider for a moment that your “Howling Dog” is your conscience…

It’s your heart trying to tell you to do the right thing, the scary thing, the terrifying act of taking responsibility for your actions.

Think back to your incident again…

Remember how quickly your mind kicked in to shut your Howling Dog up and justify why it was OK not to take responsibility? That’s what our minds do in an attempt to keep us ‘safe’ or out of trouble.

Here’s the problem 99.9% of people don’t admit to themselves:

Whenever you hear or see your Howling Dog and you ignore it, it haunts you unconsciously and slowly, but surely eats away at your aliveness.

First, the guilt makes you tired and lethargic…

Then, as time passes, you forget that the incident ever happened BUT it leaves behind a slow-release poison that begins killing you from the inside out.

You begin feeling emotionally dead inside…

After a while, feeling dead becomes normal and life stops being a fun, joyful experience.

You LOSE the ability to attract good things into your life.

It’s as if your attraction magnet breaks down…

I know that you know what I’m talking about…

After years of silencing or killing your Howling Dogs (i.e. not taking responsibility for your actions and ignoring your conscience)…they KILL YOU – from the inside.

This often manifests as disease in your body or an inability to attract anything good into your life. It’s as if your life has become poisoned.

If you can relate to this, there is only ONE thing you can do to save yourself.

Take responsibility for your actions today. Otherwise, you’ll wake up tomorrow forgetting you ever read this email and you life will remain DEADENED.

I’m not kidding!

I have a challenge for you today.

I challenge you to call the person you wronged and apologize to them and take responsibility for the impact of your actions.

I challenge you to own up to stealing, lying, cheating or whatever else you’ve done that you’re too scared to take responsibility for.

Start with just ONE thing. The BIGGEST thing. Clean that up first. You know exactly which one I’m talking about… It’s that BIG thing that you’re hiding, afraid someone might find out about.

Why would you want to do this?

Because it’s the only way to truly be FREE.

I fully expect that you won’t actually do what I suggest, because just the thought of it is going to scare the socks off you, BUT if you are up to the challenge then later on I will share a process you can use to clean up the mess seamlessly so you are free from all poisons in your life.

Here’s how I silenced my howling dog…

SammySomewhere in the middle of this, my heart managed to override my head and I turned the car around to go find the howling dog and take responsibility for hitting the poor little guy.

I was hoping that the dog would be dead by the time I arrived, because I had no idea what I’d do if it was still alive.

I had SO many thoughts, most of which were awful, wondering whether to leave it on the side of the road to die or not. I was so confused.

As I approached the place where I had hit the dog, I saw that the dog was still alive, panting with saliva running down its mouth and a trail of blood marking its agonizing journey dragging itself to the side of the road with its front paws only.

I jumped out of the car and slowly approached the now quiet dog, who looked at me with pleading eyes as if to say, “Please help me”. I could see it was probably a stray dog because it had no name tag.

I stroked its head to calm it down and then picked up the bloody dog in my arms and placed her gently in the back of the truck.

There was NO way in hell I was leaving her there and there was no turning back now.

This choice left me with two challenges:

  1. I had no idea where to take a bleeding animal at 9pm on a tiny Caribbean Island and
  2. my friends were still waiting outside the airport for me.

I had to act fast because the dog might not live much longer and I wanted to do everything I could to help it.

I was 3 minutes from the airport, so I decided to collect my friends first and figure out what to do with the dog as I drove… Along the way I, called around and found a number of a vet on the island.

Arriving at the airport, I hugged Michelle and Schalk hello and welcomed them to the island, and explained that they needed to sit with their luggage on their laps because there was an animal in the back which needed our help.

15 minutes later we were pulling into the drive of the vet’s surgery.

The vet pinched the dog’s paws and to my surprise, she stayed calm and didn’t make a noise. I thought of how brave she was, only to have my illusion shattered when the vet told me that she was probably paralyzed and that’s why she didn’t react.

He told me he would give the dog painkillers for the night and talk to me in the morning. We agreed that if an owner did not claim the dog by the end of the next day, we would put the dog down.

I was all shaken up and it took me a few hours to calm down and relax after all the adrenaline. I felt sad, but peaceful about having done the right thing.

The vet called me the next morning and told me nobody had claimed the dog and it was most likely one of thousands of stray dogs on the island.

After much deliberation we agreed that the best thing for her was for her to die peacefully, rather than live out a life as a stray unable to walk. We chose to put her down. I felt sad, but when I felt into it putting her down was a lot less cruel that letting her struggle through life severely crippled in an environment that does not support stray dogs.

As I walked along the beach this morning, I thought of her and said a little prayer to thank her for the valuable beautiful lesson she taught me. I wished her well in “Doggie Heaven”, imagined her eating loads of big bones and running around freely on good legs and felt a sense of freedom again.

I’ll never forget the sound of that Howling Dog and it will always be reminding me to listen to my conscience, take responsibility for my actions and keep living as the best version of myself that I can.

I hope you choose to take me up on my challenge and take responsibility for something in your life that is eating at you. Be FREE from your howling dogs and experience peace and joy in your life.

The Howling Dog Challenge

Here is a process you can use for cleaning up ANY of your Howling Dogs in your life:

  1. Grab a pen and write a list of all the crap you’re avoiding dealing with in your life.
  2. Next to each item, write down how what you did (or didn’t do) impacted the person you did it to. Don’t stop until you are truly present to how your actions impacted the other person. If no other person was impacted (this is rare), write down how it impacted you.
  3. Have a conversation with the person(s) involved and apologize for what you did. You may want to ask them, “What can I do to make this right for you?”
  4. Now here is the most important step. Do whatever needs to be done to make it right for the other person.
  5. Now, notice how good you feel and how a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. You have taken responsibility for your actions and are free.

Taking responsibility takes courage and I fully expect that you WILL NOT take responsibility for your action you identified above.

I expect your mind is already talking to you telling you why I’m an idiot for suggesting this and why you are better off keeping quiet etc etc blah blah fish paste…

I dare you…

I dare you to take up the Howling Dog Challenge and then leave a comment below this article and let me know what you took responsibility for, what happened and how you feel afterward.

Your friends,

Bruce and Sammy (the name I gave my brave Howling Dog)

P.S. I want to acknowledge Werner Erhard, Brad Blanton and my Howling Dog for inspiring this article.

P.P.S. Take the Howling Dog challenge. It will set you free and allow you to attract BIG things into your life again.

Showing 63 comments
  • Francisco

    Very touching story. It made me in tears but mostly because I had the most amazing dog (Banksy) that was shot dead by a neighbour for invasion of his property. My challenge was to accept his death and not feel revenge as an instinct. I even remember some days after his death I got myself a Surprise Chocolate Kinder Egg and there he was: A white beautiful Husky toy comes from the Egg, that made me blow into tears. Still keep the toy with me. Still keep Banksy’s spirit alive in me, with my mind and the power of imagination.

    About Bruce technique and what it aims to, I recall a final stage that in Mythology (Joseph Campbell’s “the Hero with a Thousand Faces”) is called “Freedom to Live” where the Hero is finally free from what tormented him and can then live and ispire others. Thanks Bruce!

  • Quandary

    hi bruce,
    i just discovered your videos on Youtube a few days ago and have been glued to my laptop reading and listening to your advice, videos, Tedtalk and blog. this particular blog and TEDtalk resonated the most with me. i am currently in turmoil with my husband and struggling with my relationships with many people in my life, including my daughter. i am extremely angry with him and my daughter for many different issues. although, when i am alone with my own thoughts, i also realise intellectually and emotionally that they may NOT be the main problem. i am starting to realise and admit secretly to myself that it just might be some of the dark secrets and bad choices from my past that has been haunting me and making me feel so restless, angry and numb inside. while i agree with everything you said at TEDtalk and this blog, i just don’t know how to come to terms with admitting ALL of my past mistakes i made before him and during our marriage. there is also another really dark secret i am still currently struggling with at this time and can’t seem to stop. i cant sleep, feel tired, completely depressed and my relationships with many people have suffered. i am sure you would tell me to wake up and realise the connection between my health, relationships to others and those secrets. my anger and frustration gets the best of me and i say the most awful things to my husband and do not feel bad until later. he does own some of the blame on this because he has gotten so accustomed to me doing and handling everything that he has taken me for granted. this has been the case since we were married almost 20 years ago. i have allowed it because of my guilt and wanting him to be happy. now, i am completely fed up, angry and frustrated with myself that i can’t find the patience and energy to tolerate his lack of support or actions. so, i lash out at him and my daughter. i know this is killing me and our family but i can’t seem to stop myself. a part of me realises that this is all connected. but, i don’t know how to disconnect the pieces to address them one at a time. i have never been this helpless in my life and never asked anyone for help. but, i feel so bad that i question the purpose of my life and why i should continue to live. please help me…..

  • Laura

    What an effing horrible parable. I can’t believe you not only kept driving instead of stopping immediately, you’re trying to profit from killing a dog. Unscrupulous. Glad you could get over it without too much depth on your part.

    • Bruce Muzik

      I can see how you might interpret it that way Laura.

      The story is an edgy metaphor, I know.

      Is it possible you can take away something of value from reading it? If so, I’d be curious what you learned about yourself…

  • Happy

    Dear Bruce, I read your comment and I felt the sudden urge to send an e-mail to my ex-colleague. We had a bad relation, we didn’t understand each other. He was very cold, I did my very best to make it comfortable for him, it was never enough though. I was beginning to feel very guilty, there was no reason, but I did. At the end (before I quit my job), we had a big fight and I said a few things I’m sorry about now. He did too. I read your story today and I realised that I was being haunted by the whole situation, in fact, my health is not so excellent at the moment. I have already done a home-session of writing it all down and burning it, with some kind of “ritual”, but that was not enough….. SO… I grabbed all of my courage to send him a mail. My heart was racing and I was crying (at first, like you said, I didn’t want to do this at all), but I managed to finish the mail and push the “send” button… The reply came quickly: he was surprised but very happy ! He forgave me and explained his feelings, he has his point of view, which for me is not reality, but o.k., that’s his responsability. I’m very happy with this. Still, I’m also feeling a bit like the howling dog in your story, in fact, the colleague and me are BOTH dogs hit by a car. I “came back” to apologize and did my best to take responsability, but there has been no outspoken apology to ME and so I’m still on the ground, bleeding (like the dog)… so I will have to cope with that……. but the weight of guilt is off my shoulders. Thanks so much for your help, I have also read other posts and they are always very helpfull !

    • Bruce Muzik

      That is so wonderful! Well done.

      Whether or not you get an apology is irrelevant. This work does not require justifying your hurt by needing an apology. It’s requires owning your hurt whether or not you get an apology -then letting go and taking responsibility.

      Well done again. I love hearing stories like this 🙂


      • Happy

        hi Bruce, miracles REALLY happen…. the next day I received an e-mail with his apologies ! (he had forgotten them in his first mail he said). Things feel totally right now, finished ! Thanks again !!!

  • Aida

    This story made me so sad and nearly in tears….

    Thank you so much for making me feel good abt what I am working out & doing now…



  • Marveluz

    ahhh….its a sad story. while reading this, my memories brings back to the past and i really felt sorry for all the person i caused pain and troubles. for all all of them, im so sorry. i really salute you sir for making me realized all my fault. thank you so much.

  • dinesh kumar sood

    Simply great, an enlightening concept of cleansing your innerself, for HE could come and bless you, enabling one to attract the good hereafter! You deserve kuddos to have shared this which remeinds me of reading like one of the revelations in My experiments with Truth by Mahtma Gandhi. May God bless you with unconditional love, My warmest gratitudes!

  • mutundu

    You know Bruce. You are brutally honest in this as in many other of your teachings. However, some people don’t want know or hear how sorry I am since it was one big shouting and name(plus family)slandering match. I finally decided I could forgive myself and not act harshly or in judgementto anyone and basically get on with my life. Can that do for remose to the other party? Thanks though. We need to hear some of this stuff to reclaim our sanity.

  • Faith

    Bruce I have decided I like you, not only do you have an incredible imagination,most refreshing sense of humor,but also you are so very intelligent! (not so hard on the eyes either ,if I may say so!!!!)

  • Ellen

    I just want to comment on Christine’s comment. I have to agree with this, it’s much better to forgive yourself than to bring something up unnecessarily and cause further hurt.

    • Bruce Muzik

      Hi Ellen and Christine

      Rather than respond here, where only a few people will read it, I’ll write an article on this topic.

      Although, I do believe there are times when saying nothing can serve someone, I believe that these are VERY VERY rare. For much of my life I justified why it was OK that I didn’t own up to my own bullshit and lies, only to discover that eventually they came back to haunt me in ways I never would have predicted.

      There is a distinction between cleaning up your crap and dumping on someone. Dumping is never a good idea.

      However, dumping is often inevitable when you’re practicing cleaning up for the first few times. Our ego’s still want to be RIGHT about something, so our communication comes across as dumping and leaves the other person feeling worse.

      If you TRULY own 100% responsibility for having caused harm to another, and you clean up your crap with the intention of leaving the other person feeling respected and loved, you will almost NEVER offend, hurt or traumatize them.

      In my training as a transformational leader and trainer, I have observed hundreds of people clean up their crap and transform their lives and in the process, the lives of the people they wronged.

      I’d like to take this opportunity to share some of my thinking about the topic of pain as it relates to personal responsibility.

      Ellen, from reading your comment, I can see that you are a person who is compassionate and wants not to hurt people. I understand and respect that.

      However, your point of view comes from believing that you can actually hurt someone. This is faulty thinking, becasue in REALITY, the only person you can hurt is you.

      It’s impossible for you to hurt me. Not becasue I’m some kind of tough guy, but becasue it is actually physically impossible for you to hurt – even if you hit me over the head with a hammer!

      If you call me names or hit me with a hammer, it is not you that hurt me, bur me that hurt me.

      Yip, I hurt myself. My brain released chemicals in response to my thoughts about what you said or my feeling as the hammer hit me and as a result, my brain releases chemicals into my body that create an experience of pain. I did it – not you.

      IDEA #2:
      To add to that, who says feeling hurt is a bad thing? It is very rarely (if ever) that transformation happens without pain. Hurt and pain are the fuel for transformation.

      I’ve already said more than I intended to and I’ll continue this thread in a future article or video.

      If you’re reading this, I only ask this of you:

      Read what I’ve said again and consider it logically, rationally and from an unattached viewpoint.

      Ask yourself, “Is it really possible that someone can hurt me, or is that yet another illusion my ego uses to stop me from taking responsibility”

      Are hurt and pain really a bad thing, or are they the fuel for change? Everything changes when you change. Try it.


      P.S. If my opinion does not resonate with you, please exercise your god given right to ignore it. Thanks.

  • Christine

    Hi Bruce,
    I see what you are trying to put across and I think in my opinion that some may benefit from getting rid of their howling dog in a positive manner,but you could also hurt someone else in the process.
    I don’t consider myself a saint or anything like that and I keep trying to think back but I cannot find a howling dog in my life, so if you are right then my mind is lying to me.
    Also if you go and apologize to someone about something like e.g. ” I am sorry I made fun of you because you are overweight and I made your life a misery”, you could actually start the ball rolling again and that person you apologized to might start reliving those bad days. So in order to make yourself feel better you have in fact made someone feel worse and I have seen this happen.So I think we should be very careful about how we get rid of guilt like those.
    Maybe trying to really forgive ourselves might be a better option in cases like these.

    Like I said it’s just my opinion and I don’t know whether you or the readers agree or disagree with me

  • Darlene

    Okay, Bruce. Seems like you’ve set off quite a firestorm here. Making only nominal progress this last month after experiencing a stupendous July and August, I endeavored to conjure up those I’ve wronged. Starting with the man I live with. Guess his reaction isn’t endemic to the story, though I expected more of a response. Anyway, on to the next wronged party who very graciously acknowledged that he, too, has wronged some and appreciated my apology.

    Next is the husband I cheated on. Yeah, that’s something no one likes to admit but so many have that particular bad choice to haunt and humiliate. You’re on the right track though, and the releasing feels darn good. So thanks to that and yes to more!

    P.S. I’m loving the Relaxation For Wealth and have yet to listen to Relaxation for Manifestation. Different VAGKO to work through as my goals have changed, just not the ultimate vision.

    Darlene, I am inspired.

    Well done for cleaning up your crap, especially cheating on your husband. That’s a BIG one to tackle. I remember how hard it was for me to own up to my wife that I had cheated on her and take full responsibility for it.

    Ultimately, it resulted in our divorce, which while painful at the time, resulted in me creating the life of my dreams and her finding a wonderful new partner. We are still great friends today and speak several times a week.

    I salute your courage.

  • debm

    Thanks for sharing..this story was a reminder to be accountable for ones actions. AND I do believe we all have stories in our closet that we are in need of releasing. I acknowledge not making a greater effort to understand my mother better prior to her passing. As an adult I could have done more.
    I will think more about my personal ‘dogs’ and work towards ………..putting them to sleep………….

  • shankar

    Hello Bruce,
    I salute to you, you are a wonderful human being.

  • Brenda

    Hi Bruce, wow just goes to show how life really is our teacher!!! We are taught by our parents to “let sleeping dogs lie” mmmmmm – makes one think how too often we turn a blind eye to our own actions. Thank you for sharing your story with us, this is a really great lesson for all.

  • Andrea Albright

    Holy cow, Bruce. You’ve got me crying in a coffee shop! This article is so powerful. And yes, it scares the s**t out of me. I guess that I’m so blocked in this area that I can’t even THINK of anything or anyone to confess to. I’m sure it will come to me… and I’ll accept your challenge! 🙂

    you ROCK!!!

  • annareddy

    It is a very nice article and thank you.

  • Eddy

    Almost two days have passed and I have sent messages, made phone calls and talked to people who I believe deserve my apologies, even for the smallest reasons to their point of view, and the answers that are coming back are amazingly positive, most are: “man, I didn’t even remember”, “forget about it / water under the bridge”, “so f*cking glad to hear from you”, “Love your comments”, etc.

    There are still some though, that I don’t even have a clue where in the world to find, just like you, for them I will say a prayer visualizing we had a personal conversation and hope I ran into them some day.

    I now know from my personal experience that one can let different distractions (such as alcohol, drugs and even music) play such a big role in this matter, I made this unconsciously and immersed myself in loud music and noise so I could not hear my own howling conscience and it became like a deafening barrier that locked me inside, not letting me go anywhere or do anything and I wondered why some people drive around in their cars with such senseless high stereo volume or go to bars and get wasted, now I kinda know.

    Most important of all in doing this challenge, you get to realize that if you continuously show people how much you care; your self confidence grows as well.

    I really hope we all make of this a unique ripple effect all over the globe, this is a great chance. (It might get around and back at you some day, but don´t expect it!)

    Cheers Muzik!!!

    BRUCE’S RESPONSE: Nice work Eddy. I’m sure that took some courage.

    If you want a truly magical life, keep going until all your crap is cleaned up. Then the even bigger challenge is to keep clearing up the crap as you make it! Being authentic and telling the truth is not an easy way to live, but it’s certainly the happiest way to live.

  • Andrew

    good post.See also the law of karma,as your actions will affect you in your future lives not just this one.

  • Ellen

    Hi Bruce,
    Your story brought tears to my eyes. I did this exercise in my own manner several months ago. I won’t go into great detail but several years ago my children and I were living with this guy that ended up being very verbally and emotionally abusive to my kids and myself. He threatened physical abuse to me and my kids would threaten to kill him if he ever touched me. Anyway, I did something that I was hoping at the time to cause him physical harm previous to my kids and I getting away from him. He actually didn’t even know I did anything because I was still with him for a few months afterwards. My kids and I got away from him over four years ago, my kids are now adults. A few months back I wrote a note to him and told him I wished him peace. Even though I would never want to get back together with him, this act of wishing him peace was such a release to me because I was, for a very long time actually blaming him for my bad situation and realize, it was myself.

  • Maya

    hi Bruce,
    The article was very good. Could you please help me find a way out for my guilty feelings…
    I am an animal lover and a vegan. Every day , unfortunately I see mute animals taken out to slaughter house for butchered and I just watch helplessy as I am unable to do anything about it.
    This really makes me feel guilty,helpless and …..
    I can’t change people’s eating habbits …..
    How do I come out of guilt feeling?

  • colleen deane

    Bruce, I am so glad to read a message about spirit from you. Thus far, I have only noticed a great deal of attention on getting material benefits from life.
    Thank you for challenging me and making me cry in the gym.

  • mickey

    Howling Dog required two lists, what had impacted others and the howling dogs I had ignored that were affecting my life like tolerating lack of confidence without confronting where it came from, how I was using it and what I got out of holding onto it. The first list made the second list a mandatory exercise. Thank you for caring and sharing. mickey ray

  • Mary

    Thank you Bruce. I took responsibility for getting bleach on the sleeve of my daughter’s sweatjacket. It was very special to her. She forgave me. I feel relieved and there is a calm space in my mind where there was anxiety. Again, thank you.

    BRUCE’S RESPONSE: Love it!

  • Crystal

    Howling Dog put me in the centre of a small pocket of emotional wasteland in my heart. When I remembered being abused by a family doctor – twenty years on – and told my family about it, I was revving on high gear and unprepared for their questions, their guilt, their avoidance, their derision, their letting go of me because this was too much for them. I had thought that this memory, this missing puzzle piece, would put absolutely everything else they had hated about me into perspective. It felt like redemption for me, but it wasnt taken that way by them.
    When this was all playing out, they asked me what he actually did to me. Instead of saying ‘I’m not entirely sure” I told them the pictures that came into my head. These are not true. Since that day, visiting that memory has been awful, since I couldnt understand why I reacted that way, and seemed to deny something so deep in me by giving them something they could not accept. This has been a howling dog for me, but Bruce, guess what? I did your exercise and realised that the guilt was the normal guilt women feel when they have been abused, and that the cut, or separation that happened on that day ended a very unhealthy dynamic between me and my family. I was gearing up to face myself on this and realised I would probably have to tell them that the pictures were wrong, but I realised, they freed all of us. Isn’t that funny? Blessed be, Crystal

    BRUCE’S RESPONSE: Crystal – thanks for sharing this. I think that you may have done the very thing I spoke of in my article… i.e. you let your mind talk you out of taking responsibility.

    Yes, the pictures may have freed you, but that still doesn’t change the fact that you lied and then covered it up. Lying is neither here nor there for me… That’s just what humans do… The only thing I am interested in is that you have complete freedom and peace of mind. If you now feel that way, then your Howling Dog challenge is complete. If not, I recommend that you complete it by telling the truth to your family.

    I’ve told the truth about awful things I had done my life and each time I did, if freed me of a weight on my shoulders I wasn’t even aware I was carrying.

    Be courageous


  • Dorothy Thompson

    On behalf of Sammy, let me say “Thank You, Bruce, for going above and beyond. YOU are my hero.”

    What a fantastic reaction on your part. Thank you for not letting the poor little girl lying on the side of the road to die an agonizing death. BIG hugs for you.

    Love and Angel Blessings,
    Dorothy T. aka DottieCat

  • Karen

    WOW the test is hard to do. The most difficult thing is to apologise. I am writing all the crap n stuff i should be doing but arent and, am finding I have a lot of explaining to do. Will let you know how i get on. Thankyou Bruce for bringing this to my attention.
    Love Karen

  • Otter

    Most of the things I have done have impacted me alone. However, saying that, there was a situation where I was the other woman in a relationship in a one night mistake, and I feel truly bad for this. I honestly feel that I could apologize for this, but she is unaware that it occurred and I know it would split apart a family. I don’t know what to do, because I feel by apologizing to her and making her aware, that I would be committing a larger atrocity. I don’t feel it’s fair to ruin HER life over my mistake. I feel that I need to deal with this on order to move forward, but need to do it in a way that doesn’t hurt her unnecessarily.

  • Laurence

    Approx 2 yrs ago I went through a difficult time with a person close to me & Alcohol. It almost did me in. My good friend (then my Therapist) taught me many things and helped me get through this a better stronger person. I began to see life as it truly is. One of the things ahe stressed and I understood and followed was “Total Forgiveness” for others (who I felt had wronged me) and for Myself! I know that Karma is real, but I read a story about the “Two Monks” in E. Tolle’s “A New Earth” and it was like a light came on. You cannot carry the past around with you forever, so that day I chose to drop the past. We are not our mistakes or short-comings. They are stepping stones for our journey to where we are going. They teach us important lessons to assist us in achieving our goals. Thank you for your consideration. I now live every day in appreciation, peace, and joy L.

  • Susan

    Dear Bruce Thank you for your extremely generous offer of your products for free. I already am rewarded by taking action following your story. I look forward to all your lessons and try to follow them as clearly as possible. Best regards. Susan

  • Chyna

    I was acting like a jealous child and there were two people that bore the brunt of this more than anyone else. I had been reading about taking responsibility so given an opportunity to have them both in the same place I went to each, apologised and told them I loved them and would do all I could to help them in any way I could to make up for what I had done. You’re so right, even though I wasnt forgiven I felt I had done all I could and suddenly felt free as if a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders and my heart. Thankyou

  • Jenn


    I am so grateful that you shared this article. I have worked on this process before, but am feeling a little dragged down, so will take the challange again. I do feel that the hardest person to deal with is yourself, forgiving yourself for the things you have or havent done. I plan to share this article with friends, thanks for sharing.

  • Sandy

    Bruce I wish to thank you for the enlighten way in which you inspire us! Today I took on your dare, to take up the Howling Dog Challenge! It was amazing to listen and really try to understand what the other person had felt and experienced, and how they allowed me to have an opportunity to share and apologize, the shift in the conversation was incredible for us both, clearing the ‘air’ allowing that situation to be released, it allowed us both to move forward in a way that would not have been possible before.

    With much appreciation from the bottom of my heart – Thanks a million you inspire soul!

    My Challenge to you all, is to continue to dare yourself to doing something new everyday, and to continue to take responsibility for your actions which does take a huge amount of courage. Live today as if it where your last chance to make it right! Search for the Joy in life, Search for it as you would for hidden treasure. Love and Laugh! 🙂

  • Louie Apsokardu

    You are so cool Bruce! Thank you.. You are highly favored and truly blessed. The best in the west! I truly appreciate you, keep it flowing. All my best to you.. louie

  • Eduardo

    Enough to read your mail to feel alleviated. But..this means I must confess to my wife I had an intimate affair 15 years ago, accepting following divorce?

  • Ramesh Purguss

    Bruce it’s a great lesson to learn,but unfortunately we are not brave enough to accept our fault.Anyway one question about Law of Atraction, I have done a lot with sincerity but still nothing.I wish to get your view & help so as to be able to manifest.

  • lubna

    I feel somewhat disgusted that the story of the howling dog has been used to point out what our responsibilities are!

  • Shurnell

    Brilliant Bruce! You continue to challenge and inspire me to do the right thing – no matter how absolutely terrifying it may be. Thank you for your sharing and caring – and continue to let your light shine.

  • Richard

    Yes great story this is true but may I say when other people do things to you destructively can also impact on your life especally when you are a child that pain can stay with you for life and stop you from moving forward as well just a thought its a 2 way flow . What was done to you and what what you have done to others . Not just what you have done wrong to others ….

  • Claire Elliott

    I wanted to say thanks for the post Bruce – I ‘got it’ and am making a list of all my ‘Howling Dogs’.

    I also wanted to congratulate Diana for her amazing story, her courage in facing what she had done and dealing with it now. I was really moved to read her story as mine is extremely similiar. Luckily I have been able to deal with my former husband on an ongoing basis and as we share our son, I’m glad that he is still in my life as a friend and has forgiven me.

    To Jane Doe who can’t find the person in her ‘Howling Dog’ I would say write the person a letter and then symbolically burn it and let the guilt go. You have done your best to find her girl so forgive yourself now!

  • Kay

    hey Bruce,

    I read your letter with interest, having been in similar predicaments on many occasions. Not having run over dogs but the fibs and ran over a squirrel once. It was very definately dead and squashed having run directly into the path of my car with no time to slow down let alone stop. Immediately sent a prayer and asked for forgiveness and after 30 minutes or so felt OK.
    Have however on many occasions been fortunate enough to be going slowly enough to slow down and avoid hitting animals etc.
    regarding the fibs sometimes have owned up to the person involved and sometimes just owned up to myself and asked for forgiveness in the abstract. Also important to forgive oneself.
    However, it is not always what we do. sometimes, things are done to us, or we hear of things that are being done to others. We may want to interfere, but the dilemma is that if we do. We may in turn be breaking a persons trust in confiding to us.
    Sometimes we need to trust that so long as our motive and intentions are good. Life, god, the universe etc. depending on your perspective will take care of it in good time.
    Also honesty though required can in itself cause the other pain in the short term as they move towards their understanding and clarity within their own predicament.
    This is indeed a complex issue with so much more to it. your email is excellent for bringing it to the fore.

  • leonie ellis

    It takes courage to write about this ordeal and possibily there was some healing in the sharing. What ever people have written here will not be any more horrifying or soothing than your own thoughts. It appears that you are addressing what Debbie Ford calls the Shadow aspect of ourselves. If you have an opportunity or can find the DVD I would urge you to get it its called the The Shadow Effect:
    Its really life changing and can definately make us whole!

  • karen

    I appreciate taht the howling dog is a good metaphor for our lives but I also think we are here to remove and prevent any suffering we can what ever the species. The world is full of suffering but each of us individually can make an effort to add love and prevent suffering when ever we can, in what ever small way. All of us reading this, please dont EVER leave anything on the side of the road to suffer, feel pain and fear, in reality or metaphorically. I think we woudl then make the world an even better place. Love and peace to you all. Karen

  • Teresa van der Merwe

    Not everyone in life has compassion or a love for dogs. I am a great animal lover, it would have been a natural reaction for me to swerve too. Thank you for not leaving the dog on the side of the road and taking care of him. You are right about the “HOWLING DOG” I think you have definitely given us all something to think about today!

  • Debbie

    That is the sadest story i have read in a long time, i dont find it inspiring at all. Why put the dog down, couldnt you have kept Sammy? I feel like crying!

  • Kathleen Halton

    My father swerved to avoid hitting an animal, when my mother was 6 months pregnant with me. He was paralysed from the neck down and lived for another 14 years unable to move anything but his facial muscles. He never complained, but he would have prefered to have gone to his next life. My advice from him was never to swerve and if the animal is badly damaged, or paralysed, make the decision that is best for the animal. Sometimes it takes more compassion to put an animal down.

  • Kathleen Halton

    Dear Bruce

    I read your story and my body went cold and tears poured. I had the exact same experience 3 years ago outside a township late at night. I slowed down, but did not stop. My thoughts were the same as yours and I carried on. It haunts me to this day …. everyday.

  • Elize

    Hi Bruce. Thank you for sharing your story/experience with us! It is always great to receive a reminder of what you know needs to be done, and somehow “forgotten”….. and have fallen behind in keeping the joy in your life!
    I personally would not have tried to save the dog, as keeping an animal alive that cannot run and have fun “fetching” hey man…………how cruel is that!!!!

  • Mohan Lal

    very nice article which help everybody to washout the killing virus of guilty in their mind (most of the people have a minimum of one experience of a Howling Dog). Thanks

  • Joanne

    Hi Bruce
    What a great story – painful but awesome especially being a doggy lover myself. It is so true and somehow for some
    people saying “sorry” is so difficult.
    I would have tried to save Sammy as miracles do happen and animals as do humans, respond to love. Again life is about lessons – thank you! Take care

  • Diana

    Hi Bruce,

    I wanted to offer support to what you are suggesting. I completely understand your intention and the enormous weight that is lifted from us when we are willing to acknowledge the part we play in detrimentally affecting the lives of others; how ultimately we are always, always detrimentally affecting ourselves at least as much, though we may not know it immediately.

    Though the following is not something that just occurred, I will share my ugliest story. Married 17 years to a good man, I was not terribly happy for oh so many reasons. Perhaps I married for the wrong reasons, whatever that means!

    Cutting to the chase: I walked out on him. Left him for someone else. Old story, to be sure, but the part that is really ugly is that at the time, I honestly had no conscience about it. I was so absorbed in the excitement of someone new and “wonderful” (not at all, as it turned out, of course), so thrilled to feel desireable, that I never lost a second’s sleep over it. Oh, I said all the appropriate things, appeared anguished and conflicted, but inside I felt nothing. And THAT horrified me. I felt very detached and unemotional, disconnected not only from my own feelings, but also, it seemed, from everyone else. It was very isolating, and obviously not something I could share with anyone and expect anything less than even greater loathing and disgust from family and friends. In other words, not only was I an unfaithful, hurtful wife, but I was also one who apparently had no conscience about it!

    Some time afterwards, I was sitting at the kitchen table in my solitary apartment, listening to music and writing, and a song came on. It was “Unbreak My Heart”, a nice enough song, but not one that had ever held any particular significance for me. For some reason, I was atuned to the lyrics that day, and as I listened, a flood of images came over me of my husband, crying, wanting to work things out, trying to understand. I thought about the sleepless nights he must have had, the feeling in his gut, the pain of such unimaginable deception. My floodgates finally opened. Completely unexpectedly.

    In those moments you might say I found my humanity. It was as if the human being inside me finally emerged and FELT.

    I called him and asked if I could stop by. He said I could. So I went and I told him essentially all the things I have just written here, and much more. I acknowledged the incredible ordeal I had put him through, the pain, the damage. I didnt expect forgiveness or anything. It wasn’t the point. The point was that while I couldnt undo one awful moment of what I had done, I could acknowledge it with brutal honesty because brutal honesty was the only way my ex-husband would ever be able to see that I really did get it; that I really did fully understand what I had done. The words needed to be spoken.

    It was not that difficult. It was a relief. It was good to feel like a caring person who could take responsibility for what she had done. And it did him good to hear it. I saw a tightness in his jaw soften a bit, and something “settle” in him. As if there’d been an invisible breath being held that was finally able to be let out.

    We are at peace with each other now. Under any circumstances, that is always a good outcome.

    Appreciate your story. Thank you.

  • Jane Doe

    What if you can’t find the person?

    When I was in 4th grade, we had a new girl in class. On the first day of school, we became friends.

    Pretty soon, though, everyone was making fun of her, including me. It went on for the whole year.

    I’ve been ashamed of that behavior ever since but have never been able to find her. I’ve looked on Facebook and at the High School we would have graduated from and Googled her and anything else I could think of.

    I would so love to find her and apologize and make it right in whatever way I can.

    Any ideas?

  • Susan

    Dear Bruce. Ok. so I sent an email to a friend of mine who has been very angry with me because he lent me some money and I haven’t been far enough along in the project to pay him back even tho I have kept him appraised of the situation and he is very wealthy , he is still very angry. I decided to address this by telling him what a wonderful person he is and that I appreciate his support and generosity. Since it is Canadian Thanksgiving, I let him know that it was a reminder to me of all that he had done for me. Now, I have told him this before, but this time I did it with respect and caring in my heart instead of back at you to his anger. the best part is, It doesn’t matter if he accepts it or not, I did not back away or make excuses. He may feel like running me over with his truck (lexus) but its ok. I addressed it. Thanks a million for sharing a painful story. It sure will jog everybody. It did me. Keep up the fantastic effort. It is soooo appreciated. Susan

    Well done Susan. You are the first person to have the courage to take on the Howling Dog Challenge. As a reward for taking action, I’d like to give you ALL of my products free of charge. Well done. Please email my office from the same address as you posted this comment with, so my assistant can identify you.

    Remember, true responsibility is finding yourself 100% at the source of what happened and NEVER blaming the other person of outside circumstance. When you can do that authentically, you have true power.

    Anyone else reading this, please use Susan as an inspiration to take on your Howling Dog challenge and then report back here…

  • Bruce Muzik

    Come on Ruth! You can do it. I want to hear what happens, so please keep me posted…


    Thank you Bruce.

    I feel very inspired by this article.

    Now to pluck up courage and follow through!

  • Esrar

    Sorry this might sound pathetic but there is also a show called “My name is Earl”

    Well done Bruce, it does make a lot of sense!

  • ChristiaanH

    A very moving blogpost I must say and a great point you make here.
    Indeed we do alot of things to others we’d rather forget (and do our very best to do so) but somehow things always come haunting back don’t they.

    I can easily imagine the hauntings of a hit and run dog (with the howls for ever in your mind) being far worse than the images you got from going back, handling the dog and the vet bill.

    If only all Howling Dogs were so obvious.

    Somehow I feel the dog got lucky, being on that road would have made him a roadkill victim. I don’t think he could have had a better person to take care of him afterwards. (Almost everybody else would have driven on)

  • Nan

    It is so hard to know that something we have done causes so much pain for another person or living thing. You have earned even more of my respect for what you did to make up for what happened.

    Your article is right on! If everyone approached situations like you did, there would be far less hurt in the world…on both sides of the injury.

  • abe

    you are mature person congrat

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