From Omega to Alpha
In a pack there is only one role that is chosen: The Omega. Omegas must choose their role because it is the most difficult role in the pack. They act as a punching bag, allowing every other pack member to take out their frustrations on the Omega’s body without fear of repercussions. They willingly submit to all the unfair punishment that may come their way for the stability of the group. They are never rewarded, they are never appreciated, and they are never acknowledged. The grueling nature of the role is why it MUST be chosen, for any other dog forced into such a position would not be able to take it.
There are never any vacancies in a pack. If there are not enough dogs to take up every role, then some dogs may take up more than one position. If there are a large number of dogs in the pack, several dogs may take up the same role. However, there is always one Alpha Male and one Alpha Female. Through a natural hormonal suppression, the Alpha Male and Alpha Female are the only two in the entire pack that are physically able to mate as to keep the puppies produced of the highest caliber possible. In the case that an Alpha can no longer preform as Alpha, whether that be injury, death, or something else, another dog must always rise to take an Alpha’s place.
An Omega, all the way down at the bottom of the pack’s order, is often a place taken by a strong female. The Omegas role requires so much strength and resilience that should a vacancy in the Alpha Female role occur, it is more often than not the Omega that rises all the way up to take her place.
Most people in this world have felt like an Omega at least once. It’s a horrible feeling to have what feels like the world’s sins taken out on you. Someone with PTSD often feels like they live as an Omega. A situation that was traumatizing and victimizing stays with a person with PTSD long after the traumatic situation is over. But an Omega never stays an Omega for long.
Especially if one is blessed with a service dog, one cannot stay the Omega. A service dog can’t navigate the world and preform his/her job without an Alpha as his/her guide. The Alpha provides protection, vigilance and can be trusted to put her pack members first. Bringing a service dog into a human’s world and expecting the dog be its own Alpha will not do, and the dog will not be able to perform the job properly. Thankfully for the people with PTSD receiving service dogs, the strength is takes to rise to Alpha is already in them. Sometimes it takes another pack member willing to follow to bring it out.
Luckily for us and for dogs, pack order is fluid. Though we may have been in a certain role for our whole lives doesn’t mean that we need to stay there. We, as humans, are fluid as well. We can change, grow, and rise through the ranks of a pack. Especially if we have suffered we can ascend all the way to the top. A strength like an Omega’s is unsurpassable, and in our lowest moments it may help us to know that the deepest suffering prepares us for our place as Alpha.