All my life I have loved animals. To me, they are easier to get along with then my own species. Not a single animal I have ever met has mistreated me.
I have the same dog that wandered into the road on my thirteenth birthday and was told she needed to be put to sleep or amputated. I still have the kittens that I found on the beach fending off deer. My second dog still kisses me every day when I get home even though he is dying. My cat who goes missing for months on end still manages to come home on the holidays. My first childhood pet was my babysitter until the moment I woke up and she had a new home. My Grandfather’s dog recently died after sixteen long years of keeping my lonely Grandma company after my Grandfather suddenly passed away, helping her find an out until someone else came along to be with her. My sister had to watch as a dog was unjustly euthanized at the no-kill shelter. My aunt who has seizures is watched over by a small mop named Joey and several cats, keeping her safe from herself and bears. My friend’s father is the meanest and roughest of people unless his faithful healer sits with him.
What I really want to say, why writing this is important to me is because not enough people care. I want someone to read this and say “You know what, animals are some of the purest most innocent things we have. So I should try to help them in the same ways they help thousands of people each day. Without being asked, without being told.”
I have learned the obvious from my pets that people, despite their best efforts, couldn’t teach me. People always seem to say be patient and then snap at their child for speaking in the middle of an “adult” conversation. So I have learned to be strong and not give up. To be there for someone in need, whether it’s a simple hug to a parent or smile to a stranger. Fashion changes but, love doesn’t, so what’s more important in the end? Faith is something we find and should hold onto. Acceptance not just of a person’s character but acceptance of one’s limits and how far one can push them. Acceptance of myself. Being patient with something or someone because until the moment they came into your life you don’t know what’s happened to them or what they are going through. A new episode of Bones can re-run but, life is right now. Loyalty is not just an action but a good way to give something to someone when times are tough. Fear is fear and being scared gets you nowhere. Justice may not always win and the bad guys can get away but, learn from that and try to change the balance back in favor of equality and rightness. Violence teaches nothing except how to be violent. I am the only one holding me back. Sharing only makes the world a better place and sharing at the dinner table only helps you cut back on the calories. They have all taught me that love, as corny as this sounds, is a beautiful and healing intangible force that you have to let into your life in order to live.
So I thank any animal who ever wagged their tail at me when I rubbed their ears and any who may have given me the cold shoulder when I was selfish. It’s only taught me to become me.
P.S. Spray and neuter your pets!