I have a special place in my heart for most animals. I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not have pets except for those times in between the death on one and the arrival of another. When you combine household pets with being raised on a farm, animals are just a part of normal life for me.
I’ve always been primarily a dog person even though one of my earliest memories is the accidental, playful bite that resulted in a scar to this day on my wrist. Right or wrong, I just don’t feel quite complete without a dog to love and to love me.
This was magnified during my recent trip away from home for seven nights. When I returned, my Lab/Border Collie mix Callie would have nothing of me sleeping in my bed, especially with a storm rumbling and lighting up the sky during the night. Eventually I gave up sleeping in bed and went downstairs with her to sleep on the couch where she nestled up close between me and the back of the couch, sharing my pillow. Saturday evening during another storm she wouldn’t leave my lap and was quite unsettled until I wrapped her in a blanket. She fell fast asleep against me until I had to get up later.
It’s good to bring up children with a love and respect for animals of all types. Through animals we learn about taking care of others, the incredible variety and magnificence of the creation we all enjoy, and what being on the receiving end of unconditional loves looks and feels like.
I’ve had many pets in my years, but I can say I haven’t had a relationship with a dog quite like I do with Callie. She is my running/walking buddy. We love being together and, I think, understand each other completely.
When we have a connection with other species, we seem to be in touch with a simpler time long ago as it was meant to be and as it will one day be again.
If you’re an animal lover like me, you know what I mean with leap year lesson #78 – Relationships with animals are special.