Beau the DogPublished August 23, 2010
From time to time, I run across folks who could care less about animals. I suspect these people may be incapable or unwilling to comprehend the depth of feeling we share with our pets or the strong bonds that can develop between an animal and their human companions.
Some of them are prone to consider us rather "odd" and even frivolous with the time we share with our furry friends. They think we are "wasting" our hard-earned money by taking care of our pets. Some of them can even become quite derisive toward "pet people" and often speak unkindly to those of us who consider our companions as an integral part of the family.
On the other hand, I think that those of us who openly and unabashedly experience love for animals are specially blessed with a magnificent gift. Of course it is one that we should never take lightly or for granted. There is something so exceptional about the unconditional love that our pets bestow upon us that it rivals no other relationship, and I am often humbled in its presence. Our pets really are the most remarkable teachers when it comes to learning the fine art of love and forgiveness.
However, the joy we receive from sharing our hearts with our pets is accompanied hand in hand with an inevitable sorrow. At precisely the moment we open to love, we open to loss as well.
But the greatest loss is to never experience the pleasure and delight of a gentle kitty's paw pat our cheek or a sloppy doggy kiss on the nose, or even the thrill a horse owner experiences when his beloved equine friend gallops toward them whinnying with excitement just to say "hello". I am sure that my fellow animal lovers would agree that they wouldn't want to miss any of these small and touching signs of affection for all the money in the world.
What inspired me to write about the amazing relationships we share with animals was an email I received the other day from a dear friend. All It contained was a link to a video of a heart-touching moment in a 1981 interview with Jimmy Stewart on a Johnny Carson late night television show. During the interview, Jimmy Stewart shared a poem he wrote about Beau, his dog, which magnificently illustrates the full range of feelings which all animal lovers will experience.
Take a moment to watch the video uploaded to YouTube by classictvhistory. I am certain that you will be moved deeply.
Share your thoughts about human-animal relationships by leaving a comment.
Image Source: Flickr user dakotaduff