This I believe…
We learn from animals how to be better people.
My young rottweiler eased my depression one late spring evening. She didn’t even know she did it—or did she? When I buried my face in her big body and sobbed out my loneliness, she let me. Her grace startled me and then I was so amazed by her comfort – it eased me. I was still lonely, but I felt better. Years later, I was still the one hugging her as she died. Morning Glory gave me so many gifts.. did I give her as many? She taught me when someone is sad let them cry on you and hug you and be graceful about it.
Our old tabby cat is so gracefully humble. Due to a nerve problem from a tail injury he can’t control his bowels. He seems to understand why he can’t roam freely in the house and when he is inside he knows to stay only in certain cleanable places. On cold rainy days like today when he asks to come in, he goes to the heat vent by the kitchen sink. Alex is curled now into a soft ball- toes by his nose. His pure content with this simple thing humbles me. Animals appreciate any small gift. Pride is not an issue nor should it be.
Everyone has had a moment when they vent angrily on a loved one due to the day’s pressures — and then regret it. A person would delete you from an e-address book, refuse to text you and maybe even stop talking to you for a month. Your pet is ready to be your friend again as soon as you let him- before, even. What a gift to give someone– another chance -right away -without any grudges or contingencies.
On my way to work I drive by horses and cows persevering during the most oppressive summer days and the most frigid winter ones. They are stoic, accepting—maybe just surviving. Working together or alone they position themselves so that the elements are least annoying and they DEAL with it. There is no blame cast off on others (that I know of); they just do what they need to do and they deal with it.
As I age and face all the indignities and frustrations coming my way, I will treasure what animals have taught me: the value of humility, of a hug, of simple pleasures, of forgiveness and the strength to just “deal with it.”