And Puppydog Tails
Do you have an animal in your life? I grew up with dogs as many of you did, I’m sure. There were puppies in our house when my sister and I were pups. They learned and grew along with us and while we tried to teach them tricks, they taught us many more important things we needed to learn. They taught us what happens if you leave your toys scattered around the house instead of putting them away, or better yet, burying them in the backyard; and how, if you sit quietly enough and don’t move, the adults will forget you’re there and leave the cookie batter unattended; and how you can communicate love and all those complicated feelings without any words at all. When my children were growing up, we had cats, a long purring stream of them, and I am certain that those felines gave my kids lessons about connectedness I could never teach them. All of us learned how love and grief so often come packaged together, and how the first helps us survive the second. Today I live with Sunny, a 2-year-old poodle who makes me smile multiple times a day. As Sunny waited with wagging eagerness for me to put down his food bowl this morning, I was flooded with gratitude for the marvelous ways in which animals comfort us and teach us. There is no doubt that he is overjoyed by this forced home stay. He is getting walked more regularly than ever and there is always a free hand available to pet him. And this human, the one attached to those available hands, is awfully thankful for the ever-ready, comforting warmth of his fur.