“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
~ Anatole France
I have always adored dogs, in an obsessive kind of way. When I was I child, I wanted to be a dog. I would put a bowl on the ground and pretend to lick water out of it.
My relatives seem to enjoy reminiscing about this. “Remember when you were little and used to crawl around on you hands and knees and bark? Ha ha ha ha.”
The other little girls in the neighborhood, for reasons I could never understand, loved to play “house.” They would fight over who was going to be the mommy or the daughter. I wanted to be the dog. No one ever argued with that.
Dolls seemed kind of creepy to me, so my main childhood toys were stuffed animals and a few Tonka Trucks. Pee Wee, the tattered creature below, was my favorite.
Perhaps you’re wondering why a grown woman is holding on to her stuffed animals. This little guy, along with my living dogs, cats, hamsters, and rats, were my world growing up. They helped me to survive a complicated childhood. As an intensely shy, introverted kid, I always felt somewhat baffled with human behavior and a consequential awkwardness when I participated in social events.
I feel safe with dogs. I trust them, and they usually trust me. We have an understanding. We don’t lie to each other, or abandon. We don’t play silly head games (well, I might accidentally because I’m human). We give one another Big Love.* *
Note – not the same kind of Big Love like in the HBO series.
This pure love also holds true for cats. My I-am-not-a-cat-person husband was less than thrilled when I came home with two tiny kittens eight months ago. Since then, Pumpkin and Scout have pounced, kneaded, and purred their way into his heart.
My closest human friends share the same passion for their pups. We enjoy swapping funny stories and pondering the inner landscape of the canine psyche, hence the birth of this doggy-blog.
Life with animals is a lesson in love.