The following is a guest post written by ThatOne, a 3-year-old English Bulldog and AKC certified Canine Good Citizen. He is the original Champion Fur Children’s Literacy, visiting schools promoting literacy, and an active pet therapy dog with a major health care system in California. You can read more about ThatOne and his work on his blog, ThatOne | EBD at http://that1ebd.Wordpress.com
“Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, the glory in the flowers, we will grieve not– rather find strength in what remains behind.” –Wilma Dean | Splendor In The Grass
Death is a part of life.
People get that. At least in their heads, they all know that. But the mind and the heart are rarely in harmony when death takes a holiday in their individual life’s experience. That truth is no more evident than when they lose a beloved furriend.
The relationship between animals and their People in many instances is deeper and more profound than to another Person, and every bully understands why. Animals allow People the freedom to be their best selves. They allow them to project the Person they’d truly like to be, the Person they most want others to see them as; the Person they believe they genuinely are inside. They can only really experience that level of emotional honesty and safety with us!
See, they don’t always get to be totally, completely, purely themselves. Among People and in society, your Mom or Dad, well, they have to perform roles. In order to keep peace, maintain harmony or to avoid hurting another Person’s feelings unnecessarily, they are often compelled to conform to unwritten rules of conduct that force them to disguise their true feelings and restrain an impulse.
Professionally they may find themselves in positions where they have to hide what they really think and feel altogether. Only in the privacy of our their own homes can they be completely free to Be. With you and me!
And with their animals they’re never alone. They are free to be, all day, every day. They can kiss and be kissed on demand. They can hug and be loved, loving and lovable all without that nasty fear of rejection, and with no worries of a sudden emotionally abandonment.
Try walking up to a Person and enveloping them in a spontaneous hug just because you feel like it. What’s more, many People are emotionally ill equipped for that level of proximity from anyone, let alone a perfect stranger. Many more People cannot be That spontaneous even with a spouse, a child or parent.
They’re lucky if they have one dear friend! Only their dog, or cat, or horse, or sheep will always allow them to be that emotionally vulnerable– That emotionally honest; That uninhibited, unreserved and unrestrained. That fearless. It just feels good to them to be in a constant state of giving. It’s joy caring less about themselves, and more about this bundle of fur on four paws outside themselves. They discover there really is more joy in giving than there is in receiving.
When an anipal or furriend passes, they’re not just mourning the loss of a beloved pet. They are mourning the loss of that unique opportunity to live, at least temporarily, every day in the state– of Being their best selves. Loving pets publicly validates a private desire to love. Really love.
Hey! People! Have you hugged your pet today?
I am not in love
But I’m open to persuasion
With a Friend I can smile
But with a lover I can really laugh.. really laugh.. really laugh
I can really move.. really move.. really move
Now if I could feel the sun in my eyes and the rain on my face
Why can’t I
– Joan Amatrading | Love and Affection | 1979