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Thursday, January 2, 2014

For the Love of Animals

Our Percy

The other day we started to watch The Family—a movie about a mobster family who’s been put into a witness protection program. In one of the opening scenes the family is seen traveling along in the car with their German Shepherd. My son commented, “I hope nothing happens to the dog.” We all concurred. (Well, most of us did—not sure if Doug voiced an opinion.) Sure, I would've felt bad if any of the people got gunned down—and quite a few did. But I was most nervous about the pup. (Those movie writers...ingenious with pet scenery!)

Which brings me to my next, sad (non-fictional) story. I came home the other day and asked Doug how his day was. He said he found one of his cows dead in the creek. No! I exclaimed. A mommy? He nodded. But how? Must’ve been pushed in, lost her footing, he stated solemnly. A horrible death. Will her calf be alright,I asked. Doug said so, but I couldn’t help but feel sad for a cute little cow looking for his mother. Tears emerged. Doug said my daughter had the same reaction. No, I didn’t even know the cow. And I eat cows. But I can hardly stand to think of any creature suffering.

I've decided every day should be spent with just a tiny does of animal musings. It brings about a certain joy that humans can't replicate.

Here are some examples: 

  • Every morning I pass a beautiful horse on the way to work. It takes me less than five seconds to enjoy one of the most noble creations on earth. Sometimes I pass by and forget to look at the chestnut equine and my heart feels a little sad. 
  • Our wiry dog has gotten into the habit of snuggling up with Cole every morning after we let him in. Even though he’s probably creating a huge hairball mess on my son’s bed, it’s the most heartwarming scene you could imagine—seeing the mutt sidled up to a skinny twelve-year old boy with the hair of Medusa. Precious.
  • Even the self-absorbed cat gives us quite a few chuckles as it plans guerrilla attacks on a Terrier who could bite its head off in one taking. Oh the joys of violent animal outbursts.
Anyway, when Doug and I began our family, we definitely weren't on the same page when it came to pets. He absolutely said, "No pets in the house." That lasted about six months. Pretty soon a kitten showed up. Then there was a dog. Now we're on our second dog...and we've had several cats come and go. But I can't imagine our household without a little animal animosity. Because even when there is some "human" tension in the air, animals always find a magical way to dissolve it.