Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Gift

Readers of this blog have shared stories and memories of their own pets, plus their thoughts and concerns for the other animals around them. I think it's safe to say we all have a healthy respect and love for our furry friends. But there are many who consider an animal something to be conquered, abused and/or abandoned.

Why the difference? Is it a case of nature versus nurture? Are some of us born with an innate ability to open our hearts to animals, while others lack that special gene? Were we taught to care about them when others may have skipped that particular class? Perhaps a bit of both.

When I was a kid, we had a dog named Tammy, a friendly and affectionate Samoyed. My sister and I were there for the birth of her two litters of fluffy, white puppies, and given the responsibility to care for them. It was a wonderful experience. My parents gave us the tools to look after the puppies, and showed us how to use them. The love just came naturally.

My dad's fondness for wildlife is, amongst family and friends, quite renowned. Along with Christmas lights, my parents' home is strung with bird feeders. Screened trays are set out for the squirrels, and a heated bath welcomes the frost-nipped birds. About ten years ago, my mom saved a six week old white kitten she found in a parking lot. Today, that cat shares my parent's home and their love.

I believe I've passed on to my daughter the lessons my parents taught me. She cares about animals, and is as dismayed by any cruelty just as much as I am. Or perhaps she was born with that extra love in her heart. Whichever, it doesn't matter. Respect for animals is a gift--the kind of gift that keeps on giving.

Thanks to all for sharing your own stories of beloved pets. I look forward to reading more of them in the New Year.

10 comments:

jan said...

It is disheartening to read about cruelty to animals. But I just have to feel sorry for those who do not have that wonderful part of life in their hearts.

Have a great Christmas from the Poodles, the dogs and the humans

Lynn Sinclair said...

Thank you, Jan. Happy holidays to all the species in your home.

MOM said...

What A wonderful read for your father and I. It is so full of Memories.

Lynn Sinclair said...

Glad you enjoyed Mom and Dad. It's always fun to take a walk on Memory Lane.

Georgie said...

If you think about it, (and you certainly won't have to think about it for very long) you might just realize that animals are a far nicer species than people.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Do they lie?

2. Do they cheat or swindle? (Okay, maybe once in a while, but just to get their favorite treat or snack from the counter or cupboard.)

3. Do they steal? (Well, okay...here again, maybe just to get their favorite snack from that sack of groceries you just dragged in.)

4. Outside of a natural "protective" instinct, are they basically mean-spirited, bigoted, or hateful toward others?

Clearly, when we speak of "genetics," I'd say that animals bear the gift of NOT being born with many of the nasty genes that humans possess -- which can only be viewed as a good thing.

Happy Holidays, one and all.

Lynn Sinclair said...

You're right, Georgie. Animals could teach us all a few good lessons.

Happy holidays to you too!

devonellington said...

I prefer animals to people most of the time.

Also, I think those who are cruel or even dislike animals -- well, it says a lot about them as people. In my experience, it works much better not to let people who "don't like" animals into my life, because then there's something in their core that won't work well with me. They can't be trusted, in my experience.

Not that every animal lover is a complete angel, but you can tell a lot about someone by how they handle both pets and children.

Lynn Sinclair said...

Devon, I agree. How someone treats animals is a great barometer for revealing the person inside.

Raggedy Angst said...

I've so loved discovering this blog. It gives me such hope to read about and from people who are as crazy about critters as I am. Humans can be awfully unkind; it's good to be reminded that the goods still outnumber the bads! All the best to all of you and your furry, feathered and finned friends.

Lynn Sinclair said...

And I'm so glad you've discovered this blog too, Angst. All the best to you and your furry friends (NT included).