Learning about love from our petsMy husband and I travel a lot these days, and I would love it if not for having to leave my fur babies behind. It's hard to imagine how much you can miss your babies when you're on the road for weeks at a time. You have to leave their care to others and you just know your babies wonder what's going on. Have you left them for good this time?
But when you arrive back home, you're greeted with welcoming barks and meows, tails that wag so hard they wag the whole body, kisses that leave slobber up and down your face. No recriminations, no accusations of abandonment. Just pure joy that you're finally home. If those fur babies could talk, what would they tell you? Tales of turtles that threatened the family home and had to be chased back into the pond? The dog that dared to come into the front yard, only to be driven back by ferocious barking? The fearful thunderstorms they endured when you weren't there to provide comfort?
How many of the human species offer such total devotion, unbridled adoration, and unconditional love? I don't know of anyone who offers the above like my Daisy and Blue. It takes many petting sessions to reassure them of my continued presence, but I never get baleful looks for leaving them so long. During the times I'm home, they rarely leave my side. Blue sleeps at my feet, Daisy an arm's length away in her favorite chair. I'm offered paws to shake and ears to scratch. And it's amazing how much stress those activities relieve.
I tell myself over and over that once these babies have crossed the Rainbow bridge, I won't get another. That I don't need the stress and worry of leaving a pet behind when I travel. But where will I find that kind of love without them? Though they can't express their love with words, I'm left with no doubt whatsoever that I am loved, and loved deeply and unconditionally.
Back when we had cows, I was constantly amazed at how much affection so-called "dumb" animals could provide as well. Don't let them fool you--cows are not dumb. They are devoted to their babies, and they can communicate with you if you know how to listen. One story I've told before is about a cow I bottle-raised from day one. She had loads of personality and she thought I was her mama. When she had a calf of her own, it couldn't latch on to nurse. We didn't realize this until the calf was 2 1/2 days old and her mama brought her up to our back fence and bawled until we came out to see what was wrong. After assessing the situation, I took off for the local dairy for a bottle of colostrum and a gallon of raw milk.
We got the baby on its feet, fed it with the bottle until it got the idea of nursing, then helped it latch on to mom. My reward was head to knee kisses (cow licks in human terms) from mom. Looking into her eyes, you could see her gratitude and--I swear--love.
I've included a few pictures of Daisy (the smaller, yellow dog. And yes, she is truly a blonde), Blue (the larger, black Blue Heeler), and Dammit and Valentino (the cow and calf in the story above).
Do you have any stories to share about your pets and their unconditional love?