What I’ve Learned from Animals
For those of you that know me, this title is surprising to you. You’re wondering if I have turned some sort of corner, thinking maybe I like animals more than before. For those of you that don’t know me personally, you’re probably gearing up for a feel good piece on the love I have shared with various pets over the years. Both answers would be false, I haven’t turned a corner nor do I have love stories that make you want to go out and get yourself a new animal or at the very least, fall in love with Fido all over again.
Quite honestly, animals have taught me fear. Actually, I consider my aversion to, and fear of animals to be intuitive. So animals have repeatedly confirmed my fear, maybe not instructed me in it. Nothing huge ever happened to me as a child regarding animals. I did fall off a horse once and hit my head on a rock, and a cat jumped in my lap one time while I was eating dinner. When my Grandpa swatted him off, one of his claws stayed in my thigh and "that really hurt Charlie!".
Animals take me out of my comfort zone. They are wild and uncontrollable, and for a girl that previously tried to control the universe, they just never fit in with my plans. Today I have three boys and can’t imagine adding an animal to the circus. Then there are the allergies. My husband and I are extremely allergic to cats and most dogs. It’s hard to cuddle up with something that makes your eyes swell shut, even with a bottle of Benadryl.
Sometimes I suspect that I am missing a huge connection. I have seen animals save people’s lives, lead the blind and provide love to someone who has never felt it before. I wonder if someday I will be old, wearing purple and taking my tiny Shiatsu in a basket every where I go. Maybe then I will know the joy and learn lessons that can only be taught from animals.
In the mean time I can’t end without saying this. With three boys in baseball, I spend just about half my life at the ball field. Unleashed dogs bother me. Please don’t let it come up and sniff that night’s "heart attack in a sack" or touch my legs with their tongue or really any other body part. I liken it to people who smoke. They love it so much that they think we all must want to experience it, albeit second hand. I like coffee, but am aware that not everyone around me wants to smell my cup of heaven. Although your dog is the cutest, most lovable thing on four legs, not everyone wants to encounter your little angel!