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!
This post is part of a writing project hosted by Robert on his Middle Zone Musings Blog for High Calling Blogs.
Howdy, Audra, and welcome to this month’s WILF group writing project!
Hey, it sounds like you’ve identified a limitation and learned how to deal with it – nothing wrong with that!
I’d like to respectfully add, though, that comfort zones are not always the best place to stay – you can’t learn as much while you’re in them as you can when you’re outside of ’em. But hey – I understand about allergies – Mrs. MZM is allergic to cats, so we had to give ours away.
You made a good point about attitudes of owners, too. Too often we assume everyone loves our animals like we do. Thanks for pointing it out – hopefully more of us will think about that next time.
Thanks for the your comments Rob. You are so right, there isn’t much to learn “inside the box” sometimes. Thanks for reminding me that it’s good to venture out sometimes.
I really like your post. I guess you could sort of call me a animal lover. When I moved in with my husband we ended up with a cat. We gave him that special shot after having him 17 years, because he decided he didn’t like the kid’s that came after him and pissed in their beds everyday. He’s gone. We rescued a dog and had her for 12 years. She just died in January. We don’t know of what because I was not spending a ton of money to the vet. She is out in our back yard. So we have done the pet thing. We have a very very good friend that can not be around cats or dogs. He will not be able to breath and have to go to the hospital. Since we had animals he could never come over not every for drinks in the yard. He also complains about like what you are talking about people when you are out not thinking of others and letting their cute pup come up to everyone. It could kill him. We also are always at the baseball or football field. I’m so happy not to have to run home to let the dog out. I’ll be very happy to not have another pet. 4 kid’s is enough for me.
your post told me something important. Things, people or animals, who or which are pleasant for oneself, can be very unpleasant for other persons, and we have to respect that. There are really a lot of people, especially those with small children, who are afraid of dogs, and it makes no sense to say: “well, my dog won’t bite you, why are you making a fuss about it.”
Hi Audra, Your post is very honest and genuine. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve never been much of a dog lover, and am always amazed to see how much joy other folks seem to get out of them. (Weird coincidence, just as I was reading your post, I saw your comment on mine come through. Thank you for checking it out!)
I enjoyed your post because it shows us another perspect. Even those who don’t think animals are cute and fuzzy little creatures put on this earth purely for our amusement and entertainment can stand to learn from them! Thank you for sharing!
Take care and have a wonderful day!
I get the allergy part. If I’m around cats, I start wanting to rip my eyes out.
I’m really glad you felt free to do a flip side perspective on this topic.
I see in your sidebar you like Eat, Pray, Love. I like that books too.
A neighbor’s dog bit me once and ever since I’ve been a little leery of strange dogs, esp. around my kids. You never do know about animals.