Friday, December 3, 2010


We took our recently acquired puppy to an emergency care vets the other day to check out a breathing problem. All was OK. The visit gave us peace of mind.

The whole process reminded me of just how attached we become to our pets. A man came into the emergency care facility with a covered birdcage. His parakeet was lying at the bottom of the cage, breathing, but immobile. It had a tumor. It was dying.

The guy was devastated, so was his wife and family. Apparently they'd had the bird for a while and everyone in the family was attached. I understand that kind of attachment and so do my memories of long ago pets.

The vet confirmed that the bird was terminal. Papers were signed and the bird was put down. The guy left with tears In his eyes trying to comfort his wife on the cell phone.

Anima, the root word for animal, means soul or spirit. Animals are truly part of our souls and spirits. The strong emotional attachment to pets confirms it.

I think people’s attachment comes from the unconditionality of the pets love for us the alleged owners. Actually I don't think we have ownership. I think we have dominion, and a responsibility to care for the animal, but never domination. It’s a consideration forgotten by many.

I think one of the best accolades to a pet came years ago from actor Jimmy Stewart. He wrote a poem about his dog Beau.


By Jimmy Stewart

He never came to me when I would call
Unless I had a tennis ball,
Or he felt like it,
But mostly he didn't come at all.

When he was young
He never learned to heel
Or sit or stay,
He did things his way.

Discipline was not his bag
But when you were with him things didn't drag.
He'd dig up a rosebush just to spite me,
And when I'd grab him, he'd turn and bite me.

He bit lots of folks from day to day,
The delivery boy was his favourite prey.
The gasman wouldn't read our meter,
He said we owned a real man-eater.

He set the house on fire
But the story's long to tell.
Suffice it to say that he survived
And the house survived as well.

On the evening walks, and Gloria took him,
He was always first out the door.
The Old One and I brought up the rear
Because our bones were sore.

He would charge up the street with Mom hanging on,
What a beautiful pair they were!
And if it was still light and the tourists were out,
They created a bit of a stir.

But every once in a while, he would stop in his tracks
And with a frown on his face look around.
It was just to make sure that the Old One was there
And would follow him where he was bound.

We are early-to-bedders at our house--
I guess I'm the first to retire.
And as I'd leave the room he'd look at me
And get up from his place by the fire.

He knew where the tennis balls were upstairs,
And I'd give him one for a while.
He would push it under the bed with his nose
And I'd fish it out with a smile.

And before very long
He'd tire of the ball
And be asleep in his corner
In no time at all.

And there were nights when I'd feel him
Climb upon our bed
And lie between us,
And I'd pat his head.

And there were nights when I'd feel this stare
And I'd wake up and he'd be sitting there
And I reach out my hand and stroke his hair.
And sometimes I'd feel him sigh
And I think I know the reason why.

He would wake up at night
And he would have this fear
Of the dark, of life, of lots of things,
And he'd be glad to have me near.

And now he's dead.
And there are nights when I think I feel him
Climb upon our bed and lie between us,
And I pat his head.

And there are nights when I think
I feel that stare
And I reach out my hand to stroke his hair,
But he's not there.

Oh, how I wish that wasn't so,
I'll always love a dog named Beau.


LAS said...

Aw, that was very sweet....I hope you enjoy your new puppy and he/she grows to be a loving companion to you and Ann. There is a special bond between animals and their keepers if one allows and understands it to be.

Dog spelled backward is God and I think there is a reason!!! I know I love my dog unconditionally and he loves me the same....just as God does........

Harold said...

With all the genetic engineering advances in recent years, I predict science will cross a dog with a parrot giving us a dog that lives to be 100 and talks back. Nice, but the downside is when you chase your dog, it now can fly.

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