Friday, August 03, 2007

Unconditional Love

I was sitting on my sofa today thinking of how privileged I have been these last 14 plus years. My children are growing up so quickly. They are making decisions on their own, fixing some of their own meals, making/packing lunches for school, and are beginning to test their wings. I have two preteens and one teen. There are days when they look at me like I am from another planet, days that I feel resentment, days that I feel like I am taken for granted, and days when I am beaming with pride. There are so many ups and downs. I don't hear "I love you," as often as I would like. There are times when I just shake my head and wonder how I have raised my children. But for the companionship of my animals, I am not sure if I could get through the up coming high school years.

When I talk about privilege, it is about sharing my life with my animal companions, now being Mandy and Tigger. I have never felt resentment, or being taken for granted. Their kind, knowing eyes, seem to lead me to be a better person. Their is so much to learn from our animals, of that I am sure. Our animal companions offer an unconditional love every hour of every day. I can't believe how lucky I am to be a part of that.
This past week, we took in another greyhound as a foster. His name is Burl and he looks just like a polished piece of burl oak. He sort of chose us as a family when we visited the greyhound kennels for a mini reunion with other adopted greys. His racing history is very interesting. Burl raced 34 races (in Iowa) as a two year old and won (came in first) 21 times. He was raced hard because he was a winner. And then, like with many greys, he broke his rear right hock. It was a bad repair. In other words, the Doctor had a difficult time putting it back together. For other greys with injuries in this area, they typically recover in a couple of months time and use their legs normally. Burl may never have full use of this leg again. But for all he has been through, he has not complained and for a young three year old, he has the wisdom of one much older. He is so kind and gentle, allowing me to massage his sore leg and rub neem oil into his callouses and balding areas of his body. He is greytful for the love and understanding. I can feel that depth of emotion every time I stroke him. He makes sure to give each member of my family kisses and nuzzles for no apparent reason. But I know that he wants a family of his own, he wants us and this is his way of letting us know that he has chosen us. I believe my first greyt, Grizzly, send him to us because he knows that we will give him what he needs and because Burl has much to teach us about love, humility, patience, and perseverance.

We return our Burl on Sunday. I so want to adopt him but my husband but I know it will be a hardship for the family. Another mouth to feed plus medical bills make it a hard decision. Tigger, our 5 yr old, has some problems that just began as well. I had him to the vet this week to try to determine if he is having a sort of seizure and if indeed a seizure, then what is causing it. This just happened and it makes our decision even harder. My heart says one thing, but my brain says another. My husband and I will make that decision before we talk to Burl's foster Mom number 1, Linda. She returns from vacation tonight.

To know the love of a dog is something I believe every one should experience. To care for and nurture dogs that no one wants because they are not perfect is a definite calling. I hope I can do right by this beautiful animal.


1 comment:

Nona Parry said...

I did not experience unconditional love until my first dog acquired me back in the early '80s.
Although at present I travel too much to live with dogs, I plan to have a flock of them later in life!