Life Lessons from My Pets
Not including some fish and a couple hamsters, I have had four pets within my nineteen years of living. My first dog, Rico, was a boxer with an abundance of energy and loving spirit. Shortly after my dad got Rico, my mom got Daisy. While Daisy is not friendly with strangers, she loves our family dearly and will do whatever she can to protect us. When I met my boyfriend, he introduced me to his cat, Orion. Over a short span of time, Orion became min as well. Lastly, after I left to college, my dad got a French bulldog named Spielman. Each one of my animals allowed me to grow and taught me life lessons along the way. As cliché as it may sound, these animals taught me to live, laugh, and love.
In every novel and movie with a tragic passing, another character typically learns how to live. This lesson is dedicated to my beloved Rico. In my own personal novel, he was my tragic passing. When my dad first revealed my precious puppy to me at eight years old, I could not contain my excitement for what was to come. I had a new best friend who lived at home. I imagined the years of growing up with my dog by my side. Luckily, I experienced the joy that I had imagined. Up until I went to college, my buddy remained by my side. When I came home from school, he was there to greet me with his whole butt wiggling. It wasn’t until my second semester away when I received a phone call that would change my life. My dad informed me that he passed peacefully in his sleep. Instantly, my body shut down and I felt numb. I finally felt the pain of losing a family member. After some rational thinking and time grieving, I realized the long life we had been granted with him. Ten years for a boxer is an average life. Although I had lost my best friend, he reminded me how quickly life can be taken away without notice. Now, I take each opportunity presented as though it may be my last. Losing him has opened my eyes to a broader horizon. Rico has taught me how to live.
This lesson comes from my dorky cat. Although Orion came into my life only a year and a half ago, I have never seen an animal who manages to make me laugh with every move he makes. Between the way he plays with his plush pickle and hides in curtains, there is no denying a humorous personality. Typically, you would expect a cat to be graceful with a hint of sass, but that would not be Orion. My loving boy does not have a single ounce of grace or a mean bone in his body. When walking around the couch, falling off happens more times than not. Sometimes when he attempts to jump up to the bed, he hits the frame and must try again. With each simple action, I never fail to have a smile on my face. I know some of the things Orion does would not be funny to others, but to me, they mean the world. Even on my roughest days, I find comfort in knowing I can go home and laugh at the small stuff. Orion taught me to laugh.
This one goes out to the last two: Daisy and Spielman. Just as each animal holds different qualities, the love I have for them comes from different places. Let me begin with the dog I have had since I was nine: Daisy. Daisy sounds like a name of a gentle sweetheart, not the Pitbull, Yorkie, Rat terrierr mutt we brought into our home. For some odd reason, she never has been a social dog. The only people she allows near her in our home are those who knew her as a puppy. Her defense mechanism has prevented many from coming over. They do not get to experience the same affection we do. Once you have created that bond with Daisy, she will protect you under all circumstances. She will cuddle with you and build a forever relationship. Since I watched her grow, I know how incredibly special she is. On the surface, an outsider may think she fits the ridiculous Pitbull stereotypes, but they do not know her like we do. For that, Daisy taught me to love regardless of what others think.
As for my little French Bulldog, Spielman opened my eyes in a completely new way. After Rico had passed, I swore I would never be ready to love a dog again. When my dad broke the news he had decided to get another dog, I felt betrayed. It had been less than six months since my very first pet passed and I could not believe my dad had already decided to move on to the next one. As he showed me puppy pictures (the ones that are so small you cannot even bring them home yet), I couldn’t help but admit he was an adorable little munchkin. However, I was not ready to open my heart to him. Time went on and my dad finally was able to bring him home. The moment I looked into his beady little eyes, my thoughts changed. With one look, Spielman took my heart. Although he will never replace the memories of Rico, he helped heal a wounded heart. Spielman taught me to love again.
What lessons have you learned from your pets? Leave a comment and let us know!