OH the greatest gift of all.... UNCONDITIONAL LOVE! I have received this gift from my "greatest gift" that I rescued, my dog Odin J. He returned the favor by rescuing me!
When I think of the words "unconditional love" I know animals have much to teach us on this subject. Odin has so much to teach me on this subject.
Have I or any of us, humans actually ever given true unconditional love?
Can any of us TRULY say you have loved unconditionally? If you can say you have never said in anger, or silently in your head," I hate you", then I admire you. You are an enlightened zen master and I have as much to learn from you as I do from our furry friends.
I feel these angels with fur are here as "Teachers and Healers" and "Guides for the Soul" as one of my favorite authors, Susan Chernak McElroy, so appropriately describes them.
Have you ever seen your pet actually show hate? I love analogy that asks, if you lock a man and your dog in a trunk of a car for 5 hours, when you open it up, who will be the only one happy to see you? The dog, of course, will be wagging, his tail happy to see you!
Odin is my greatest gift of all, but I was prepared for another dog to care for. I was committed to keep him in my home for the rest of HIS life. If a pet has fears we should be prepared to help them learn how to cope and not turn them into a shelter for someone else to deal with. When you take in a new pet I believe they are a family member and not disposable. When you bring them home, please be ready for commitment. There are more pets, that are Christmas puppy or kitten gifts, surrendered to shelters six months after Christmas than any other time of year. During the holidays, I always feel obligated to send out a gentle reminder. Please remember that cute snuggly Christmas puppy you are tempted to give your kids or your grandma, will be a grown dog soon with puppy energy that your kids will forget to take out or grandma can't handle, six months later.
Now that I have written the obligatory disclaimer my heart insists I write, I can get to the good part. When you are ready, and prepared for an approximately 10-17 year commitment, there is no greater reward as the love of a pet.
I want to express my gratitude for my soul dog on his Thirteenth Year on this earth. I could not ask for a better gift this holiday season, or EVER! I don't know his exact birthday, but we celebrate it November 2nd, All Saints Day. The older he gets the more I want to celebrate and appreciate our time together. I strive to make little things special for him. This year he celebrated with a few of his best furry and his two legged people friends. There were five dogs and they had a real birthday party. It included party hats, which were hard getting them all on at the same time for ONE PICTURE!!! There were dog toys for everyone. And finally what is a birthday without a birthday cake? It was a homemade heart shaped apple doggie cake with peanut butter and yogurt frosting. It was a great tail waggin time.
"Saving that one dog (one cat or one horse) will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever." We make a Christmas wish that all the homeless pets and those in shelters will have their world changed for the better. We hope they find their perfect fur-ever home and never feel lonely again.
Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday, from Odin J., Raven Roo (kitty) and myself. We hope it is full of furry unconditional love, the greatest gift of all.