Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Great Sacrifice

In the wake of many recent bouts of pet-related sickness and tragedy, both here in the blog world and otherwise, I got to thinking about what it really means to be not a animal owner, but an animal lover.  This isn't meant to be a sad or depressing post, just merely a reflection on reality.

There is a giant difference between the things some people will do and the things that others won't do for their animals.

There are those that will discard their animals at the first sign of adversity, those that will not part with their dollars should things not go as planned.  Those who view their animals more readily as a nuisance than they do as a gift or blessing. There are those that will find themselves unable to expend any mental bandwidth on solving an issue that arises, those that will not be willing to make themselves the slightest bit uncomfortable, in away way, for the sake of their animals.

And then there are those who are different.  Those who find such tremendous value in the day-to-day memories made with those close to them.



Those who will work tirelessly to ensure a happy and safe life for those they are responsible for, no matter the dollar cost or effort required.


Those that will cherish and accept their pets' imperfections rather than see them as inconveniences.


Those who will go above and beyond for not only their own animals, but try to help the other animals around them as well.


The sad, and perhaps unfair, part of all of this is that the latter group consists of those people who will inevitably get hurt as a result of such fierce devotion.

I think the bottom line is that when you truly give a piece of your heart to an animal, you are making a tremendous personal sacrifice.  You're opening yourself up to potential stress, worry and grief that many people are too afraid to experience.

...Yet would you want to have it any other way?

(KB, K, we're mustering up every good thought we've got. Sandra, we're still thinking of you, too.)

11 comments:

houndstooth December 28, 2011 at 10:25 PM  

Oh, I know it! Our first Greyhound was my heart dog. When she developed a spinal tumor, I thought I might lay down and die along beside her. We spent a lot of money trying to keep her alive when she was willing to fight the fight, but the morning she looked up at me and was ready to go, I knew it.

For us, it's a balancing act between whether the treatment is for us (selfishly wanting to keep a beloved companion with us) or for them. If we have really good odds of a successful outcome with treatment, we'll go for it. But I've had friends who put their dogs through horribly painful treatments that bought more time together, but made their dogs miserable for those final weeks, months or days. I promised myself that I would never do that, and so far we haven't. My husband and I had that talk long before any of our pets ever got seriously ill or injured, though, about how far we'd be willing to go, and I think it's important to make that decision when your pet is healthy. Once they're sick or injured, it's a much harder time to weigh those decisions!

LauraK December 28, 2011 at 10:51 PM  

Amen sista! I love this post :) It is so true, and it's wonderful to know that they are people out there like me. We are so blessed to have animals in our lives- most people don't know what they're missing out on!

Wyatt December 28, 2011 at 10:52 PM  

How do you put a price tag on treatment for a beloved family member? As long as there is hope and it is in the best interest of the pet....
I'm thankful for a vet we trust. She has guided us through surgeries and cancer and tears.

Wyatt's Mom

Sam December 29, 2011 at 9:11 AM  

It will never change for me - no matter how sad or how hard the situation.

Right now I'm sitting with Sam's head in my lap. How do you put a price on this kind of friendship?

Sam's Mom

The Army of Four December 29, 2011 at 12:35 PM  

That was beautiful!
Luv,
Dave
PS: We love what Sam & Monty's mom said, too.

andrea December 29, 2011 at 6:13 PM  

nice :) not sad at all but so true


i yam what i yam

all there is to it ;)

AC December 29, 2011 at 9:09 PM  

Opening your life to any relationship opens your life to pain. Somehow it's all worth it--almost like an essence of life/wakefulness/humanity. Gosh...doesn't make it any easier, though.

tula December 30, 2011 at 9:47 AM  

yep, being an animal lover is a committed where the payoff is priceless!

happy new year!
dee & tula

Amy / Layla the Malamute December 31, 2011 at 12:21 AM  

All very true. I was watching Criminal Minds and they had a quote that had nothing to do with animals, but immediately made me think of my relationship with Layla (shocking, I know): "Thomas Kempis wrote, 'Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of its trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse for impossibility; for it thinks all things are lawful for itself, and all things are possible.'"

Dawn January 1, 2012 at 10:53 AM  

Always sad to have to say goodbye...but what joy during the rest of the time!

KB January 1, 2012 at 8:14 PM  

You said it so well, Sam. "I think the bottom line is that when you truly give a piece of your heart to an animal, you are making a tremendous personal sacrifice. You're opening yourself up to potential stress, worry and grief that many people are too afraid to experience. ". That is so right.

When I had my very first dog and he was murdered by a crazy man (who was convicted of a felony for his actions), my dad told me that he thought that I should never get another dog. He said that I became "too attached" to them and would just get hurt.

Thank goodness that I didn't listen to him. Despite the horrific sadness that I'm feeling right now, I'd never trade my 8 years with K for anything. She has a heart of gold, and I've been truly blessed to have her in my life. I hope that I have a lot more time with her... but, even if I don't, I'll be grateful for the time that I had.

Thank you so much for your support. You are a true animal lover so you understand.

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