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.)