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.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Where To Begin?

I want to encourage all of you to chip in, as I just did, for Sandra's Fire Recovery fund.  If you haven't heard, Sandra (possibly better know as mom of the "Houston Pittie Pack") lost five of her rescue dogs and her entire home to a fire a few days ago.  Sandra has commented on my blog in the past and I can speak from personal experience that she is an exceptional person with a big heart.  I can't imagine the pain and sorrow she must be feeling right now.


I have no idea where to even begin with this post.  I suspect it'll shape up to be little more than rambles, but when you've been gone away from your blog for as long as I have (a month?) and have instead been buried in textbooks, anything goes.  I'm still adjusting to the fact that I don't have to pick up a book until February at the earliest.

I guess the purpose of this post is to let you know that we're all still here.  School has left me much too busy to post and comment, but I've been following along with everybody's posts pretty well.  My finals are now over and I hope to have some more free time.  The worst is over for me - while I will be at school literally every day over my winter break (more on that another time), I've only got two classes to take in the Spring, and then I'm home free.

I've applied to Physical Therapy school and expect to hear a decision from them sometime in February.

Marge and I have been practicing agility, but aren't overdoing it; we'll kick in to full swing again sometime in mid-January, hopefully.  Otherwise, she has been enjoying walks and games of fetch in the field across the street and some snuggle time here or there.

Layla's doing well, too... still battling some asthma issues, but we're taking one day at a time and just keeping her happy.  I hate the fact that she's on steroids, but it doesn't seem like we have much of a choice, as it's keeping all of her many ailments relatively at bay.

I've been riding quite often, too, and am so thankful to be getting lessons from a horse and a human who are excellent and knowledgeable teachers.

And when I'm not walking my dog, getting cuddles from my cat, or horseback riding, I'm tending to my 40 research pigeons.

Yep, my life has gone to the animals.

I'm not sure what the direction of this blog exactly is any more, since Marge is far from the fearful dog that she was three years (!!) ago when this blog started.  But I do intend to keep it going, even if it's in a more limited capacity, hopefully posting more about Marge's adventures (though they've grown increasingly mundane as my schedule has kept me away from parks and the like) and dog training in general, and perhaps throwing in some posts about issues that I think could spur interesting debate/discussion among my followers.  Aside from writing the actual posts, it is the discussions and sharing of knowledge and personal stories that I miss most about blogging.

So here's to a 2012 of more than one post per month.

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