Pet Patter -The gifts of animals as teachers and helpers

Are you toying with the idea of having a pet? If so, head straight to your local animal shelters or veterinary hospitals that adopt out pets. Adopt a pet. Pets can save your life, literally.

      Pet Patter by Joilene

We have all heard stories that have made the news about dogs who rescue family members from burning buildings or cats that alerted their owners to a fire with a meow louder than the smoke alarm. What is most amazing about these types of stories is not how they occurred but rather that they occurred. The notion that a family dog or cat saved a life sometimes even with their own.

Very often animals can sense the coming of disasters. Alerting their humans to earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados and floods, (sensing the vibration change in the environment) even alerting you to the unwanted guest that is coming up your driveway…

All joking aside, animals have senses much sharper than ours. Some dogs are used as therapy dogs for people with epilepsy, alerting their owners minutes before they are about the have a epileptic seizure even before the person knows they are going to have an attack. This gift is partly due to the dogs heightened sense of smell sensing a chemical change in the person’s body as well as visually seeing a change in the person’s body language. But this also needs to be seen as a selfless act of love that animals demonstrate towards their humans, and as such is humbling and inspirational.

I even remember a story I read once about how an animal risked its own life to save another animal. The story was about a pet bird that had gotten out of its cage and flew out the window into a coming storm. The owner and the large German shepherd dog went on the hunt through the strong winds and rain. The owner went to seek shelter in the garage but the dog never followed behind. Instead the dog stayed out searching even when called to come back. Finally, the dog came in the garage holding the little bird in its mouth. The bird was wet and shaking and missing part of its tail.

This story reveals a gift. It teaches us that we should take risks in our own lives, live for adventure and discovery and that we should welcome and not fear the unknown. When faced with moments of overwhelming sadness, we need to get out of our own comfort zone to comfort and console one another and to go out of our way for others and to help them live their lives to the fullest.

We need to change our perspective about animals and see them as our generous and loyal friends that defend us, love us, stand by us and help us to live our lives with courage and hope. That they are our partners in life and when tears or grief abound, they will not turn away, but will comfort with a look, or a touch. They will know, instinctively, to be with us for as long as is needed.

For those in need of some pet therapy, it is an everyday occurrence when living with a pet. They are a listening ear and an amazing stress buster. For those that experience the world as a hurtful and unsafe place, animals can be a teacher they can relate to and trust. Animals are many things to many people. Find out what having one as a pet in your life can mean for you.

So just take a chance and adopt a pet. You and your pet will be better off for it and perhaps then you can tell a story about how you have saved a life. Maybe the favor will be returned by the special bond you have with your awesome new pet; a gift that could save your life.

“There is one who is not free.
She gave herself the life of a servant or is it a sister?
Who out of love needs no one else but me.
She has stood between horn and hoof.
She has bled for me, cried, sung and played.
Once I asked her to bite a drunk who angered me.
But she, in wisdom, would not.
Yet when I was alone and afraid of someone,
She was unafraid and stood up between us crying, No! No!
You have followed me for a long while.
I hope when this is over you follow me to the spirit place
Spirit home
Spirit woman
Spirit hound.”
 –Teresa Martino
    Taken from Learning from Eagle, Living       with Coyote