Pets are amazing. No matter who else is in the house you always come home to unconditional love and companionship.
I have two babies.
My little Chihuahua mix was two or three years old when we rescued each other. She had been abandoned on the street just before giving birth to a litter of puppies. They were scooped up quickly by other families. But she was shy and cowered in the corner of her cage looking scared and fragile. The minute I sat down next to her she crawled into my lap and didn’t leave. It was a match made in heaven.
She’s still skittish with strangers. Even those she sees often scare her until they prove, once more, they’re not a threat. You have to earn her trust.
My other rescue baby is the sweetest, most adorable mutt. Or so the shelter said. I think he looks a little like a golden retriever and miniature greyhound with his long spindly legs and speed. He loves everyone. Only three months old, he too crawled into my lap and didn’t leave.
He is exuberant, adventurous, and lively, not afraid to check out new things and people- in fact he thrives on it. But sometimes his loving, naive, trusting nature can get him in trouble. He learned the hard way that chasing after whatever scurries around in the backyard can get you hurt. He was bit by a Colorado river toad. They burrow under the sand during the day and often come out at night in search of water.
And they’re poisonous.
Thankfully I saw him suddenly jump back and start flicking his head back and forth as though to get something off his face. A slight frothing appeared around his mouth. The emergency vet services told me to wash out his mouth for a good 15 minutes (I did it for 30) and then bring him in. When we appeared at the vet an hour later, all he wanted to do was sniff and lick everything, clearly doing fine, there was nothing more that needed to be done.
When we got home my little girl was at the door, whining and scared. It was the first time they had ever been separated. She quickly became overjoyed to see her brother was with me. The reunion was heart warming. We were all safe and sound, together again.
I couldn’t help but wonder if after this experience he’d be a little more reticent, a little more concerned by people and critters. Show a little more caution when running after the next lizard or spider or person.
He is still the sweetest, most loving and outgoing dog I know, but he does seem willing to let his sister take the lead more often than he had, as though depending on her instincts to define friend or foe.
They’re no different than we are. We all have a history, issues and concerns. We’re all a little more trusting, naïve, open, outgoing, or scared, shut down, worried and unapproachable, it just depends on our make-up, personality and experiences.
But regardless of their backgrounds, they have forged a bond. Become a family. Each teaching the other their strengths and lessening the impact of their weaknesses. They curl up as a unit, honor each other’s space and vigilantly protect their home- no one gets close without being announced.
Our lives are richer and happier because we are together.