I was out to dinner the other night, and my dinner companion, a strong, masculine gentleman, who was wise and well-traveled said to me, “I am a better man around my dog”.
He had been speaking of the unconditional love of dogs, and how close he was to his own dog. He was also explaining that the loving behavior modeled by his dog significantly improved his own behavior.
I immediately flashed upon scene after scene of men breaking down while saying goodbye to a beloved friend, as their wives or family helped them through it. It is true love that strong human-animal bond we’re so fortunate to be a part of.
The Message in the Human-Animal Bond
So often I am asked, “Why do dogs have to have such short lives”? My response is simple. “I believe so they can show us an entire life well lived full of joy, play and pure unconditional love, so WE have the opportunity to get the message and learn how to live more joyfully.” And I truly believe that.
My friend also remarked that no human could ever be so unconditionally loving as a dog. I am not so sure about that. I would like to believe that some few individuals can and do transform their love to universal love, but it is so very hard to remain there at all times while interacting with so many others. Even so, all of this is a clear reminder and example to me of how important and how strong our need is for healing through our pets.
When life gets rough, it can be our animals that we turn to the most to help us through times when we don’t feel secure. This is just another example of the power of the human-animal bond.
One heartwarming experience I recently had was with Sammy, a sweet 16-year-old Schnauzer. Sammy lived with her 80-something year old bedridden owner, and this sweet lady was in and out of awareness over the last few years.
Sammy developed a huge tumor hanging from her underside, and everyone felt this was probably the end for her. She was losing weight, not eating well and was clearly deaf. Not feeling very hopeful, I explained I could try to remove the tumor, however, there was an obvious risk, but everyone loved Sammy and wanted me to perform the surgery.
As I left her house that day, Sammy’s owner was being rushed to the hospital, and was not expected to live much longer. Her neighbors were actually planning the takeover of Sammy’s care. On the day of surgery, we discovered large amounts of wax and dirt lodged deep in Sammy’s ear canals. I performed a deep cleaning and flush and medicated both ears. Happily, she recovered uneventfully and was reported to be doing very well the next few days.
Two weeks later, I visited Sammy to remove her staples. I almost fell over with amazement—She had HEARD me pull up, trotted to the door, and BARKED! When I entered, I noticed she had gained weight (I had completely changed her to a healthy diet) and she was PERKY!
Even more shocking, I heard a voice greet me as I entered. Turning to the left, I saw her owner sitting up, fully dressed, and bright! She looked like another person. The most wonderful part of all this was the call I received a few days later. Her owner called and was thrilled with Sammy’s progress, thanked me over and over, and said we had “performed a miracle”.
Every day I am so grateful to be able to help, and it brought tears to my eyes to see how Sammy’s recovery had given her mom a new lease on life. Truly her own personal miracle.
This story alone is a wonderful illustration of the power of human-animal bond. The way we live our lives is directly correlated with the way your pets live and feel.
If you are noticing major health issues with your pet and you’re looking for solutions for your pet or you’re wanting advice on how to better the life of your pet, never hesitate to reach out to us, we care!