Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. – Anatole France
There are so many ways that welcoming a pet into our home will enhance our wellbeing. They will unconditionally love us AND accept us. We can walk around in our old PJs with our hair tussled and they will love us. We can be sad, forgetful and even crabby and they will accept us just the way we are.
They do not try to change us. However they do, of course, train us, especially cats. They train us to feed them on cue or on schedule. They train us to throw a ball endlessly. They train us to take them for walks and let them ride along. They train us to love them authentically.
In the Velveteen Rabbit, a book by Margery Williams, a toy rabbit desires to become real. The old horse toy tells the rabbit “It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
They show us how to become Real. Authenticity is the state of being and knowing your true self. There are no pretences among the animal kingdom. They are who they are. There are no playing roles, putting on different hats, pretending to be what you are not. They are Real. As they age they gain our love. They have engrained themselves into our very souls and heart. They can walk slow, smell funny, and have a toothless grin or under bite and we love them just as they are. They can get grey hair or thinning hair and we don’t dye their hair. We accept them just as they are.
We love and accept them sometimes more than our own family or even ourselves. We can come home after a horrendous day and find acceptance and love in a tiny furry package.
The next time you feel unaccepted, deflated, discouraged, or burned out. Hug your furry family member and tell them thank you for keeping it Real.
Dr. Nancy Brandt is the Medical Director of Natural Care Instititute LLC. Established in Las Vegas in 1999, it serves the public worldwide on options in Holistic Medicine for pets. Dr. Brandt is the Pioneering Veterinarian in safe and effective aromatherapy for pets.
She is the co-creator of the Las Vegas Animal Hospice where she and her partner have created a third choice for the elder pet.
Dr. Brandt can be found at www.nancybrandtdvm.com or by calling 702-617-3285