Thursday, January 22, 2015

" Paw prints on our hearts."

“Without close and reciprocal relationships with other animal beings, we're alienated from the rich, diverse, and magnificent world in which we live.” ― Marc Bekoff, The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy - and Why They Matter

         January 24th is Change a Pets Life Day. This special day was created to encourage pet adoption and spread awareness about animal welfare. Shelters across the U.S. participate by offering reduced adoption rates and spaying and neutering education.  If you have ever owned a pet you understand how animals enrich lives. Cats and dogs provide us with companionship, unconditional affection and many times motivate us to adopt healthier life habits such as exercise or learning how to relax. Encourage friends to adopt from a local shelter or rescue, foster a pet or simply volunteer to assist others in finding a match. There are millions of adoptable animals waiting for a home. 
     Below is an excerpt from an article that I wrote almost two years ago about an adorable rescued cocker spaniel who changed my life forever:

"Maddie was the most beautiful cream colored cocker spaniel and the first dog I've ever owned. Her soft golden fur felt like velvet to the touch. She loved snuggling and giving endless kisses. When she looked at you her big chocolate brown eyes seemed to melt any heart and peer into your soul. Excitedly, she greeted each new day with enthusiasm, wiggly spaniel behind, a "good morning" lick on your face. Time to get up, Human! She owned me from the very first day we met to the last graceful breath that shattered my heart. She allowed me to feel joy and happiness in her presence just as I feel joy and happiness at the mere thought of her now.

.......Maddie inspired me to participate and write for the prevention of animal abuse, spaying and neutering and dog fighting law campaigns. My love for her unleashed even more of my compassion not only for dogs but all animals. She expanded my awareness. Owning and loving Maddie allowed me to connect to other organizations that utilise the power and amazing gifts that dogs bring to the world. Service dogs are trained to allow disabled veterans more freedom and aid returning soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Daily, dogs serve our military and emergency services with courage. Service and companion animals assist the blind, those suffering from seizures, the elderly and even help children with Autism and learning disabilities.

Our own pets teach us patience, responsibility, compassion and to think outside of selfish behavior. Dogs increase our own health and wellness by encouraging exercise and lowering our blood pressure by petting and hugging them. Who hasn't bonded and become more sociable because they love dogs?
Even as the grieving and healing process continues for Maddie, perhaps there will be another dog in the future. But there was only one Maddie Mooshie Diamond Lotus Buddha. When the time is right I will be ready to be owned again. There has yet to be a word created in the English language to define ALL that encompasses Dog. DOGS ARE LOVE. Maddie was truly a beautiful, happy, affectionate, loving sweetheart. She is missed every single day. However, I know I am a better human being for having her in my life for twelve unforgettable years.
Thank you, "My Little Buddha" . You will always bring me happiness. "

Naturally, humans assume saving an animal is changing their life but many humans will be surprised at just how much animals change our lives..forever.

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