Life Lessons from Best Friends 

(“What important life lesson have you learned from your companion animal(s)?”)

How do fortunate, appreciative Homo sapiens properly capture, in mere words, the loyalty, joie de vivre, serenity and adaptability and acceptance as well as general all-around heaven that “pets” demonstrate and provide?  Aside from daily moment to moment co-bonding in both enjoyment and endurance of the highs and lows of existence, animal children have instructed and informed our family that LIFE, meaningful LIFE, includes others…others who provide endless fun but also sobering lessons.  Presently, as well as intermittently in the past, we extended — to the best of our capabilities — healing and assistance to handicapped or suffering dogs and cats—a three-legged, severely crippled stray kitten most recently, three epileptic dogs during these past 40 years, and a blind diabetic Husky whose mothering of our “mixed” menagerie presciently taught us how to (somewhat awkwardly) administer two daily insulin shots to her as she willingly, gratefully cooperated.  Attempting to inhabit this Earth without a respectful acceptance of the benefits from those who arrived before us as our master teachers – of their essential skills of both patience and achievement of glorious one-ness with this world — strikes those of us, who rapturously observe the animal kingdom, to be unimaginable.  As poet Walt Whitman most aptly, aptly, aptly expressed, “ … animals are so placid and self-contained”, and their universal ability to blend harmoniously and gracefully with the magnificence of nature should be emulated by absolutely each one of us at every turn.  Peaceful co-existence with all forms of life ranks as the zenith of life lessons … for this skill, I thank all of the pets who have owned me and also those many others whom I have merely observed and admired along life’s journey.

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