Animals, animals, animals
Somewhere in the mid-seventies, I watched a television show titled
“Animals, Animals, Animals.” It was canceled in the early eighties
and I know it was on Sunday morning because I used to catch it before
we went to church. Anyway, the title pretty much described my state
of mind as a child and today as an adult.
My brother Darrel lost his dog to a car a few weeks ago. “Buzzy” was
a great, personable dog and a fantastic friend. Darrel and I talked
after Buzz died and Darrel said he liked his dog just for friendship
and that Buzzy didn’t do much for tricks. I always think making a dog
do tricks is disrespectful and shows a lack of maturity and
deep arrogance of the dog owner. I mean, is that how you treat a
friend? I would give exception to helpful commands like “sit” or “heal” or
other commands which keep your pet safe. I think a human who
constantly demands tricks from his pet shows a childish need to control and is someone
who I only tolerate.
I thought about Darrel’s love for Buzz. It wasn’t so many years ago
that you felt a little funny to say you loved an animal. This is
unfortunate because so many of my best moments are at times when I
realize how much I care about one of our pets. People have domain over the
earth and its creatures; that means we have a responsibility to
manage them correctly-it doesn’t mean they are not worthy of our
love. Also to question whether you can love an animal is to question
the value of the love you give and brings into question your own
character and sincerity more than the animal’s worth and ability to
be loved. I remember an old John Conlee song, “the Carpenter” where
he asks “don’t the Lord love a 2 by 4?” If God love’s all things, he
certainly loves animals and must take great joy when we love our pets.
I will now deliver my yearly lecture on taking care of your animal
during the winter. Cats belong indoors, enough said. We let our cats
out for a bit but they stay on our land and prefer to stay inside most of the time.
Twitch sometimes even frantically paws at the window only to come in
from the great outdoors to use his litter box. Dogs do NOT have some
magic ability to live outside without shelter, food or water. If you
doubt this, try it yourself sometime. If you are an inexperienced pet
owner or if you are a particularly dim bulb, then try this exercise
before you get a pet. Get a plant, if you can keep it alive for a year
then consider a pet. If you have your dog outside, make sure it has
great shelter, plentiful food and ice-free water. The shelter, heated
water dish and some food won’t cost much and a ticket for mistreatment of animals will cost plenty plus get you some notoriety in the local paper, you know-in the court
I’ve often viewed someone in a positive light based on their
relationships to animals. It is the one true test I can think of to
judge a person’s character as it exists instead of how the person
wishes it to be perceived. Perhaps the simple act of giving proper
care and love to your pet just makes us all better people.
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