The Journey

Posted by M ws On Friday, August 31, 2012 2 comments
I know I am posting quite a bit on pets. Perhaps it is sentimental me remembering my pets. Between pets and friends, pets are kinder and more loyal even though they really mess up the home and can annoy us in so many ways.

If I were to be given a choice of writing a book on pets or friends, for sure I would choose the former because my pets had never been nasty to me, malicious and had never spoken an unkind word about me or to me. What they gave me were their looks of love, their undying devotion, their love and companionship regardless of circumstances...er perhaps not on stormy days for most of my old pets - dogs and hamsters alike- were terrified of thunder! In fact, my aunt's Persian cat had a heart attack one stormy day when the thunder exploded with a loud crack. One of my hamsters also died of a heart attack one day after being over amorous with his beloved wife, whom I had put in a different cage after she delivered pups. Then, he chased her up and down the cage for one hour non-stop and then he dropped dear. :-( I could not believe it! Anyway, do cherish your pets and give your best to them on this journey of life.

_______________________________

When you bring a pet into your life, you begin a journey - a journey that will bring you more love and devotion than you have ever known, yet also test your strength and courage

If you allow, the journey will teach you many things, about life, about yourself, and most of all, about love. You will come away changed forever, for one soul cannot touch another without leaving its mark.

Along the way, you will learn much about savoring life's simple pleasures - jumping in leaves, snoozing in the sun, the joys of puddles, and even the satisfaction of a good scratch behind the ears.

If you spend much time outside, you will be taught how to truly experience every element, for no rock, leaf, or log will go unexamined, no rustling bush will be overlooked, and even the very air will be inhaled, pondered, and noted as being full of valuable information. Your pace may be slower - except when heading home to the food dish - but you will become a better naturalist, having been taught by an expert in the field.

Too many times we hike on automatic pilot, our goal being to complete the trail rather than enjoy the journey. We miss the details - the colorful mushrooms on the rotting log, the honeycomb in the old maple snag, the hawk feather caught on a twig. Once we walk as a dog does, we discover a whole new world. We stop; we browse the landscape, we kick over leaves, peek in tree holes, look up, down, all around. And we learn what any dog knows: that nature has created a marvelously complex world that is full of surprises, that each cycle of the seasons bring ever changing wonders, each day an essence all its own.

Even from indoors you will find yourself more attuned to the world around you. You will find yourself watching summer insects collecting on a screen. (How bizarre they are! How many kinds there are!), or noting the flick and flash of fireflies through the dark. You will stop to observe the swirling dance of windblown leaves, or sniff the air after a rain. It does not matter that there is no objective in this; the point is in the doing, in not letting life's most important details slip by.

You will find yourself doing silly things that your pet-less friends might not understand: spending thirty minutes in the grocery aisle looking for the cat food brand your feline must have, buying dog birthday treats, or driving around the block an extra time because your pet enjoys the ride. You will roll in the snow, wrestle with chewie toys, bounce little rubber balls till your eyes cross, and even run around the house trailing your bathrobe tie - with a cat in hot pursuit - all in the name of love.

Your house will become muddier and hairier. You will wear less dark clothing and buy more lint rollers. You may find dog biscuits in your pocket or purse, and feel the need to explain that an old plastic shopping bag adorns your living room rug because your cat loves the crinkly sound.

You will learn the true measure of love - the steadfast, undying kind that says, "It doesn't matter where we are or what we do, or how life treats us as long as we are together." Respect this always. It is the most precious gift any living soul can give another. You will not find it often among the human race.

And you will learn humility. The look in my dog's eyes often made me feel ashamed. Such joy and love at my presence. She saw not some flawed human who could be cross and stubborn, moody or rude, but only her wonderful companion. Or maybe she saw those things and dismissed them as mere human foibles, not worth considering, and so chose to love me anyway.

If you pay attention and learn well, when the journey is done, you will be not just a better person, but the person your pet always knew you to be - the one they were proud to call beloved friend.

I must caution you that this journey is not without pain. Like all paths of true love, the pain is part of loving. For as surely as the sun sets, one day your dear animal companion will follow a trail you cannot yet go down. And you will have to find the strength and love to let them go. A pet's time on earth is far too short - especially for those that love them. We borrow them, really, just for awhile, and during these brief years they are generous enough to give us all their love, every inch of their spirit and heart, until one day there is nothing left.

The cat that only yesterday was a kitten is all too soon old and frail and sleeping in the sun. The young pup of boundless energy wakes up stiff and lame, the muzzle now gray. Deep down we somehow always knew that this journey would end. We knew that if we gave our hearts they would be broken. But give them we must for it is all they ask in return. When the time comes, and the road curves ahead to a place we cannot see, we give one final gift and let them run on ahead - young and whole once more. "Godspeed, good friend," we say, until our journey comes full circle and our paths cross again.

-Written by Crystal Ward Kent-

2 comments to The Journey

  1. says:

    achibong I take long walks - alone, or used to be.

    That evening, you joined in. From nowhere you followed a few paces behind, cautious not to attract a reprimand. I ignored you. A kilometer down the road, you dropped back the distance. You stopped and you gave up. “Come” I said, I can make do with a companion. You raced back. Thus begin our regular 10 kilometer walks, together.

    That evening we walked through parks, shops and residential areas. You walked playfully in front of me and you walked around me, tipping garbage bins and scurrying cats to trees and alleys. Many times you walked ahead falling out of sight, and then turned around waiting for me. You didn’t realize you have more legs than me.

    Then came the overhead pedestrian bridge. Putting all fours on steps made for two is a tricky thing to do. You placed your paws on the first steps waiting for courage that never came. What are friends for you looked at me. I went down on my fours to show you the way.

    So you tripped, stumbled and missed a good many steps before landing on the bridge. Climbing down the other end is trickier, head first or bottom you wonder. Sorry my friend, I couldn’t show you the way down while other pedestrians were around. I feel your desperation; you were scared of the height and scared of falling down. You turned back to where you came. It then struck you that turning back is also climbing down! You started scratching all over your body looking silly. Now’s my turn giving up, adios my friend as I took the steps straight down. I did not see you tumble and stumble but I know you did. You did make it down and you make it home, your new home.

    A year on I walk alone no more. I make my friends and you make yours on our walks. Man and dog walking gets people talking. You now have friends black, white and blue, and I have mine some I don’t have a clue. They wave, they honk and as they do, is it at me or at you?

    We walk the streets and the back alleys, the sight of you had some give way in a hurry. You think we are kings making the rounds, but the king in you is you’re the haram.

    When your friends big and small, barking behind locked gates and high walls, it’s your being free that excite them all. You are free from a leash and you are free from a collar. They make their master wear the leash while they keep their collar.

    These blue bloods look you down; for they have a master to walk them and to pick their poo. They leash end to end when they walk, tugging, shuffling and sometimes going round and round. And you can’t tell out who’s walking who.

    You meet the strays you once were, sniffing the front, wagging the rear and you size them all over. Then you bully some, and bullied by some. Man and beasts are equally dumb.

    You’ve stopped chasing cars and peeing wheels, you’ve no longer making cats take to their heels; it’s time you stop raiding garbage bins, the long suffering folks want you to refrain.

    And that sweetie lassie you are eyeing to come in heat? Walk on my friend, the fence before you will soon make you quit.

    We’ve walked the streets, we’ve walked the fields. We will now walk the horizon over the hills.


    (This is a tribute to my dog faithfully accompanying me on my thrice weekly walk)

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear Achibong

    Your tribute to your beloved dog is so beautifully written. I cried.

    Because I remembered those times with my own dog.

    However, the time you shared with your canine darling is more precious because you dared to let him go where he wanted, to let him fall and then get up again.

    Me - I overprotected my dogs and yet they loved me regardless.

    Please continue to write either here to you can send me any of your write-ups or response to writetomws AT hush dot ai. I have to post my email that way to stay clear of bots that trawl the net for email addresses.

    I hope you do not mind if I re-post your write-up. :-)

    Thanks again!! Please stay in touch.

    Tummy tickles for your dog!

    Take care and God bless.

    Kind regards
    mws

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