Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Share the love!!!

On Valentine's Day, what else could I be thinking about, but love? I was thinking about the kind of love that I recently saw in the eyes of a young kid. And I was amused to see that love for a four-legged creature, a golden retriever with the most expressive eyes ever. It was my first time witnessing a "read with animals" event. And I completely fell in love with that idea.

I had heard about pets being therapeutic and motivational, but witnessing it was an altogether different experience. I could see how much the kids enjoyed reading stories to the dogs, and I don't know if it was just a figment of my imagination, but I could see the dogs reciprocating as though asking questions and nudging on the children to go on for more. I saw a Poodle relaxing and almost getting ready to sleep after what must have felt to her as a bedtime story! It was amazing how the dogs calmed the children and vice versa. I found it to be a very productive channeling of kids' energy. This is such good way of sensitizing children to these lovable creatures and to teach kids to give back the unconditional love they get back from animals.

Not just kids, I have seen people with terminal diseases leading a more cheerful life due to the presence of spirit-uplifting dogs. It is amazing how many things a dog can be. It can be a good listener, when you want to pour out your heart; it can be a mood-uplifter, when you need a few smiles; it can just look back at you with serene eyes and bring calmness to you; and most important it can make you feel wanted and loved, when you need a family the most.

Not everybody is lucky to have a family or loved ones with them, but I believe everybody can change their luck by just taking shelter in the warmth of an animal. It is just one loving stroke of yours that could get you a friend for life. And a friend, you will never regret having. My father being a veterinarian, I grew up around animals, and it was very early on in life, that I realized the good effect of pets. If I thought my parents were being unfair in scolding or punishing me, it was these pets who would listen everything about how I was right. And the best part was, that they were never judgemental.  They didn't care if I was right or wrong; as long as I was there for them, they loved me back with everything they had. When I look back on my childhood and even the kind of person I am today, I think it has got to do a lot with being around animals. All those days when I was upset, they helped me vocalize and talk about it, they looked back at me with soothing eyes telling me everything would be alright. And for all those days, I know today that things are not always going to go my way, but I have to talk it out and make it better. Keeping it inside me would have made things worse and who knows, I might have ended up being an angry person!!!

I could go on and on about the "things I learnt from my dog", but nothing exemplifies this better than a success story. Recently I came across a NGO, that works with homeless children and abused dogs. And it has worked wonders for both the parties involved. What a wonderful way to turn the hurt into love and appreciation for all living forms? I think this program is a success because the children could relate to the dogs and extend support for them. The kids get a purpose, a reason to feel wanted and with the dogs, they make a happy family, just the thing everybody needs to make the healing process easy and fast.

I have seen guardian dogs give their owners everything they have; love, care, strength, support and many other little things, only people with guardian dogs could describe. And though every dog does not wear a badge labeling it as a guardian, my personal belief is that your dog is like your guardian angel, watching over you for weak moments and being there for you to fall back on. This is one love if you invest in, that will pay off for sure and enrich your life on the whole. 

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