Pets: Bringing out the Best in Us…

One week ago today we lost our sheltie, Cassie. Like most of our animals, she was a rescue. We took Cassie in, knowing she had severe hip dysplasia and was terrified of people. She came into our family on a foggy December day in 2006, and it took until May of 2007 for Cassie to walk up to me and sniff my hand. I was so touched I cried out loud. That experience was short-lived, and by the next day, we were starting all over again with the bonding thing–kind of like the movie, “Groundhog’s Day.”

For most of Cassie’s life, she remained reclusive, hiding out in our bedroom. The grandchildren understood this about Cassie and would enter the room where she sat regally like a queen on her soft, fleece bed. They would pet her for just a few seconds, and when she looked fearful (as she does in this picture), they would leave the room so she could relax again. There were times when Cassie’s inability to bond frustrated me, but my ever patient husband, Jim, would quickly remind me that our job was just to love and tend to her. At the end of her life, Jim cooked her bacon and eggs, the only thing she ate during her final days.

I’ve thought a lot about Cassie during the past seven days, wondering why we even bothered to take her in because she gave us so little in return during the nearly ten years we had her. But every pet serves a purpose–teaches us a lesson, and in Cassie’s case, it was the lesson of unconditional love. Maybe that’s what this was really all about–to teach us how to respect and love someone even when they can’t give back. I’m betting someone reading this has a story to tell about a pet who brought out the best in you. I’d love to hear it.

Blessings on All of You,


One thought on “Pets: Bringing out the Best in Us…

  1. What a beautiful expression of unconditional love that not only benefited Cassie, but taught your extended family (i.e., grandkids) a valuable life lesson of selfless giving and no-questions-asked acceptance.

    Our pets are family and we do what we must throughout and at the end of life, even when it isn’t easy or convenient. My Tinker, a rescued striped tabby, was my “bud.” We played fetch with her little plastic bottle tops and she lived a long life. But at age 17 she developed kidney issues and we gave her subcutaneous fluids to help make her more comfortable until it was obvious it was time to help her cross the rainbow bridge. Now, we’re going through IV fluids with another elderly kitty, Miss Lucy. You just do what you have to do and you do it out of love and respect.

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