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Childhood Friendships

My best friend growing up was my cat. His name was Vidal and he was my older “brother”. He put me to bed every night, then after I fell asleep, my mom said he would head out hunting.

Dawn and Vidal

Me and Vidal about one year before he passed away (when I was 12).

I am thrilled that my children have the opportunity to have special animal relationships in their lives. I think animals offer the perfect balance of love and understanding. They also clearly teach the children that they need to treat them well and offer them understanding too. My girls have great relationships with all of our animals, but each of them has a special friend.

Hannah and Owen  have been bonded since he arrived as a kitten this spring. His timing is impeccable- he always shows up for her when she is sad or when no one else will play with her. He is incredibly patient while she builds impractical forts for him (he usually obliges her and climbs in!)

Hannah and Owen

Hannah and Owen

Sierra and Burrito have a special friendship. When he first arrived at our home (also this spring) he didn’t know anyone, but he quickly chose Sierra as his favorite. He stands quietly to receive her hugs and they are the perfect height for hugging one another. He is happy to follow her around and lets her touch his soft nose (a privilege only Sierra has).

Sierra and Burrito

This sense of “best friend” is why I have animals in my home. It is just so magical whether I am a child or a grown-up to feel that special bond with an animal. Of course one of the big lessons in having a childhood love is learning to endure the loss of that friend and discovering that it is possible to bond again. Sierra had to learn that one early when she lost Bramley. I am grateful that she stayed open and found love again in donkey form.Sierra and Burrito

9 comments on “Childhood Friendships

  1. Beautiful!! I too grew up with animals as my friends. I had twin younger brothers when I was 6, we moved to the country and the attention went to the twins and I didn’t have my neighbor friends to hang out with so we got a dog who became “mine”. We ended up with 4 dogs (with others roamining in and out of our lives) along with 3+ cats, bunnies, a horse, and cows. I poured my heart out and love into my 4 dogs. We went for car rides, they all joined me in the bathroom, and we stayed up at night with deep conversations. Where else can one at a young age learn about love (unconditional at that) and as you say loss and learning that the process continues on and we do find another companion. People have said, too hard to own animals, they die too soon. But I wouldn’t live without that love in my home, despite the loss… the joy, lessons learned and wonder far outweigh!!! Thank you for the reminder 🙂

  2. This just made my day! Very uplifting. And such cute photos!

  3. These pictures bring back memories of my children’s loving bonds with our pets when they were (cats & children) growing up–to adopt their own pets!! Thanks, as always.

  4. Love! Love! Love! Your stories!! It sounds like the kids will follow in Mom’s footsteps with their amazing love for animals!

  5. Dawn, you are a gifted communicator on so many levels. Telepathically with the animals, and through your wonderfully written stories to us! You helped me understand the unexpected loss of my pet cat as well as my independent barn cat. Because you relayed their messages to me in a way they knew I’d understand, I have been able to help other pet owners cope with the loss of their pets in my new profession as a vet tech.
    On a side note, the experience I’ve had at your workshop has also helped me help clients who are struggling with difficult medical decisions for their seriously ill pets.

  6. I lost my Boomer of 18 years a Bernese mountain dog.
    Can you communicate to him for me
    Regards
    JK 512 699 0528

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