Thursday, August 19, 2010

Guardian Angels

I have always been an animal lover. I think that many animals have a sixth sense about them. When I was 7 years old, my parents bought a Jack Russel Terrier puppy. To this day, I remember hearing his tiny paws coming down our old apartment hallway and being so surprised. He looked like a pig in a way, with his pot belly and short little legs. He had black and white spots, and on his head was a white spot shaped like a diamond. Thus, to a 7-year-old little girl, his name was born. Being an only child, having Diamond was a blessing. He was my best friend, my protector, my playmate. His spirit never failed to make me smile. As I hit the challenging teen years he seemed to be the only 'person' who understood me at times. He was (and still is) my family in every sense of the word. When I was upset, he never left my side, and often tried to lick the tears off of my face. Leaving him at my parents' house was probably the hardest part of moving into my own apartment. Now, as his 17th birthday approaches (crazy, I know), I am aware that our memories together are probably limited. He has aged the most over the past year or so... he has trouble seeing, his back legs are weak, and his hearing is lacking. He has to be carried up the stairs and can no longer jump on and off the bed. People often ask why we haven't put him to sleep. For the record, I would never in a million years want to be selfish and keep him around suffering simply because letting him go would be too hard. Sincerely at this point, he still gets excited to go for a walk. He still snuggles next to me. He still knows when it's time to eat and will still bark for table food. He's still Diamond...just an older version. My hope is that when the time comes he will fall asleep wrapped up warm in his favorite blanket, curled up next to my parents and drift away. 17 years is a long time to know someone, whether person or animal. And I will surely not be the same without him. But how blessed I am to have had a guardian angel with me for 17 years.

My boyfriend's dog, Josie, seems to have smiliar qualities. When Jon is not feeling well, she will lay beside him with her head resting on his leg and not move for hours. When I was upset, she followed me up the stairs and licked the tears off my face...I felt like she was telling me, "Don't cry, everything is going to be alright." And surely she must know. <3

I don't usually mesh well with people who aren't animal just doesn't really make sense to me why someone wouldn't like animals. Perhaps they aren't ready to be loved that way. Animals love us unconditionlly... without question, without expectation, regardless of what we look like, what we've done, where we've been. It is perhaps the purest form of love that exists.

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