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The Magic Of Stray Dogs And Cats

Feb 18, 2008
We all want to be loved. So we enter a relationship. We often feel let down. It does not feel conditional, the way our grandparents treated us as children. We miss it. We sometimes received it from our parents as well. In any case, it seems to evaporated from the planet. Or has it?

We finish high school or college and find out the world is not the same as the safety of the academic womb with someone holding our hand down the hallway of academia. We are on our own. We have to learn to love and be loved or be alone. Is that all there is to life? Not quite.

Have you ever owned a dog or cat? There are no conditions. We may train our dogs and cats, to do certain tricks (it impresses our friends), but have you thought about what they teach us?

You are skeptical. Not to worry. So was I. I never expected to adopt my last dog. He found me. If he hadn't, I would be a bitter soul today. Instead I went from rural Arkansas to the Hollywood "A" list and I am not exaggerating. People love me. I am doing nothing consciously different. I owned a dog whom I saved; but he really saved me.

I will give you a ridiculous far-out example, but, more often than not, we have our pets spayed or neutered, which is a smart thing, unless we are breeders of them.

And yet dog remains man's best friend. Can you imagine having the same procedure done to your own human best friend, and he or she come home and lick you in the face the next day wagging his/her tail and wanting nothing but your love or attention? I know that is a bit far-fetched, but it is a reality.

A dog (and even a cat) loves you simply for being you. There is an old Irish prayer, "Lord, please make me half the man my dog thinks I am".

And if you think a dog or cat will love you unconditionally, you can take that a step further. Try adopting one from your local shelter. Cats and, it seems especially dogs, have a keen 6th sense and memory that is better than an elephant. They will appreciate you and show you a kind of love you've never had, simply for saving them. And believe me, they know. I don't know how but they do and remember it forever.

My latest stray "Thor", a mixed breed that I found in the woods in rural Ms just passed away last month. He looked a lot like Benji. That was 12 years ago. He lived, the vet believes, to be almost 22 years old. Ironically, the first Benji, (there have been more) was found not far from where I discovered him. Or he discovered me and won my heart.

After owning Thor a few years, I found people were much more pleasant to me. I thought it was because I had such a cute friendly people-loving dog. Maybe that was a part of it, but the major part of it was Thor had taught me something I had never experienced before, unconditional love on steroids. That dog loved me no matter what.

Thor became my baby and I dstill think of him often and grieve. I also remember the happy healthy times which were most of the time. I fed him the b.a.r.f. diet only and plenty of herbal tinctures. I will soon adopt or find another dog and know that I will experience this most unique phenomena that can be found nowhere else. What a blessing this is to anyone.

Author Rick London is a cartoonist who created Londons Times Cartoons in 1997. He focuses a great deal of his work on animal-related cartoons, particularly dogs and cats and manufacturers funny gifts and collectibles with their images. One of his stores that features such dog and cat products as tshirts, casual wear, mouse pads, aprons, hoodies and more is the Rick London Wear online store full of funny dog and cat cartoon gifts and clothing. A percentage of all sales benefit animal groups and causes
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