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                               Caring, compassionate assistance as your beloved pet prepares for life's next phase

 

Writings by Jackie

Grief and Loss
Why Should I Trust You?
As Taught by the Animals
Sharing Autumn Days
Senior and Special-Needs Animals
Natural Beauty
A Changing Paradigm
Living With Seniors
Dog Mom
Geriatric Cats
Old Dog
The Story of Satin
Sparkler
The Untimely Death
The Story of Obie
Animals as Spiritual Beings

Why Should I Trust You?

Maybe theyíre found wandering aimlessly. Maybe theyíre surrendered to a shelter or sanctuary. Maybe their owner goes into a nursing home, relocates, or for another reason can not care for them, and abandons them. They are the animals we see everyday.

If they are lucky, they find space in a sanctuary or shelter. If they are luckier, they find themselves in a place that provides medical care. And if they are really lucky, they find their forever home.

Getting to that forever home can be a difficult path. The humans, who are trying to place them often have limited knowledge of the animalís past. We, who rescue, want to give each one every opportunity to be adopted by that perfect family. To accomplish that mission, the animal is expected to present well to others, both animals and humans alike. Be smart, be housebroken, know as many commands as possible, and express affection freely. Thatís the animal that people want!

Now think of this story from the animalís perspective.

ďYou donít know me. You know what other people told you. You really donít know where Iíve been, or what Iíve been through. You say youíll make it better for me, better on whose terms? Why should I believe you? Why should I trust you?Ē

The animal that presents as shy, timid, moody, anxious, and even somewhat aggressive at times may have trust issues with humans. That difficult path to find a forever home becomes more difficult when an animal has trust issues to work through. They may not gush with enthusiasm when a human walks up to them. They may not want to be petted. They may not show much desire to be affectionate at all. They may cringe or panic when approached. Maybe they freeze without even the slightest wag of a tail. Those expressions of emotion are real, because they are expressed with total honesty. This is where this animal is in their development at the moment.

It takes time to build trust and patience and understanding. It also takes a belief that every animal who presents in this way has the potential to become greater, to become a trusting animal, to develop a genuine bond with that special person who can connect with them. A person who can bring the qualities of time, patience and understanding to the relationship. 

We tend not to be a patient society and none of us seems to have an abundance of time. Our capacity to understand can only be found internally, in the quiet moments when we sit and ponder who we are. Can we meet the needs of the animals in our lives? Maybe you can sense their thoughts when youíre with them, maybe itís just a sensation that you get when you look in their eyes, or your innate response to their body language. 

I ask myself, ďAm I strong enough in character to meet the challenge this animal has brought into my life? The relationship is not one-sided. You donít just serve the animal in need - the animal also serves you. 

Why this particular animal, why at this time in my life? How will I grow by sharing my patience, time and understanding with this being? What lessons am I to learn by allowing this animal in my life, at this juncture? Where will our mutual journey lead us? 

Answers, at first, are unknown. The answers come as you accept the challenge and walk down the difficult path.