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