Some people I see only once, a fleeting glimpse into their lives. One visit, meeting their pets, helping them with whatever it may be – disease prevention, a sick pet or maybe a very old one who needs a helping hand to the other side. Maybe they move away, or maybe they lose their pet somehow, and don’t need my help, or their marriage falls to pieces, and they lose their pet in the custody battles that follow. Others I see now and then, maybe once every year, or only every 3 or 4 years. Routine visits, checkups, just to make sure everything’s ok. Or their pet has been fine for years, and suddenly is getting old and needs some attention.
Then there are the few special people, and their pets. The ones with ongoing health issues, who need deeper, more constant support. I’ve seen a handful of pets maybe 15-20 times over the past 2 & 1/2 years. Old dogs with heart failure. Arthritic dogs. Anxious dogs. Cats with kidney failure. Itchy dogs with chronic allergies. These are the people I get to know well, the ones who open the doors of their lives to my helping hands. I treasure the relationships that build and grow over time. I see the tapestry of their lives in glimpses and shared moments – the challenges and the beauty, the moments dark with suffering, and bright with joy. They become friends.
One of these special families of people and their dog are moving away soon. Recently I had a visit with them, one of the last. She walked me outside, to the van, and suddenly gave me an unexpected hug, with a freshet of tears. Thanks tumbled from her lips, words not able to hold it all, but the gist was that I’d helped them so much in their lives, been able to do so much for them, and it was deeply appreciated. I felt humbled, because I was just being me, you know, nothing special. I just like to help people, and their pets. It’s what I do.
We all touch people’s lives, every time we meet. We can’t know how profoundly a shared word, or even the simple presence of our being for a moment, a breath, a shared glance of understanding, the magic of human interaction – may be the snowflake that triggers an avalanche of change in the life of another. It’s all too easy to forget that, to get wrapped up in the illusions we spin inside our heads.
Working with people’s pets is such a profound blessing, because there’s no greater doorway to someone’s heart than a well loved furry friend. There’s no love purer or deeper, more unconditionally accepting, than the love our pets hold for us in their softly glowing eyes (except perhaps that of a newborn child for their mum and dad). It cracks us open, shows us who we truly are when we let go of all the patterns life has wrapped us up in.
So thank you to all of you who read my words, and allow me the privilege of helping your pets feel well and happy. I value our relationship…