Furry Children

Furry People

Furry people help me live in a better place than the one I inhabit alone.

Furry people are dogs and cats and (now my son has a bird) and I consider them my children.  I know that is cracked.  I don’t care.  I try not to tell people outside my family unit how I feel about my animals. After all, I don’t want to be locked up. The animals give unconditional love.  They are here when no one else is home.  They are warm and soft and when I am at my lowest, they know.  Usually, Penny, my smallest dog, gets in bed with me and stays the whole day, practicing ‘heel.’

The animals are our family hobby.  We gather around them to watch them play and to play with them.  As a family, we talk about them and enjoy taking the three dogs out to parks or swimming holes. There is something completely engaging about watching a dog frolic in the water: or watching the kitten chase his tail.

Often, when I cry, I hug one of them.  They don’t understand, but they know I am in pain.  I have noticed that it causes the dogs to pant.  My pain makes them sweat.  I wonder why that is.  I think the secret of the furries is just that: they care and their capacity to care is endless.  They never judge.  They don’t ask if the pain is real or if I am going to ever get better.  They don’t care if I am contagious.  It doesn’t matter if I haven’t brushed my teeth.  The animals know what I need, instinctively.  If only they could accompany me on those difficult trips to ER or the hospital stays that suck so badly.  I have often wished I could sneak Penny dog into my infusion treatment.

I know I sound like a real baby talking about all of this but I think there is a deeper level here. Human beings are too complicated.  We worry about ourselves: “Am I going to get sick too if I hang out with Katie?”  “Is Katie going to die?” “I can’t help her and I am too uncomfortable to stay here.” Etc. etc.   The animals don’t have all these thoughts and dilemmas.  They just know they are needed.  They only have one job description: to love and cuddle unconditionally.

They do that well and sometimes, that is all  the sick person needs.

Thanks be to God for the Furry Children.

2 Replies to “Furry Children”

  1. You wrote me earlier today about my blog and our shared illness. I just read your furry children entry…I currently have 5 dogs, 10 cats and 3 parrots…our children…and understand your sentiments completely.

    I want to add something that I learned during a 6-week hospital stay. A kind nurse informed me that pretty much any hospital has a provision for letting a dog come visit. They don’t advertise it. She got my husband the form. Your vet has to send a letter stating your dog has up-to-date vaccinations and the dog has to be bathed just before visiting. That’s it. I had him bring my “Golden Aussie” (Australian Shepherd/Golden Retriever Mix). I’ve shared this with a few other people and they were able to bring a dog to visit a loved one as well. No cats, I’m afraid. They say that too many people have serious allergies to them.

    1. THat’s great. I will definitely remember. I miss the furries as much as the humans sometimes. I have three dogs and they are all really well behaved for that kind of setting. I am so much more relaxed when they are around!

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