Do you have a furry friend? Maybe a cat or dog who shares your home?
Is it ever difficult to fully express how you feel about them?
Ever find yourself downplaying the relationship?
Would someone make fun of you if you admitted how much you care about your cat or dog?
And why leave out the animals who lack fur?
Fish and birds can be great companions to people too.
But even that last sentence somehow objectifies the individuals who don’t look like us. We turn them into commodities with our words. Why can’t we just love them because we do?
Must we always define our connection to them in utilitarian terms?
It’s interesting how our words can shape our perceptions and feelings.
For instance, when speaking about dogs or cats, we don’t refer to their hand or foot. We say paw. But my little Amelie has hands. I know this because she uses them for digging. And I know she is right-handed because that is the hand that gets dirty the most.
It feels strange to call her “front legs” or “front paws” hands, doesn’t it?’
But anatomically, it’s closer to the truth. She just happens to walk on her hands too. Pretty cool trick when you think about it.
My little Amelie has helped me work with my clients from time to time. She has deep empathy and when my clients have cried, she has gone to them to comfort them. Like any loving individual would if we didn’t have all these rules about “professional” behavior. But Amelie doesn’t follow those rules. She follows her heart.
I took to calling her a therapy dog for awhile. But recently that term hasn’t sat well with me. Again, it’s like she has no value unless she is doing something for humans. So now I just say she has deep empathy. She is a very caring individual.
If you find this topic interesting, you might want to check out my article in Healers Magazine. It’s short and to the point. And it might help you find the courage to speak openly about how much affection you have for the other creatures who share your life.
After all, there is nothing shameful about loving someone. (See what I did there? Broke another “rule” because you know I am not “supposed” to call a cat or dog or bird or fish, someone. See how that works?}