“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
Imagine a world where your dog could save you from drowning. For some people in Wales, this is not just an imagination but a reality! Ten years prior to being a canine hero, a black retriever known as, Swansea Jack, saved a small boy’s life from drowning near the River Tawe. A few weeks later Swansea Jack saved another swimmer, this time with witnesses present and he did so again and again. Swansea Jack saved the lives of 27 people from drowning in the river and around the docks of Wales.
Hearing the words "National Pet Day" is enough to make my heart soar. I’m not just talking about pets, but all animals that enrich our lives and those of so many families around the world! This past Monday was a great reminder for me and how much love there really can be in someone's life - even if they're an animal like our fur babies. Despite what anyone might say, they are like our children or even more so.
My love of animals started when I was very young while I was growing up in India. Back there and then, it was a luxury to have a pet of any kind and despite asking multiple times, my parents always said, “No.” Unable to have one of my own and determined to have my way (as we often do at that age), I found comfort and friendship feeding and caring for the stray dogs and cats in our neighborhood, hoping one day to have some of my own.
I’ve come a long way from India, finding my happiest self, my best life and a beautiful loving family that today includes the most adorable dogs in the world. Our oldest one, a maltipoo dog named Marvel, is 4 years old and he is protective as he is affectionate. While he loves his massages and isn’t so keen on cuddling, when I hike or run he is always by my side. His brother Bruno, is a toy poodle that joined our family 3 years later and is just the cutest toy poodle I’d ever seen.
Dynamics between sibling pets are no different than children. When Bruno first joined our family, Marvel wasn’t happy with losing some of our attention to him, but soon enough when he realized he wasn’t being replaced, he became a close companion to Bruno.
In so many ways pets are as straightforward and honest with their joy of life and love as children are, and in a way, we might possibly lose as we get older. When I come home after a stressful day my pets are there for me. They'll wag their tails and jump up on me in excitement because they know that means one thing: You're finally free from work! I think this is perhaps the most enduring reason why we need pets in our lives. They’re our mirror and reminder to never lose that childish joy for simple things, to feel great, to be alive, respect nature, remind us to take the time to express love with kind actions, and to openly love all the people in our lives.
And I feel all of that. When we are out running together in the wind, hiking to explore, and chasing a path around the treeline, we’re in the moment together. Together in bed watching TV with Gautama and myself or making a soapy mess as I wash them and give them a little bit of hair grooming…we’re a family.
A house is always a home when it’s filled with joy and love and I’m thankful for my husband, children and EVEN our 4-legged children who make it such.