Anyone can say that they love animals, but do they really? I’ve met several people who say they love dogs, but when they came face to face with my Irish Setter they cowered in a corner in fear. For those who don’t know, Irish Setters are not vicious. They’re actually large bundles of love. In fact, I don’t believe that any dog is innately vicious. When you meet a nasty dog, look at the owner or previous owners because, more often than not, people are to blame for mean dogs.
I’ve also met people who say they love animals, but “not in the house where they might dirty up the place.” While I will concede to the fact that I personally don’t want to live in the same house as a chicken, a pig, a cow, or a horse, I couldn’t imagine living inside my home while part of my family is forced to live outside at the mercy of the elements. Radar (my dog), George, Violet, and Salem (my cats) are family.
Before I made the decision to ‘adopt’ a dog into my family, I did a lot of reading, a lot of thinking, and a lot of soul-searching. There were articles that came right out and said ‘don’t get a dog if… you don’t like hair, fur, or muddy footprints in your house.’ At the time, I had much younger children and, so, I had already committed to living with happy fun-loving little mess makers. Getting a dog wasn’t really going to stretch me at all… a little more vacuuming, a little more mopping, no big deal. True animal lovers accept the ‘bad’ with the ‘good.’
Cats. They’re different from dogs. Cats are very majestic and bossy. Dogs are easy-going, loving, and, most often, complacent. What do they have in common? Both are loyal and loving. Each cat, however; will choose its own way of sharing affection and you pretty much have to go with it. You are not the ‘boss’ of the cat. The basic hierarchy in a home with both of these animals is… cat, human, dog.
A true animal lover loves all animals even if they don’t want to live with all of them. I can feel sympathy for the plight of a porcupine, but I don’t want to live with it.
A true animal lover would NEVER harm an animal or abandon it to the elements. All animals have feelings whether people care to admit to it or not.
The sign of a true animal lover? Someone who is almost always covered in fur, has ‘poop’ bags in their pockets, and has ‘pet’ pictures displayed right along with ‘family’ pictures.