Archive for Thursday, May 1, 2008

Fill hole in heart with pets

May 1, 2008

About a month ago, Rodney, a client and a close friend, suggested I invest some reading time with Mark Levins "Rescuing Sprite." Rodney knew I was an avid reader of novels and it seemed he was also.

I had a few opportunities to purchase it in a bookstore in Lawrence, but for some reason I just passed it up. Last week, Rodney stopped in for dog food and left his copy of this wonderful short story. I took the hint, and after my current novel was finished I picked up "Rescuing Sprite" and dove in.

In 2007, I recommended a read called "Marley." The "Rescuing Sprites" theme is very similar. The reader will find it bonding to family and furry friends as this romantic story of the trials and tribulations of pet ownership is spun. Bottom line, it's very dangerous for most of us pet lovers to even walk among the cages in a shelter without falling in love with at least one puppy or kitten.

I am certain, as sure as the heavenly, higher powers that fill that vacancy in our heart of hearts, we find that fulfillment in adopting one or two of these homeless furballs. When the Levins adopt a second dog, Sprite, they find out the dog is older than they first thought. Soon, health problems, such as arthritis, begin to plague Sprite. Visits to local vets begin. Then more serious maladies of health consume Sprite, and the Levins begin to have to cope with difficult decisions of their beloved pet's fate.

We have all been there, done that. All too many times, these critters just get too wrapped around the axles of our lives, bringing us to an emotional time of life. This last Saturday afternoon after changing in to my grubbies, I headed out to the fence project I started earlier this month. It was a beautiful sunny, warm day, and I was relieved a long, hard week was completed.

Suddenly, my cell phone rang. I debated whether I should answer or let it be referred to the emergency center, as I sometimes do when I need private time. But something told me to answer, and I found myself consulting a client who had a 15-year old dog who could not get up. I was soon putting his old friend down in front of the clinic in the back of his van. It was a tough decision to make but made easier by the hopelessness of the dog's final condition.

I have not gotten to Sprite's end, but I believe hard, emotional decisions face the Levins as a part of the reality of their love relationship with old Spritely. Mark Levins is quoted in the early part of the book as saying, "Goldfish, turtles, and hamsters are pets. Dogs and cats are family."

As you can see, I've been pretty smitten by this love story about adopted dogs. No wonder last Friday at our clinic alone we placed five kittens with new families. Even on Saturday, I dropped by Lawrence Humane Society, only to find difficulty getting a place to park. There must have been lots of gaping heart holes to fill. Surely, many rescues occurred that day as those critters did their best to win over a potential master.

Had a hole in your heart of hearts today? Fill it with fur (or feathers and/or scales) and save a pet. The dividends are priceless.

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