Four Legged Life Coaches
by Mary Brady
Man’s best friends, domesticated since prehistoric times, traveling companions for explorers and artists, thinkers and walkers and equally happy curled up by the fire and bounding through the great outdoors — dogs and cats matter to us because we love them. They become an integral part of our lives as well as our hearts.
Let’s dispense with the wellworn clichés concerning dogs and cats and their masters, seeing them not as submissive pets, but rather as unexpected life coaches, ready to teach us the elusive recipes for contentment and joy. Both canines and felines have faced their fate in life with a certain detachment that is not easy for humans to understand.
Unlike other animals in a similar situation, they have not become hardened, nor have they let themselves die a little inside. On the contrary, they seem to have softened. During this COVID pandemic, we can understand this miracle, the miracle of the joy of cats and dogs as thinkers — thinkers who may perhaps know the true secret of their own humanity.
What follows are four examples in the lives of four remarkable animals that have served as an inspiration to their owners as well as tickling funny bones.
The Bells — Tom, Fran & Boomer
Boomer is a feisty little King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, albeit deaf. Boomer has been part of the Bell Family for 5 years. Boomer watches “Dad” while “Mom Fran” is out. While Tom was havinga nice hot bath, Boomer was close by. After his bath, Tom called Boomer, and the dog was nowhere to be found. It was impossible for the pooch to have gotten out, so Boomer was MIA somewhere in the house. When “Mom Fran” returned home, she also joined in the search. Hours went by, and no Boomer.
Frantically searching the house again, both Fran and Tom would kick the drawer under the washer in to close it in the laundry room. Finally, a light bulb went off simultaneously in both their heads, or the “bell was rung”, and both Bells pulled out the drawer to see Boomer’s tiny face poking up behind the drawer. He wedged himself behind the drawer under the washing machine, and must have been squeezed or squished each time they kicked the door closed. The dog managed to push the drawer out a tiny bit, but he had himself stuck. When Tom removed the drawer, Boomer was free and a bit perplexed as to all the commotion he had caused. Despite hours of searching, all three Bells were relieved and had a good laugh, and Boomer was snug in the arms of his family once again. This is a COVID story they will always cherish!
Lesson taught: Patience and don’t panic! Wait for the Bell!
The Moroskys — Diane, Bob & Max
Max is a handsome 8 year old King German Shepard. A year ago, the dog was having issues with his back leg, and Bob took him all over to different vets to find a remedy. A vet in Miami insisted that the leg was cancerous and should be amputated. With heavy hearts, the Moroskys agreed to the surgery.
After the removal of the leg, the Moroskys requested that a biopsy be done, and it showed that the leg was not cancerous, and could have been saved. Bob & Diane were inconsolable. Max came to the rescue and was as resilient as could be. He took on life on life’s terms and is a happy and loved animal. He ambles around very well on 3 legs. Bob said, “If we are feeling down, we just look at Max and he makes us smile. During this time of social distancing, we have bonded even closer with him and he teaches us, we must deal with the hand we are dealt.”
Lesson taught: Love, forgive and make the best of each day.
Paul Sullivan and Hannah
Paul is a widower and lost his faithful dog Kelly last year. Despondent and lost without a companion, Paul reached out to Michelle Beach of MarrVelous Pet Rescue. Within a matter of weeks, Paul was introduced to Hannah, a 5 year old Brindle mix. It was love at first sight for them. Hannah settled in to life with Paul and the certain daily routines that they share. “She is my reason to wake up and start my day. She is my faithful companion. She lets me know it is bedtime.” During this lonely time with very little socialization, Hannah has proven herself to be an ideal pal to Paul. “An older dog is just what I needed. She is low maintenance and never runs away. She always lends an ear and does not argue with me. I have always had dogs and without one, I had no reason to get up in the morning.” Now, his days are filled with joy as they tackle life together. Paul is grateful to the Rescue for putting them together. Hannah never thought in a million years she would land a home in Ocean Reef!
Lesson taught: Never give up. There is always a silver lining. When you are abandoned, have faith things will get better.
Mary Smith & Lily
Having spotted a tiny kitten in the Fishing Village, Mary Smith was on a mission. “That poor tiny thing will not survive alone.” Enlisting help from friends, Mary got Lily to ORCAT for a full exam and shots. Friendly and outgoing, Lily seemed to sense her luck was about to change. Mary adopted her and made her part of the family. Lily has the run of the house at the Sanctuary. “She really keeps me on my toes,” Mary says. “She seems to delight in mischief and she makes me laugh. She wakes me up swinging from my new drapes. There is never a dull moment with Lily.” Every day is an adventure.
“I believe Lily is a professional lady golfer trapped in a kitten’s body. She loves to watch golf and swipes her paw at the ball. The big TV screen is her playground.” Mary says, “Life is so much better with a pet.” Lily has her “Mom” wrapped around her little paw for sure!
Lesson taught: Shoot for the stars, and you may reach the moon! Personality gets you places.