My family just experienced one of the worst things I think people have to go through, euthanizing a pet.
The Woodsons are animal people. We love pets. We have had just about everything you can imagine in our house from the typical dogs and cats to snakes, lizards, and a variety of rodents.
For a while we had been noticing our oldest cat, George (yep, that was his name), had been losing weight and recently had stopped being interested in food. So, we took him to the vet. He had some tests and was found to have cancer – everywhere. He was riddled with it and there was nothing that could be done. The vet said we could prolong his life for a little while but it would not be pleasant so we decided to do the tough thing, the right thing really, and have him put down. Needless to say, it was very difficult with many a tear-filled eye including yours truly blubbering like a baby.
When we got home, I had no words and after some time thinking and trying to work things through my system, I decided to mow my grass. Mowing the grass, as much as I dislike it, is a pretty good chance to think on things.
As I mused on George and how much I was going to miss him, I also thought about how pets teach a great, grand, huge lesson – the joy found in giving.
Pets are, for the most part, pretty selfish. I mean, while you can argue that they give us so much, what they really give us is joy and that joy is in giving … to them. They want to be rubbed, we rub them. They want food, we feed them. They want out, we let them out or take them on a walk. We, the human, do most, if not all, of the work – and we love it and them. It is a joy. And George by the way, gave me and my family immense joy. I am so grateful for all he asked of me and gave me the privilege to do for him because in the doing I found true happiness.
So why does this have to end with pets? Why do so many, even people who are generally nasty, able to give of their time and energy to an animal that does nothing but ask for things yet we can’t do it for people? It is a quandary but one certainly to be pondered and acted on. How can we change our thinking so that we are able to find joy in giving not only to animals but to people whether they are family, co-workers, customers, or anyone for that matter?
Thank you George. I will miss you and love you until I meet you again. You gave me so much by taking from me. A great lesson for all of us: the simple joy of giving.
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