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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Love is Always Love


When my aunt's third Scottish terrier died (she always got exactly the very same dog from the same breeder over a period of decades, and always gave the dogs the same name, almost as if she wanted to believe each was an extension of the former...), she was, as you can imagine, beside herself. She was living in Lindau, a beautiful resort town with a medieval old town centre by the Lake of Constance at the time, and I lived in Miami, and as she did not let me know about Taika's demise, I knew nothing until the next time I called.

When it became clear to me that something was amiss and when I eventually pulled it out of her, my first question was to ask why she had not told me immediately. Her answer - much as she loved her dog - was: it was only a pet.

To that I said to her: but love is always love. It makes no difference if it's a pet or a human being, because what we feel inside is the same. If we had to choose which one to save - in a calamitous event such as an earthquake or hurricane - we would (probably) choose the human, but other than an extreme situation of that nature, love is love.

When one of my cats was hit by a car one night (she loved to spend her nights outside and our very suburban Miami neighbourhood in those years was generally quite safe and tranquil), I was also beside myself. I told my sons that my grief was so strong because my love had been so strong. The fact that she was "merely" a cat, made absolutely no difference to the quality of my love.

And precisely because of that, our furry and feathered friends can make such a difference to our lives. When we love them, and they love us back, they add immensely to the quality of our lives because of the quality of our - and their - love.

 Love is always love.

Cat Photo Credit: Willem Siers
Dog Photo Credit

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