Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way. —John Muir
We all need a special friend to lean on from time to time; that someone we can always count on to be there. We trust them to keep our secrets and are safe to cry and show sides of ourselves we keep hidden from the outside world. It’s a relationship that deepens and grows throughout the years.
This relationship comes into your life and changes you. You are happy being around your friend. They make you laugh, and you hurt when they hurt. This relationship comes in many forms, and some of our deepest bonds are with animals. These are friends who check in with us looking for areas where they might help us and bring balance into our lives.
Terry experienced this type of relationship with her horse. He was her “best friend and a real blessing” when she was a young girl. He was always there for her when she needed him. She recalled being very upset and crying when she walked into the barn one day. Her horse walked over to her and very gently rubbed his head against her in a show of concern and support. Terri looked up at him and saw a tear roll down his face. She wrapped her arms around him, hugging him and allowing this loving horse all the time he needed to help her through this time.
When Izzy brought Tom home from the shelter, he was a very sick cat. Over the next several weeks, Izzy worked tirelessly with veterinary specialists to find help for Tom, then nursed him back to health with the aid of an extensive list of medications. Once recovered, Tom returned the favor by stepping into the roles of both nursemaid and healer. When Izzy has a headache or cold, Tom curls up next to her and gently presses his paw pads on her forehead in just the perfect spot. Tom used his paws recently to help Izzy after the removal of a wisdom tooth.
These are the friends that answer the call for help. Caroline was struggling after a two-year relationship ended. Though it had been a complicated relationship, she was having a hard time moving on and was spending large parts of her day checking social media sites, keeping her stuck. In desperation, Caroline asked her little dog to help her. One day she went to pick up her phone to start her media search and her dog grabbed her shirt sleeve firmly and held on to it. Caroline thanked him for stopping her. She knew it was time to focus on her self-healing and start creating a healthy life for herself.
It’s fun to ask our animal friends to show us that they are receiving even our simple requests, those “everyday” type messages. Debbie was heading home after a night class and thought it would be fun if her two dogs met her at the door. She reported that they were always sleeping on her bed when she arrived home. Tonight Debbie asked that one of the dogs greet her first, lick her and talk to her in a whiny voice, unlike his own. Next, she requested that her Chihuahua join him, sit, then give her a big smile. Debbie’s eyes twinkled, and she smiled recalling her welcome home. For the first time, Rudy met Debbie at the door, covered her in kisses then whined right on cue. Behind him sat Gidget, Debbie’s Chihuahua, with the brightest smile ever. Whether we make a conscious request or not, our animal friends hear us.
Sometimes even the best relationships get off track whether it’s human-to-animal or animal-to- animal. I watched a close friendship change between my cat and dog after adding a three-year- old Havanese to our family. My cat pushed her face into the new dog on his first day in our home. I understood she was establishing her position in the pack. My Spaniel, however, became agitated and chased her away to protect his new friend.
This chasing went on for a while despite my best efforts. Then one day, I realized the dogs had turned this into a game based largely on my cat’s response. Though I wasn’t an animal communicator at the time, I told my cat, Sami, this was her home; she was here first, and she needed to take her power back and that I would be there to support her. Sami was to walk past the dogs confidently with her head held high and march over to her food all the while ignoring them. She hesitated at first but overcame it quickly with a little encouragement. When Sami stopped running, the relationship shifted. In time, the trio began to trust one another and forged a deep friendship. For years to come, they would be each other’s support and playmates.
A friend to rely on, a special someone, they enrich our lives, and we are a better person because of them. It’s a friendship unlike any other.