Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Gift of Love

As anyone who might chance to read this blog, you have no doubt seen my many references to Tanner, my Golden Retriever and best friend. In fact, it's no surprise that I named the blog after him. Calling it Tanner's World seemed appropriate since as in my very first post I observed that it is his world, he just lets me live in it. At least it sometimes seems that way. But in fact, I have a very soft spot in my heart for all animals. That's why it's on my mind quite often when I see ads for sheltered and homeless animals, that it makes me wonder if people really understand what they can do to not only help these defenseless animals, but give yourself a special gift in the process.

That gift would be the gift of love. Let's take dogs and cats. You see, dogs and cats are very social animals who crave human companionship. They open their hearts to you, and they give unconditional love and loyalty. I won't forget that before Tanner, I had a Siberian Husky named Yukon. I adopted him from the local shelter, and for almost 11 years he was a wonderful companion. When the aging process finally caught up and I had to have him put down, it was the hardest thing I can remember having to do. Ever. Coming home that day from the vets office, I have never felt so alone, the house quite so empty feeling, there was no doubt that someone special was missing. After a couple of days of this emptiness, I again called the local shelter and talked with the woman there for a while. After our conversation she told me there was someone at the shelter that I had to meet. So I drove there, and she led me to the back, to a fenced in grassy section to meet Tanner. He had been left at the shelter because his family had to relocate and couldn't, or wouldn't bring him along.

I didn't know at first how I would accept him really, with the recent loss of Yukon, but from the first moment I saw he was exceptionally friendly, playful, and craving that love and attention he so needed. It didn't take very long until I saw that we would get along fine, and after a brief process of paperwork, he got in the car to go to his forever home with me.

Well, after a few days of settling in and learning the new surroundings he really started to feel at home. I could tell he was used to being inside, because he was trained already in lots of things, but at around 2 years old he still had some playfulness in him. Actually more than 3 years later, he still does. But I could tell that he really and truly craved attention and love, and as the time went by, we got to know each other better, until now it's almost as if we have a special rapport with each other, down to our own little rituals. I can't imagine having a more loyal or loving companion than Tanner now. Of course he's not a great watch dog because he has never met a stranger, but that's ok too. He makes it up with his love and companionship. He's just 120 pounds of heart and soul.

Anyway, if you read here, then you're sure to notice the banners on my sidebar featuring several animal sites, such as the HSUS, ASPCA, WSPA and others. I ask you to please visit these sites to give your support for all the hard work they do. And if you are now, or sometime in the future thinking of adopting a pet, give your local animal shelter a try. You will be surprised at the gift of love you will find there.


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Sandee said...

I can understand the name of your blog quite well. We have a flat coat retriever named Little Bit. She's 80 pounds, but she's still our Little Bit.

Have a great day. :)