Both my cat and dog were “rescues”. People tell you you’re such a good person for taking them in, saving their lives. But I believe my animals were sent to me to teach me love and compassion. I believe they came to me to watch over me and allow me to nurture them and find joy in that experience. My cat Jazzmin picked me. After visiting her crate she reached her paw out to me and called me back. Years later, my dog Hero came into my life. She and her brother were just too adorable to adopt just one dog.
Through the trials and tribulations of graduate school, the ups and downs in my first marriage, my battle with infertility and depression, my animals were a constant reminder that every day was new. If in the moment the world seemed to be collapsing around me, I should still keep going, if only for their sake. Time to feed us, time to walk, time to play with us and give us love, even though you feel you don’t have any love left in you to give.
My cat Jazzmin passed away at 17 in November two years ago. And I feel she’s still with me. My dog Hero is now 11. She survived lung cancer surgery last Winter. She bounced back, and continues to be strong, happy, and vibrant, reminding me on every single daily walk to stay present, and enjoy that moment with her.