Goodbyes are never easy and this is true with pets as well as with people. Our pets have their own special places in our hearts and in our lives and when they are gone there is an empty space that wasn’t there before. In their absence we become acutely aware of the part they played in our life, as the presence of the empty space they left behind confronts us at every turn as we go about our day. Such is my experience today.
I have said goodbye to my furry, four-legged friend of sixteen years, my cat Cinamon. It was a quiet, peaceful, unceremonious parting. She had a place all her own in my home and in my heart and I am feeling her absence today. Pets truly are one of God’s good gifts to us. They become part of our families. They bring us joy, companionship, and comfort as they give us the gift of their unconditional love. Indeed, God gave Adam the job of naming the animals and the responsibility to care for them.
Today it seems we are discovering as if for the first time all the ways animals are beneficial to us. Seeing eye dogs have been around for a long time and are widely accepted. Police dogs and other service dogs are increasing as well. Pet therapies are now being recognized for all the benefits that can result. Whether with young children or the elderly, in hospitals or other settings, bringing animals in for people to interact with has positive outcomes. These therapy animals can provide comfort, calmness, evoke a response from less or non-responsive patients, bring a smile, bring hope, establish a connection with hard to reach people. Animals sometimes seem to break down barriers that people can’t cross.
Animals are being trained today as service pets for people with many kinds of disabilities, not just blindness. These animals become not only care takers but the constant companions of those they are trained to serve. Pets become family members and teach children valuable lessons in responsibility and caring for those who cannot care for nor speak for themselves. Pets teach us compassion and bring us comfort. Pets provide a sense of purpose for the elderly by giving them someone who needs their care, someone who depends on them.
I thank God for His good gift of animals of all kinds. Such diversity and creativity in animals as in all other aspects of creation, for us to enjoy and to watch over. Pets are a particularly rewarding and wonderful part of His gift to us to enjoy. So today, as I feel the absence of my furry, four-legged friend of these many years, I will reflect on God’s goodness and be grateful that I had such a friend for such a time as I did.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'” (Genesis 1:26)
“You made him ruler over the works of Your hands; You put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:6-9)
sincerely, Grace Day