Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Learning from our pets

by: Joelle Charbonneau

It’s still pet week (or weeks to accommodate those of us who post every other week) here on the Stiletto Gang.  When the group talked about doing some themed blog posts, I was happy to hear we were going to chat about our pets both past and present, because you can learn a lot about a person by hearing them talk about the animals that share their lives.

But while I had a great idea for a funny blog post in mind, I have chosen not to write it.  Why?  Because my heart is breaking for a friend.

Yesterday, I learned that a dear friend and fellow author, Ellery (Jen) Adams, lost a member of her family.  Her sister-in-law gave birth through c-section to a beautiful baby girl and then passed away before she ever had the chance to look into her baby’s eyes.  This year, I, too, have experienced the loss of a close family member, so I admit that I broke down and cried when I heard the news. 

There never seems to be enough time with our loved ones.  Sometimes the final goodbye lasts months or years, but often, as in Ellery’s case, the final moments come too soon leaving us with thoughts of the things we wished we said or did.  Making us long for extra moments where we could share our love without reservation.

Too often in our lives, we hold back.  We don’t say what is in our heart because we worry that someone will think we’re overemotional, or dramatic or just plain odd.  Sometimes we don’t express what is in our hearts and minds because the people we care about are not demonstrative in their affection.  Sometimes, we are scared to risk sharing our feelings in case they are not returned.  Other times we just take for granted that there will be moments in the future to embrace what we feel.

But those moments don’t always exist and too often we are left sad and unhappy that we didn’t grab those precious moments as we should have. 

Which is why we should learn from the theme of the last two weeks….our pets 

Dogs don’t worry about whether showering you with affection is going to embarrass them.  (If they did, we probably wouldn’t see quite so many dogs sniffing crotches.)  Cats don’t fret about whether the love they give is returned.  At least my cat doesn’t.  He just worms his way onto my lap and insists that I make him feel loved.  Rabbits, camels, gerbils, guinea pigs, parrots, ferrets…none of the animals we welcome into our lives worry about the proper time to express their love.  They just love us.  And because of that we love them.  Unashamedly.  Without reserve.  Without waiting for the right moment to express what is in our heart.

So today, I say that we should learn from our pets and learn to express affection to those we love every time the moment strikes.  We should go to those we care about, wrap our arms around them so tight they try to wriggle away and let them know they are important.  So we are never left wondering or wishing.

And for those of you who pray….please put a special prayer in your heart for Ellery and her family and send as much love and affection as you can her way.


  1. Great post, Joelle. I was so sorry to learn of Jen's loss. You're right about emulating our pets; unconditional love is what we should strive to give everyone (and thing) in our lives. Maggie

  2. I have been praying. I feel for that whole family. Yes, we definitely need to show our love to our family and friends. No one knows when it's all going to end.

    Joelle, thanks for this.


  3. What a touching and true post, Joelle. You're absolutely right when you tell us to emulate our pets. They tend to live in a universe of love. Have you ever seen the shock on the face of a happy pet when someone does something mean? To them, it's inexplicable. I hope that I can someday be as good as the dogs I've had throughout the years,

    Praying for Ellery and her family. Linda

  4. How sad to lose a mother before a child even gets to know her! Showing love--what better way to live a life fulfilled!?

    Thank you for your heartfelt post. Also, thank you for visiting my blog.

    Mary Montague Sikes

  5. Nice post, Joelle, and I'm so sorry about the death of your family member. What a loss at such an important time. Pets are such special beings. I couldn't live without them and their unbridled affection and love.

  6. All healing prayers for Ellery and her family. And I will do my best to hug every single cat and dog in my house, and then hug my daughter until she begs me to let go.

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  8. This is truly heartbreaking. My thoughts and prayers are with your family and you at this hard, hard time. We must treasure who and what we have before they are taken from us.