Originally written for PetWise
It's February and love is in the air! Can you FEEL it? If you've ever watched a cat lolling in the sun, or seen a dog with its head out the window of a moving car, then you know that for our beloved pets, love is ALWAYS in the air. And not just on Valentine's Day or during the Christmas season, but every day of every year - 24/7.
Their mantras are ones of enjoyment, play, adoration, and as they embody the best of our humanity - often better than we ourselves do - I believe we have much to learn from them. Unlike most of us, our four-legged apostles remember that beyond the actions of others or outside circumstances, regardless of the state of the economy or worldly events, life is supposed to be fun and savored and appreciated - it is supposed to be lived with delight in this very moment wherever we are.
I have had the honor of living with several dogs throughout my life. Two of them, I consider my heart dogs; our souls connected beyond space and time and physical death. They continue to teach me everyday the lessons of joy, living in the Now, and appreciating whatever is. All I have to do is think of them to consider that in any relationship, how I treat other people is far more important than how anything (like my hair or my house) looks. I keep them alive - those furry bodhisattvas of mine - by remembering that a smile from the heart can go almost as far as an enthusiastic tail wag.
My second heart-dog, Buttons, is the subject of my book, The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood. It is the story of how we saved each other's lives. In short - I helped her body heal itself of cancer. She helped my heart heal itself of fear. Both of us used an entirely holistic approach.
February is Buttons' birthday month. It is also the anniversary of her body's death. I will always miss her physical presence, but her love can never die. I am so deeply appreciative to continue Buttons' healing legacy by helping other pet parents, through my personal consultations, prevent their own pets from ever developing cancer or other degenerative diseases.
I want every pet parent and their animals to have at least as many happy and healthy years together as Buttons and I did (one week shy of nineteen) and will continue helping that happen at every opportunity. In the meantime, I encourage you to please take a cue from your pets and have a VERY Happy Valentine's Day…EVERY day.