Humans and animals have had relationships for a very long time, about 19,000 years. What pulls us together? What makes it binding? Something mutually beneficial must be happening. I count myself blessed that I have experienced some enriching cross-species relationships.
What holds these relationships together? At least part of the answer is the development of emotional ties between the two species representatives. In their own way, each participant finds many benefits—companionship, affection, excitement, comfort—and all are binding factors. With love I think of my beloved animal friends, starting with a sheep.
“A sheep?” I hear someone exclaim.
“Yes, a sheep. Let me introduce you to . . . Peggy, the only sheep I ever knew.” Continue reading
Doris and I were waiting for Dad to arrive home from a trip to the “big town” of Strathmore. He needed some parts for the repair of a seeder, and Mom had tacked on a request for groceries. We two were hoping the groceries included some store-bought goodies. The old car rattled in and Dad got out. He was carrying a bag of groceries – and cradling a cardboard box with his other arm. “What’s that, Mom?” we asked with excitement. “I have no idea!” was her reply. He came up the back steps. Mom held the door for him and took the bag of groceries. Dad gave her a grin, and tilted the box so she could peek in. Her gasp of amazement made Doris and me jump up and down in excitement. “What is it?” we chorused. Dad carefully set the box down saying, “See for yourselves.” There was a tiny, white bundle, and a baby bottle. It was a very small, very young, little white lamb! It poked its nose towards us and gave a soft bleating cry. Figuratively, if not literally, the four of us fell on our knees. We were captives of this wee, needy morsel of animal life.
I never did hear the story of how Peggy (we all agreed this was her name) came to be in that box on her way to enter our lives. The Thompsons never raised sheep. We kids had rarely seen sheep, and never up close. Even the adults in our family knew little about raising sheep. More pets we kids did not need! We already had house cats and barn cats, dogs, horses (who qualified) and mice and bats (who did not). That did not even count the creepy crawlies that at least one of us enjoyed. But never a pet like this one! Continue reading