One Word To Describe

Usually overlooked by so many

Not often thought of in grander schemes

Caring though they have always been

Only shying away when new or afraid

Not counting, of course, those that are friendly anyway

Don’t forget the startled looks with joy

Innocent for some mischief, but only just

They make each day a treasure

In one way or another

Out of all the things in my life

Not having one at my side has hurt the most

All I could think whenever I cried was how

Long it would be before family was at my side


This kind of family is definitely the kind that you choose and then they choose you back, because your love is returned. Animals are loyal and loving and so incredibly exasperating, even more so because all of our communication is very much sign language from two different kinds of language.

I wrote this after a news article on a German Shepherd that had died in the line of duty in protecting his partner of three years. That dog took three bullets to protect his friend and family member. He was honored as all fallen police and military are. When asked to describe his partner, the officer said simply, “Unconditional, that was one word to describe him in everything he did.”

I spent an entire day chasing after pigs that would not stay in their pen, in the goats’ pen or even in our own yard. I walked half the town looking for them time and time and time and time again (yes, four times). Once they were home and it was dark and they finally stopped with their shenanigans (but only because they were wanting to sleep) all I could think of was how grateful I was that they were home and safe. They ran me all over town looking for them (I now know how to track pig tracks…in the snow, because of course it snowed the night before and I had to slog through it all, but at least the youngest kids helping to look (my neighbor’s girls) had snow pants on) and I spent most of the time looking forward to never having to do that ever again. But I find that I couldn’t say anything harsh to them (other than scolding them and laughing at how they must have decided, like an old dog I had as a child, that their humans needed some exercise) once I had them again.

My life would be very poor without the animals we have.


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