Have you ever had a pet you loved beyond all reason? You know, the one you would tell your secrets to, the one you trusted to keep those secrets and give you unconditional love and acceptance. We all remember a dog (or cat) like that in our life—a companion whose loss we grieved when they passed on.
Animals are wonderful therapy for us humans—a sounding board that won’t talk back or offer differing opinions about our behavior. We pour out our pain and loneliness and receive in return a big lick, a wagging tail, a silky purr…..and lots of love.
For those of our clients who are without homes at the moment, their animals ARE their homes and their family. They also offer protection and warmth, companionship and acceptance to those who are often marginalized by society. One of my clients called his dog his “best friend”, and I think that sums it all up!
There are often judgments made about those who are either homeless or low income having pets; “how can they be so dumb as to add another mouth to feed when they can’t feed themselves?”, “that dog/cat is keeping them from a decent apartment”—these are all things I have heard said.
The simple truth is that people need contact with another being, human or animal. Without that contact, it may be difficult to feel alive in this world. We honor this commitment between friends at Hope House by offering pet food and supplies when we can. Drop some by if you love animals!
In the meantime—go hug your dog or cat.