I was cuddling with Buster and Bernie after the fireworks last night. They really handled them well. They barked at the grand finale and thought they are sending the sound away. So they were pretty satisfied with themselves.

I was kissing Buster all over and telling him how very proud I was of him. I was really in the moment and just getting lost in pouring all my love into this dog. It is an accomplishment to see a needy puppy become a confident dog.

I was telling him over and over again in different ways how so very proud of him I was. The words began to have even more meaning. They became healing words. Not for him only. But also for me.

It was then that I was stricken with the realization that I have never in my life heard these words directed to me. I have a photographic memory for experiences and could not bring it up. Not once were these words said to me by anyone. Ever in this lifetime. It is painful to remember the void where others have been loved. But it has served me.

It was then that I realized the importance of pets and children in our lives and even any kind of recovery. It seems a person can go one of two ways with their loved ones. They can either follow the conditioning they have been shown and visit their parent’s shortcomings onto their pets. Or they can follow the mandates of their heart.

They can use their pets as loving surrogates to overcome all the abuse and negative conditioning they had received. It occurred to me as I was telling Buster how proud I was of him, that I was also telling myself. It was disturbing to remember how little I have been valued in this life. But it is wonderful to realize that I have used that experience to elevate all in my care with kindness and respect.

I am empowered that way. And so are you.

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