Eventually, most of us wonder what our purpose is here on Earth. Why did we come into being at this exact moment? Why has our life aligned with those around us, our interests, careers, locations and even thoughts?
I think animals have a purpose too.
A few weeks ago we said goodbye to our family pet of 14 years. Orion was the underdog. The first few months of his life were desperate and challenging, with time spent running the streets as a stray.
He was underweight, timid and head-shy when we adopted him at roughly 6 months of age. His previous life had likely been filled with abuse and neglect.
But, he had a spark.
He was curious, loving and faithful. He grew to accept the soft touch of a scratch behind the ears and squeak of soft, plush toys. I remember the day he finally took a bone from my hand and his eyes lit up when he realized it was all his and he could chew it for as long as he wanted.
However, he was still the underdog. His shimmering blue-gray coat, white chest and wide stance proudly represented his mixed pit bull breed and with that came an immediate stereotype.
Aggressive. Mean. Bite. Scary.
People would shy away from us in public places because they assumed all pit bulls are dangerous. Parents would grab their children and go to another aisle at the pet store when Orion would smile ear to ear, let out a whimper and wag with excitement at the thought of getting a back rub from a little person.
Then there were the others. Those who had open minds and weren’t afraid to ask about the pretty dog enjoyed a positive pit bull experience. Orion loved every person and animal, especially small children and our guinea pig, Elvis. Orion wasn’t a licker, but he did like to sniff your eyes and then lightly sneeze — his unique form of kissing.
If I had to guess, Orion’s purpose on this earth was to spread love, create love and be loved.
Love for a breed that’s often misunderstood.
Love to those who gave him attention.
Love to kids who wanted to meet a dog.
Love to a young couple who just adopted a pet.
Love to my readers who have followed his antics over the years.
Love to his dog sister.
Love to everyone who came in our front door.
Love to the TV crew who interviewed us about the local dog breed ban legislation.
Love to the vets and caretakers he’s met.
Love to his hamsters, mice, guinea pig and bird siblings over the years.
Love to the pet owners we’d meet at the dog parks.
Even on the hardest, longest days, he was always ready to greet you with a smile and wag. And, lots of love.
Be like Orion. Share your love.
Until next time,
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