Dogs were her therapists

I was born and raised in a house full of pets. I practically had a zoo at home. I was only about seven-years-old when my dad rescued two terriers from our neighbours; the dogs were kept inside a dark room all day because they didn’t want them anymore, and didn’t know “how to get rid of them”.

We moved to the city when I was 12 years old. My family and I saw the life of animals on the street and knew we had to do our share to help them and hopefully make their day a little better. My parents, who have been extremely supportive of my love for helping homeless animals, agreed to cook and feed all our community dogs (about 12 of them) every day.

I eventually began rescuing animals who were involved in a hit and run or were abandoned or just injured on the streets.

Life hasn’t been the same since. Even though some days are hectic, on most days, it’s one of the most rewarding experiences to see an animal get better and know you did your bit to help save a life. I’ve learnt so much every day from these animals that I’m sure no human could ever teach me. I’ve learnt the value of trust, to start over, that its never to late to see your life positively, and most importantly I’ve learnt how to forgive. Forgiveness is something you will see in every dog’s eyes, regardless of their past or abuse.

I have two wonderful babies at home, Casper and Lexi. Casper has been with us for eighteen years while Lexi arrived five years ago; having them around has been nothing but pure joy and happiness. They are our family’s heartbeat, and we can’t imagine a day without them. From being the reason I even walk 4 kms a day to being the best cuddle buddy ever.

Ever since they have come into my life, I think I now have understood the responsibilities of being a parent.

From making sure I’ve packed their food when we take them on long trips, to being worried if they look slightly off or don’t sleep well! But I wouldn’t exchange this feeling for anything in the world. Lexi even goes swimming with us and loves eating chew sticks. Someone has to say ‘chew’, she won’t even let us complete the word and will run like a horse to the kitchen and stare at the cupboard until someone gives her a chew stick! They’re both clever and understanding; never throw tantrums. I’ve come to the conclusion that animals understand humans better than humans understand each other. Recently, we lost our third dog, Kayle. We found him on the streets after his previous family abandoned him, adopted and had him for only about two years. His hind legs were paralysed, he got arthritis and fell too ill.

He was a huge part of the family, and we miss him every day. To anyone who plans on getting a pet, please always choose to adopt and not shop. You’ll help save a life and get the chance to provide a new home and show them that the world isn’t such a bad place.

A pet no matter their age, breed, gender, the background will love you unconditionally. The only language these animals know and will ever know is love.

To my dogs, thank you for being my therapist; my alarm clock; the best shot-gun rider in the car, and most importantly, thank you for all your unconditional love, you’ve made life beautiful. It is not you but us who are lucky to have you.

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