There has never been a hike Cullen and I set out on that wasn't special. Each time we are together, roaming through the woods, my mind is also allowed to roam. This grants me the opportunity to understand, better understand, or accept certain aspects of life. A lot of the times it is he who shows me the answers. Throughout these three and half years spent with my friend, he has been able to help guide me through some of the hardest times in my life, but he has also helped me see the greatness in the happiest times as well. In times of darkness he was the light that led me back to me, and that is one of the greatest gifts a friend can give.
Animals have an innate instinct to love and trust far beyond our abilities. They are able to give to us gifts far more valuable than any materialistic present. However, these gifts don’t come wrapped in a pretty box with a bow, because they are not meant to be oblivious. Having the patience and the ability to see past what is simply already there is where you will find greatness.
These gifts are earned through time and dedication. Our animals are able to award us with the purest forms of trust, strength, and contentment; true friendship. The worst thing is to ignore this. To think that getting a dog means owning a pet, instead of having a friend.
Don’t just pass on the fact that there is a lot more to our animals. They are able to give us a lot more than just their presence. Take the time to build an eternal friendship, and make the effort to care for their health and well being as much as you do your own. In turn your eyes, mind, and heart will help you see and feel a connection between man and animal that is worth the time, effort, and unenthusiastic judgment others offer.
Don’t just get a pet, but earn a true friend.