So my hubby says I broke him. Once upon a time, he thought animals were just that; no feelings, replaceable, disposable. But then I came along and changed all that. Growing up I’ve always had dogs; I honestly cannot imagine my life without a dog. They are the best example of unconditional love that exists on this planet. Dogs, animals in general really, count on humanity for so much; sadly, they often get let down. As humans, we tend to assume our superiority, but that is not what makes us better.
Empathy. Looking into another beings eyes and putting yourself in their position. It is one of the hardest things we can do because it makes us vulnerable to pain, to heartache; but, it is also what makes us stronger. It is what makes us better.
People joke all the time about the SPCA commercials that show the sad animals while Sarah McLachlan’s song plays in the background. I’m not going to lie, those commercials can make me cry every single time if I let myself watch them. So I think that when people make jokes it is a defense mechanism; it allows them to put some distance between their feelings and what they are seeing because we can’t open ourselves up entirely. But, neither should we close ourselves down. We need to find a middle ground that will allow us to care and be empathetic without walking through life as an open wound.
My husband says I broke him because I made him look at our dogs – at animals – as beings capable of feelings. And, by doing that, I made him care when he sees an animal in pain. He does not understand how people can hurt puppies, dogs, cats, animals that rely on us for care and protection. I can’t help him because I don’t understand either. I will never understand how a human being can look into the eyes of an animal that trusts you and causes them harm or neglect.
So, I admit it. I broke him. I made him recognize that pets are not disposable, but are family members who give us love and affection and to whom we have a responsibility when we invite them to share our lives. I broke my husband in the best way possible, and I’m ok with that.