If you've ever had a pet, you've enjoyed the bond that grows between you – a bond forged by devotion and loyalty. We’ve also witnessed this bonding between animals.
Thirteen years ago we chose a Great Pyrenees to protect our sheep from predators. After a rambunctious puppy stage, Frodo faithfully kept coyotes away with his deep, resonating bark and 150-pound presence.
But after 12 years -- his white coat streaked golden like a lion -- Frodo’s joint problems worsened. As he struggled to stand up, we realized his days were numbered. So we introduced Frodo to a six-week old Great Pyrenees fluff ball named Bilbo, and Frodo immediately took to him. He didn't even mind when the puppy chewed on his tail.
We were delighted to see the affection between them grow. Shadowing his mentor, the puppy trotted behind Frodo on daily security checks around the pasture and learned how to be quiet around ewes and their lambs -- hard for a puppy!
Last fall, when Bilbo was about a year old, Frodo's body shut down, handing over his job to his well-trained and devoted pupil.
These animals can teach us humans -- more than any textbook, sermon, or lecture -- about unconditional love, patience, devotion and loyalty. In our present social and political climate of distrust and fear and anger, we desperately need to reclaim and practice these virtues.
I’m Connie Seraphine, and that is my perspective.