When we rescue animals, it’s just as likely that they’re going to rescue us. That’s been true for me over the years. I’ve had as many as five dogs and as many as 13 cats, but I’m down to just one dog, Lucy, and two cats, Merlin and Thomas. (Here’s their Instagram account.)
I found an amazing example of the power of animal influence earlier today. On Reddit, someone posted a letter he received from a neighbor. This person had asked the neighbor — an older man who lives alone — to babysit the family’s two dogs and a cat while the rest of the household was on vacation.
The person who received the letter described the animals as a German shepherd and a cat (named Oreo), along with “the crankiest little beagle you’ve ever seen in your life.” But this little collection of animals somehow changed the old man’s life.
I found the man’s story moving. The letter is long, but I’m going to quote the entire thing:
“This letter is regarding your vacation two weeks ago, and how you let me babysit Smokey, Oreo, and Jennifer. I’d just like to give you a letter of thanks.
“As you know, I’m an old man. You don’t see me outside often anymore, as these joints aren’t as lively as they used to be. To add to that, two years ago, in the midst of the pandemic, my dad got diagnosed with stage four colon cancer After his death, I was left alone in my home. I don’t have a wife or kids. I could go to sleep one day and never wake up again. Every day is spent just sitting around and wondering what I have done for this world.
“Until I met Smokey. Oreo, and Jennifer.