The following is a very special, personal story, shared with us by Sarah, the Nature Lover’s “Mom.” Sarah’s desire in sharing this with us is to show us that though “some people think they can’t be loved again, they can be.” Sarah hopes we will all learn from her experience that despite personal sorrow, it is possible to learn to love, and be loved in return, again. Here is Sarah’s story:
Family is defined as a social unit which traditionally consists of people living in one household. However, animal lovers rightfully expand that definition to include their pets. Experience has taught Sarah, the Nature Lovers’ “Mom,” the true meaning of family.
Sadly, when Sarah was nine years old, her parents abandoned her. Her grandparents took her in, and effectively became her parents. To ease her sadness, Sarah decided to adopt a dog, and found Jenny, a Goldendoodle, at a local animal shelter.
“I asked the shelter owner if she could take Jenny out of the cage,” Sarah said. “The owner told me yes. Then the shelter owner told me Jenny was an abandoned puppy, so I thought Jenny knew what it was like, and that she understood me.”
Sarah gave Jenny lots of attention and played with her everyday. A strong bond quickly developed between them. Jenny offered unconditional love, and comforted Sarah when things were tough at school. Sarah remembered an occasion when the kids at school taunted her about her parents abandoning her. Sarah cried, and ran straight home to Jenny.
“I sat down by Jenny, and told her everything,” Sarah explained. “She looked straight into my eyes, like she was trying to say everything’s going to be okay.”
Sarah didn’t want to talk to anyone about her heartache, not even her grand parents. But she felt as though she could share her feelings with Jenny. Sarah told Jenny that for the first time, with Jenny beside her, she felt pleased with her life. With Jenny beside her, Sarah did not wish her life was different. Jenny made Sarah feel loved, and gave her support during another sorrowful time in her life. When Sarah was eighteen, her grandfather passed away, as did her grandmother shortly thereafter. Jenny, and Sarah’s many other pets, helped Sarah cope with her grief. Sarah didn’t feel quite so alone when she was with her furry family.
“Jenny was beside me the whole way,” Sarah said. “I felt again that she understood. I talked to her, and I was okay after that.”
Now nineteen years old, Sarah is living on her own, working with animals – and she has a lot of animals of her own to share her life with. Sarah first adopted Jenny because Jenny made her feel special. She adopted Katie, her Doberman pin, and Lucy, her Rottweiler, to save them from being put down. Sarah found Toby, a Labradoodle, as a mate for Jenny, and the pair had Pepper, a Goldendoodle. Sarah also has three Corgis: Shelby, Bonnie, and Fae.
If family is defined as a supportive, nurturing social unit, Sarah is definitely part of a family! Strong, loving bonds unite her family together.