Are Animals More Approachable?

Galway horse, if only we knew your name.

Animals have feelings too. They do. I’ve actually seen my pug cry. They are a very needy and unique breed.

As a lifelong animal lover, I banned myself from going to the animal shelter unless I’m actually ready for a new pet. It’s a hereditary issue as my Mom has the same problem. My childhood seemed like a revolving door of animals I got to name and never got to keep. You see, my Mom would bring home animals and never ran it by my Dad. The animals left but never went far, as they always found a good home at my Grandmothers. This was supposed to make me feel better because I’d know where they are and get to visit. It really wasn’t the same and perhaps why I’m so attached to my dog as an adult.

I started thinking about animals today when I ran across a picture from our first trip to Ireland. All over the country, dogs and other animals seemed to roam freely and have lives of their own. My husband joked that I was an animal whisperer, because if there was a dog, horse, cat or sheep within our vicinity, it always seemed to approach me and just sort of linger for a moment.

We laughed, when in towns big and small, dogs seemed to walk themselves, sans person or leash. They stayed on sidewalks and apart from the occasional “business” matters they attended to, seemed very much a part of the town society. It seemed alarming at first, seeing stray animals. Apart from worrying they’d be hit by cars or if they were hungry, it just seemed sad that they were homeless. It later seemed that maybe this is just how things are there and in fact they just led lives of their own.

The first time we passed a strolling dog, walking himself, my husband greeted him in a comical way by saying, “Good morning Sir”. Because we tend to stick with jokes longer than necessary, this became an ongoing bit that eventually led us to question why we seemed more comfortable saying hello to a passing dog, but not an actual person. We are not anti-social by any means, but perhaps in surroundings that are new, it seemed safer to be outgoing with something that could only respond with a snort or sniff.

As the trip went on, various types of animals crossed our paths from kitty cat to goat. This is one of my favorite pictures, of a beautiful horse that approached us on the side of a road outside of Galway. But I better clarify, that we did eventually find some of the loveliest people to talk to there, that we ever had the pleasure of meeting.