Animals I have Known

This column has begun as most do for me-with a feline assist. Magoo
has positioned himself in front of the screen and is fast asleep. He
is one of my best friends and more like a child to me than a pet. He
is one of many animals I have known.

I am a farm kid, I grew up on a dairy farm. I know most farms are
more about tractors and land but animals once were such an integral
part of farm life. I was a member of 4-H and as such would exhibit a
dairy animal at the fair. I loved my cattle and named them after
characters from the 70’s television series, “Charlies Angels.” This
sample of my personal history is a bit weird but was my expression of
adoration and should be seen as a compliment to both the cattle and
the “Angels” for which they were named.

Buddy was the first dog that I ever owned which did not end up
staying with my parents. Buddy was my closest friend through some
very hard times; a friendship that ended with his death when run over
by a train. I think Buddy’s death made me stingy with my friendship
and careful about how much of my heart I would give away. He left
such an imprint that I still occasionally dream about him two decades

Rudy replaced Buddy and was the perfect animal to chase off bad
memories. He gave away love like his life depended on it. He groaned
when you petted him, groaned when you hugged him and groaned when he
sat next to me in the pick-up. His sister was a little Husky cross
named Muffin. Muffin was one of those quiet types who wanted little,
concentrated slices of my time and love. She was the type of dog who
would show up at the door of my project garage late at night when I
couldn’t sleep. Ending Muffin’s life and her pain was a lesson in
mercy and selflessness. It was a time I can remember in my mind and
relive through the reaction it creates in my body.

In the Michelangelo painting, “The Creation of Adam” there is a
depiction of God reaching out to Adam. I realize the name should
explain the painting but the best part of art is that it’s
interpretation is left to the viewer. When I see the painting, I see
Adam reaching back to God showing his faith that Adam realizes God is
love’s source. I have read in the Bible that we should manage our
relationships in the way that God conducts his relationship with us.
At times later in the evening, I crash on the couch to watch
television and our cat Twitch will join me. He likes to settle in and
partially close his beautiful eyes. As he becomes sleepy, Twitch will
reach out and scratch me until I hold his tiny paw. In these times,
Twitch has trust in me that I love him and I do not fail his faith.
As his little, pink pads disappear inside my larger paw, we complete
the contract of love and faith among living things and simply fall to

(see this post:

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