Sometimes it feels like our pets, the animals in our lives, are the only creatures that care about us, the way they are always seemingly peering into the lush caverns of our souls, how there is this almost-telepathic link between them and us. It is as if they are furry metal detectors scouring the messy beaches of our brains and hearts always finding the riches that we keep buried under the sand.
Simply put, animals often reflect our own best qualities. They can see something deeper in us and for some people their pets or animals are the only thing holding them together. In some cases actually, our pets will force us to live, dragging our souls out of the great beyond. Such was the case Zach Skow.
Christian Cotroneo of The Dodo writes, “Every time Zach Skow looked in the mirror, he saw a dead man. His skin was a ghoulish glint of yellow. His body had crumpled into itself, gaunt and haggard. And his eyes? Well, it was best not to stare too long into those pools of despair. But the mirror revealed something else. Just behind him, nipping at the mirror’s edge, was a Labrador mix named Tug wagging his tail at Skow’s hollowed reflection.”
Back then, Skow was a recovering addict and alcoholic who was trying to get his life together, but there was one problem: He was going through organ failure and was told by doctors that he had only a couple of months left to live. So he retreated to his family home in the mountains and waited for the inevitable. Going through withdrawal, he felt he was already dead and wondered why he should go on living. Thankfully, there were his dogs. They helped him stay grounded. They provided a connected to the real world, to the vibrancy of a life that wags. He started walking with them regularly. Short walks soon became long walks. Long walks became short hikes. Short hikes became long hikes. Before long, Skow was feeling better and more positive. Suddenly he started to look like himself. Then, as if blessed with a miracle, his organs turned the corner. They were no longer failing, but succeeding.
If it weren’t for his dogs, Skow would not be alive today. Miracles do happen and sometimes it’s because of our pets, the animals in our lives. Whether you recognize it or not, they force our hearts to feel the vibrancy of a life that wags.