Pets are far more than they may present at first glance. Some may look on them like they see small children: messy, unpredictable, noisy, uncontrollable and hard to locate sometimes. But for those who love them, they’re constant soul companions and loving, faithful friends.
Animals point to the beauty of created things, the unlimited, unconditional love which God poured into making earth a haven for us. They are great reminders of God’s goodness toward us, bringing pleasure as well as purpose into our lives.
“The difference between friends and pets is that friends we allow into our company, pets we allow into our solitude” ~ Robert Brault
Maybe pets could be thought of as a way in which God speaks out His faithful presence, His constant love and affection for His children. We had quite a menagerie of rabbits, cats, mice, budgerigars and hamsters when I was growing up, all of which taught me a degree of responsibility—though I confess to once zealously overfeeding a goldfish until it died!
“Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled” ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
These days we have no pets and I mourn their loss, though I enjoy a stray cat or two wandering around our garden seeking attention. Our grandson has had a whole host of animals to observe, touch and marvel over in his three short years. The haiku and photos below have come from his experiences. I tried to limit myself to three! They also link to Ronovan Hester’s inspiring poetic site and this week’s haiku poetry prompt challenge of ‘Pet and Play’.
Playing with farmyard pets
Hens scratch at pellets
Seed scattered as tiny tots
Play with farmyard pets
Cat’s hopped in a box
She’s longing to play with those
stray wisps of tinsel
Boy meets tortoise
Boy meets tortoise
Baffled by its clay-like shell
Should he pet or play?
You might wonder why I am speaking about animals in this Advent season, but they do have a large role in our lives, as well as in Nativity plays. And in our theology, we speak of Christ as the sacrificial Lamb who was slain, and the Lion of Judah when He finally comes to rule and reign.
So as you hug your pets, or simply appreciate the animals you see, maybe you can think of those things and be grateful for their presence in your life, the way they point to God’s grace in the everyday.
I’d love to hear about your pets. Do join in the conversation below…
19 thoughts on “pets: on love, created beauty and theology”
This brings me smiles, Joy. The thoughts, haikus, and photos. When I was growing up, I had an aquarium, hamsters, and miniature turtles at different times. We always had a farm dog, and they were my best friends. I love any kind of animal. 🙂 My husband and I used to have a hypoallergenic house dog, a Bichon. It has been years, but we still miss her so much. At the condo where we live, the association doesn’t allow furry pets. My brother who is a doctor said he’d gladly write me a pet addendum. A dog is such good therapy. 🙂 But we don’t want to get on bad terms with anyone here, and keeping one can get costly, too. We are allowed to babysit though, so once in a while we take care of our son’s family dog, a Shih Tzu. Or they bring him along when they visit. 🙂 I do have an aquarium, and I confess I do talk to them. 🙂 I love that pets point to the “unlimited, unconditional love which God poured into making earth a haven for us.” I’m so glad you had some as you grew up. God bless you and give you peace, my friend. Hugs!
Trudy, it’s good to hear you had several different pets as a child, rather as I did. Though we are city folk, my father grew up on a farm and two of our cats were rescue kittens from one he visited. We had to have two of everything, so that my twin sister and I didn’t squabble or feel hard done by! I can tell from the nature photos and stories you share on your blog that you’re an animal (and insect!) lover. Dogs especially are considered to be medically therapeutic. I read somewhere that a doctor took his dog to the senior care facility where he worked and was surprised by how enlivened the residents became by the visit. Over time, he persuaded the powers that be to allow pets on the premises, including resident’s rooms, and the whole atmosphere of the place shifted positively. So I am glad to know you have babysitting duties sometimes, whereby you can look after and cuddle a furry friend! If this post has brought a welcome smile to your face, then I am pleased to have diverted a bit from my usual topics. May God bless you with more animal contact and ways to enjoy them. Blessings and hugs to you, dear friend! xox 🙂
Beautiful! I’m a proud cat mom to Callie, who was a shelter cat with a few issues. But we still love her and she fits right into our quirky little family. I said I would never have a cat again after nursing our first cat Hershey through her last illness ending in a natural death at home. I have no regrets about that, but it was exhausting and took some time to recover. I come from a cat hating family, but I married a man with a kind heart who loves them, as long as I clean the litter box. We also live in the woods by a lake so of course we also appreciate all the birds (large and small) as well as other critters who also call this area home.
Genie, I’m so pleased you were able to offer Callie a good home. It made me smile to hear you’ve been given litter box cleaning duties, because it was always my task too! My husband is a kind and gentle cat lover but not so keen on handling that side of things. Living close to woodland must provide ample opportunities to enjoy birds and other creatures who live nearby. Thank you for sharing here. God bless you, friend. xo
I love your cute “Boy meets a tortoise” most of all! Although you know I am partial to those photos of your sweet little Grandboy! 🙂 We had many family pets while I was growing up, although the cat named “Alice” belonged to me first of all. I miss having a pet now also, but enjoy babysitting for the Grandpuppy now and then. Those creatures really do have a way of settling into our hearts. That thought, “pets we allow into our solitude,” is certainly a sweet way of seeing the gifts they bring. And, I believe you are right that they must have a larger part to play in our stories, because of the way that our Lord has included them in HIS story! Blessings to you my friend! xoxo
Bettie, can I tell you a secret? That’s my favourite one too! Mostly because of the boy in question, of course. I’m glad you get to babysit for the Grandpuppy now and then. Unfortunately, in our family, one daughter-in-law is mildly asthmatic and allergic to pet fur, so they have to avoid furry pets completely, sad to say. Whereas, my other daughter-in-law absolutely adores cats (as does my son, thankfully), and their cat, Maisie, is the one featured in the photos here. Although there is a lot of debate over whether or not animals have a soul, for lots of people heaven simply wouldn’t be heaven without their beloved pets for company. All we know for sure is that God has definitely included them in His story, and they interweave our own narrative with light and love indicators of His comforting presence. I love you being here, sweet friend! God bless you. xoxo
I love this. So much THIS: “Animals point to the beauty of created things, the unlimited, unconditional love which God poured into making earth a haven for us. They are great reminders of God’s goodness toward us, bringing pleasure as well as purpose into our lives.” I don’t have any pets at my house, but we have a dog on the farm. My sister has two cats “Oreo and Tigger”
Tara, it’s good to hear you have a dog on the farm and access to two cats! Thanks for joining in the conversation. I always love to see you sharing here, my friend. 🙂 x
Such beautiful writing (as usual), Joy. I always look forward to reading your new posts. Right now we have one very vocal tabby cat that we rescued from the animal shelter two years ago (she was seven years old at the time). Cici is the meow-ingest meow-er we have ever had. She chatters constantly…which makes for noisy bedtimes.
Lynette, it’s a JOY to see you here! Thank you for your kind words and faithful following of this blog. Your “vocal tabby” sounds intriguing. Does she cry or sing her meows to you? I hope she doesn’t talk in her sleep as well! Have a blessed (hopefully quiet) weekend, my friend. 🙂 xo
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Pixie approves of this message, Joy ❤️❤️🐾🐾
So pleased to know that Pixie approves of this message! Please give her a ‘thank you’ hug from me. Bless you for sharing, Michael. 🙂 ❤
Great post! I loved your poems and photos and words. Well done. 🙂
Hello Vashti, thank you so much for stopping by! I heard about the haiku challenge from Gayl Wright, a friend of mine and a reader of your blog. Bless you for the kind encouragement. 🙂
Joy, I love all your haiku! And your little grandson is adorable!! I didn’t have many pets growing up only a couple of dogs at different times. One was especially mine. My neighbor’s dog had pups and I was going to pick one, but this one picked me. He was so loyal that he followed me to school on occasion, and if my brothers pretended they were going to hurt me he growled and was going to protect. 🙂 Thanks for helping bring back this memory. So glad you’re joining in the haiku challenge.
Blessings to you, dear Joy! xo
Thanks, Gayl! Our little grandson is quite a sweet pet, isn’t he? Adorable, totally charming and completely capable of causing mischief and mayhem! it’s lovely when an animal latches onto us, like your dog found a kind and kindred soul in you. Following you to school sounds such a lovely thing to do! I’m grateful to you for writing about the haiku challenge on your blog and encouraging me to have a go. Have a blessed day, dear friend! xo
I also enjoy seeing the beauty of animals, especially pets. Wonderful haiku, by the way. I had lots of pets, thankfully, while growing up. They included cats, dogs, birds, and a fish.
Hi Myriadam, it’s good to meet you! Thanks for sharing about your own experiences with pets. They are a gift to us. Bless you for stopping by. 😊