The Infinite Bond book by Barbara Fox, DVM
This book was the most difficult writing assignment I’ve ever tackled. In one aspect, it is one of the most beautiful love stories between animals I’ve ever witnessed. On another, it was the most heart wrenching project, having to relive intimate details of my own life and the challenges of three of my best animal friends, dealing with the emotions that resurfaced after so many years. However, the lessons my “three boys” taught me have been invaluable, and I wish to share with you these incredible teachings.
As animal lovers, and people in general, are becoming acutely aware of the fact that animals have (and share) many of the same emotions that humans experience, it is my goal and my mission to express what I have witnessed as a veterinarian for the past twenty-three years. Animals do grieve. Animals do express joy and happiness. Animals can be jealous, anxious, and fearful. Animals can be extremely entertaining. They can cause us to be impatient and demanding. They can be a great source of comfort us when we are hurting. Animals can be a “mirror” into our own lives, giving us insight into what needs to be improved within us.
In my mind, and in my heart, I believe animals come to us in this earthly plane to be a companion, a guide, a teacher, and/or a protector, depending on our needs. Animals often find us. They will appear at the right place, the right time. All we need to do is be open to their attention and affection. How many times have you heard friends or acquaintances talk about the stray dog or cat that “just showed up”? There are no accidents, no coincidences in life. They appeared for a reason. And oftentimes we are totally unaware of why we were attracted to that particular animal.
None of our horses joined our family because of their blue ribbon show records, their great beauty, or their performance. Neither were the dogs or cats that joined our furry friend club. They were accepted to become part of our family because of their special needs, their affection, and their hearts. It saddens me to no end when an animal is rejected because of their lack of certain bloodlines, some imperfection in their structure, or because they’re past their “prime” in the show ring. I remember well a saying in the movie Sea Biscuit. This race horse suffered a potentially career-ending injury during his prime racing period. The recommendation was to put him down. “Tom”, Sea Biscuit’s trainer, adamantly refused, saying “you don’t throw away a whole life just because just because he’s banged up a little”. Sea Biscuit was given his chance to rally, and with careful rehabilitation and therapy, he went on to win one of the biggest events in race horse history. He also served to help his own jockey (Red) heal from a horrible injury when he was told he would never ride again.
The three Arabian geldings you will be introduced to changed my life in so many positive ways. Possessing so many different personalities, these boys were a great source of entertainment, comfort, education, and love. As you read the pages ahead, think of how your special animal companion(s) has touched your life and brought out the best in you. Immerse yourself in the relevance of your animal friend and be full of gratitude for his or her service on this earthly plane.