Love, Joy, and Pain

Enjoying Life Anyway

Laura Stinchfield

There are times when I get to feeling down because Maia, my wolf-dog, is in spirit instead of here on Earth, and Joey, my oldest kitty, is fragile. We are still not sure if he is healing or dying. I think about who I am. For 14 years, I was the pet psychic with six animals, and the caretaker of a wolf-dog. Often it feels as if they are all I have.

Life in my house is drastically changing. “Am I happy in my life?” I ask myself. I have a friend whose dog has cancer in her leg. “Just cut of my limb and I will be fine,” his dog says. My friend can’t afford it. “That’s okay. Let’s go for a walk,” the dog replies. It is endearing, and remarkable to me that the dog and her person have the same love and fortitude.

Yesterday morning, I spoke to one of my oldest friends. He is a true NYC New Yorker, who has always thrived off the energy of crowds. “Laura, I’m messed up,” he told me. “I have an anxiety disorder. I start shaking in public. I can’t go to work and ever since I saw the therapist I can’t figure out why I left home at 16. Do you think it was because my mom made be an alter boy into my teens? I can’t even go to Walmart. I’m fu#@ed!” An hour later, another friend called me and said, “My cancer is back. They say I have one month to live. Will you take my dog when I die?”

Life is challenging for all of us in different ways. How do we enjoy life when others are suffering? How do we enjoy life when we are suffering?

Perhaps my animals will know:

Storm (Aussie dog): “Each moment you have to find one thing beautiful. Like when I have a stomachache, or I miss Maia, I look to the wind to be soothing or a squirrel in the distance. I force myself to believe that the angels really do care and can help us.”

Joey (oldest cat): “Two ways. Find comfort with your body touching the earth and comfort in your friends and family. Even if you fight with them, try to say something nice to each other everyday.” He then adds, “And try to breathe well.”

Makia (cat): “I try to look as beautiful as I can. Groom myself even when I don’t feel like it. I also hope to see a butterfly everyday or a hummingbird.”

Serafina (Cat): “I have just learned that exercise is very good for my mind. I make sure I walk twice around the property morning, noon, and night. I also make sure I move fast chasing grasshoppers. The more I run the better my body feels and the less time I have to feel sad about Maia and Joey.”

Bean (bunny): “I have recently thought that is it is best to challenge my mind and take comfort in my knowledge. Everyday, I try to learn something new from watching the other animals. I have just learned that play and age should get better with time.”

Maia (wolf-dog from heaven): “I suffered so much in my life. I have learned that happiness and suffering all depends on what we choose to focus on.”


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