What really is unconditional love? Have you ever considered that? What constitutes unconditional love and where do we go to find it? I see it every day in so many forms. My constant source is God and His precious son, Jesus. But His creatures give it to me as well.
The outpouring of emotions readers shared this week on my Facebook Author page when I posted the story about Capitan, the dog that found his masters grave and stayed by it for seven years, touched me so deeply it made me pause and consider that depth of devotion. That kind of unconditional love.
It’s our deepest desire. To be loved unconditionally. To be treasured, cherished. But like so many of us, I’m a casualty of love. Twenty five years single has proven that. Thankfully, those long years have taught me just how wonderful God’s love is, and how healing His animals can be for the human heart.
Dogs Love Us
My horses love me, but I’m not sure it’s unconditional love. Unlike our dogs. There is no doubt in my mind that they love us unconditionally.
I see it every time I look at my own blue heeler, Pepper. Her unconditional love for me is evident every moment she’s near me. There are times she drives me nuts because she wants to touch me. But that is her way of knowing where I am, now that she’s blind.
Even when I’m not around. My friend Lark says she stays in my bedroom, usually on my bed, and waits for me to come home.
I accidentally ran over her head and popped her eyes out causing her to go blind but she still sees me as the center of her universe.
She is an inspiration to me everyday. She faces life not as handicapped and blind, but cheerfully, and as excited as a child. She’s happy to get up, go outside, run across the pasture with me, even when she goes to fast and runs into something. She is happy to be alive, and with me.
She would rather wait hours in the car for me than sit at home alone. She truly gives me unconditionally love!
But she is not alone in that unconditional love. After finding out about Capitan, the dog in Argentina that has sat by his master’s grave for 7 years, and tracking down the original story and his real photos of this beloved pet,
I found many similar stories. Here are just a few with links to the original stories.
Little Kirby is another dog whose unconditional love for his owner carried him miles away from every adopted home, back to his owner’s grave. Sharon Ratteree inherited Kirby when her daughter was killed only two weeks after adopting him. Kirby filled the gaping hole in Sharon’s heart after the tragic loss. But it seemed no one could fill the hole in Kirby’s heart after Sharon died. He found an escape from every enclosure, at every new home, and would make the trek back, no matter how far he had to travel.
The good news is he has finally found a home with another local resident Susan Wood. Susan saw Kirby’s story in the news and contacted Dave Willis, Sharon’s Grandson, who decided that Susan would be a perfect match for the heartbroken dog. Kirby now fills a void in her heart, after her own 18 year-old terrier died in 2007. “I had a big old empty spot, so the Wills’ family made it possible for Kirby to jump into that spot and take over,” said Susan. This little dog filled a new gaping hole, and is once again a happy dog.
In Italy, Ciccio walked to Mass every afternoon when the bells tolled with his Maria, until she suddenly died. He followed her casket and attended her funeral at the same church. But he kept coming back. Everyday when the bells tolled. Now he lives at the church and attends every mass sitting at the front, where her casket laid, waiting faithfully for his master to return. He has so touched the locals they have a Facebook page for him. I hope you will follow the link and “Like” it. His devotion is too great to ignore.
Many of us cried in 2011 when the news carried the touching photos of the loyal Hawkeye, at the funeral of his beloved Petty Officer 1st Class, Jon T. Tumilson. Tumilson, a U.S. Navy SEAL, was among 30 American troops killed August 6 when Taliban insurgents shot down their Chinook helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade. At his funeral in Iowa, Hawkeye paid his last respects by walking up to the casket, laying down in front of it, and heaving a sigh. Tumilson’s cousin, Lisa Pembleton, took the photo for family members that could not be at the funeral and for others that could not see the dog’s actions. It has touched the hearts of all of us. We salute this brave soldier, and his incredible dog.
Apparently even finicky felines are devoted and have unconditional love for us. Another Italian pet, Toldo, a gray tabby, followed his beloved master’s, Iozzelli Renzo, casket from their house to the cemetery.
He returned later the same day with Iozzelli’s widow, Ada to the grave. The next day Ada and her daughter found a sprig of acacia on the grave. Ada believes it was the cat’s first gift to his beloved master. Since then the cat has delivered everything from small flowers and twigs to plastic cups and paper towels to the grave. He safely travels back and forth because everyone in the small mountain town knows the cat and where he is headed, though not everyone is happy about it. Ada said some people think having an animal in the cemetery is a desecration. But the cat doesn’t seem to care, he just keeps sharing his unconditional love.
Link to More
I could go on and on, but instead I will give you this link to read about several more amazingly devoted pets. I hope you take a few extra moments to love your pets today. You obviously mean more to them than you have any idea.
God Bless you all during this especially Holy Week.
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Our mailing address is: Kristi Ross, PO Box 133, Hotchkiss, CO 81419