My home has 5 chickens, a rabbit, and a parrot, and I hate animals. Something tells me more are coming, and I hate their noises, their messes, their poop, their feathers, their fur. Everything! Growing up my family had two dogs. One dog was a Norwegian Elkhound the other was a mutt. They were forever running away, shedding everywhere, and ugh their slobber. Truth be told I may have shed a tear when our mutt Aslan ran away for the very last time, but I do not bond with animals.
Then I had children. We lived for 5 years in a two bedroom apartment in Chicago. I would look out my window with disgust as passersby would walk their beast of dogs and either pick up (which is gross enough) or leave the feces for the neighborhood rats to enjoy. Around that time my three year old started reciting to us very obscure animal facts. We took our daughter Ramona to the Field museum. It was one of the few times my husband and I saw her truly calm and enjoy life! We were looking at a stuffed bird when I told her in all of my adult scientific knowledge it was a parrot. Ramona looked at me in disgust and unabashedly corrected me saying, “That’s not a parrot. That’s a scarlet macaw”.
Every week when we went to our church small group the only thing, and I mean the ONLY thing that would get her in her shoes and coat is if Steve our small group leader would put his giant, hairy, wolf like dog on a leash and walk Romana out to the car. My husband and I realized something. Our child loved animals.
Ramona doesn’t just love animals, she is an animal expert. Ramona is an animal activist. I always wondered where those crazy animal people came from. Well apparently this one came from my womb. My husband and I realized we needed to create a lifestyle for Ramona, Anne, and Arrietty that would not only meet their needs but empower them to be who they are and let them thrive. Hence, now I live with animals. My one consolation is that I will NEVER EVER Ever get a dog. While I would never describe myself as an animal lover, (more of an animal tolerator) I have grown in appreciation of animals through my daughter’s incredible mind, heart, and eyes.