Animals Helped My Heart Expand

My parents grew up in Southern California. They moved up to San Jose before I was born. As young parents, they continued college and we lived in family student housing at San Jose State University while my dad completed his business degree.  

My dad built a bird aviary below the stairwell outside our back door. We had pigeons and doves that cooed and crooned all day long. Even today it’s a familiar and comforting sound. 

Eventually, he got ducks to roam around the apartment grounds. He put out a small plastic children’s wading pool for them to drink from and splash around in for their baths. The other families got a laugh out of them squawking about. Most visitors were quite surprised to see ducks as part of our little village. Having animals around felt normal, and throughout my life I always had unusual pets.  

In elementary school, we had pet rabbits in a hutch. My friend and I would dress them in doll clothes, petting them and carrying them around for hours. We had ducks several times and at one point I got to witness eggs hatching. We had baby ducklings grow to adulthood right in our backyard! Turtles were kept in a small pool furnished with rocks for them to climb around on. Once a week or so, my dad would get feeder goldfish to let loose in their makeshift pond. The turtles would chase them around and eat them. It was really extraordinary to see how fast they could move because they were usually so slow. 

We had normal pets, too. Cats, fish, hamsters, a rat, parakeets, and finches. Prettybird was one of my favorites! She was a yellow parakeet with red cheeks. She would fly around the house and come land on my shoulder when I called her. We had a german shepherd/ lab mix I named Crystal, and later another dog, Chubby who was my fluffy sidekick. I loved animals and thought I might become a veterinarian or open a pet hotel of some kind. My family members teased that I was like Dr. Doolittle: the professor who spoke to the animals and cured them. 

My first job was at a vet clinic. It was a terrible experience and I quickly changed my mind about becoming a vet.  

I went to school and studied early childhood development instead. I became a preschool teacher before I became a mother. In high school, after my parents went through their divorce, I had my first car and my cat, Precious. She was a long-haired Calico with a beautiful fluffy tail. She would ride around with me in my car for which she got a lot of attention. During each of my births at home, Precious was present. She paced the house until each child was fully birthed then went to sleep right after, relieved all turned out well.  

As my children grew, we also had pets. Birds, mice, rabbits, fish, cats, and a dog, Jack. He joined the family just a month before I separated from the father of my children. He was my constant companion as I went through my “single mom” years through all of our moves, hiking, traveling, camping, and even backpacking. Now my kids are grown and out of the house, I’m married with step-children and we have a free-roaming house rabbit. He uses the litter box and keeps us entertained. He’s not much of a cuddler but if you’ve got something for him to eat, he’ll take it. We all love him. 

I will always have animals in my life. They comfort, heal, make me laugh, and offer great company. I hope to have horses someday and learned Equine massage therapy just so I could have the opportunity to touch and be around them.  

This one is for all you animal lovers out there… I know you have your stories, too! And of course as a reminder to follow what you love. Make time for the things that feed your soul. Lean in to what makes your heart expand and soften. Hang out with or observe an animal in the wild to witness the beauty and feel the joy they bring. These amazing beings are all around us like little angels. Let them guide, inspire and uplift you on your journey.

Are you curious about how to integrate the things that feed your soul most, into your life? Sign up for a FREE 30 min. Clarity & Confidence Session– ask me about the True Wisdom Method and how it can help YOU to get the things you love into your schedule and into your overall Life Plan so that you feel more fulfilled and at peace with your daily choices.

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