A few weeks ago, I read a terrific article in the NY Times magazine. Melissa Fay Greene's story, "Wonder Dog" talked about the use of service dogs to help with disabled kids, including children with autism and other behavioral spectrum disorders. It was a powerful story about our human need to love and and be loved and the ability of love to help struggling children and their families to find peace and comfort in their sometimes difficult lives.
In particular, there was a story of one child, a boy named Iyal, who was born in a Russian orphanage and adopted by an American family at the age of one. As Iyal grew up, it became clear that he has a range of disorders resulting from fetal alcohol syndrome. For Iyal and his family, a rescue dog named Chancer has been a godsend, providing comfort and relief to Iyal and his family. "Wonder Dog" is amazing and well-worth your time. It will make you grateful for the blessings in your own world, of course. It will also remind you of the power of animals in our lives. As for me, the story of Chancer got me thinking about my own pets, Tiger and Lucy.
The kittens came to our lives in 2006. We got them on a sunny Friday in October, three months into the year in which JT and I were learning to manage the break-up of our family. Tiger and Lucy were litter mates we adopted from a local animal shelter. On the advice of several friends, we decided to get two kittens so that they would have one another's company when we were at school. We each selected and named a kitten. JT picked out Tiger and I found Lucy. They climbed right into the box and you can see the pride and excitement on my boy's face as we carried home the newest members of our family.