Sunday, May 23, 2004

Festus (my childhood dog)

When I was around two years old, two major things happened which forever changed my life - 1) my father began abusing me & 2) we got a puppy from the neighbor's dog's litter. My father named the puppy (a boy) Festus.

As I write this post sitting in my living room listening to Morning Edition on the radio, my eyes rise from the computer screen and alight up a picture of me with the puppy on my lap. I smile as I see this picture, for this picture has come to represent the special relationship that I had with Fezzy (as I called him). To him I told all my secrets, the ones I couldn't tell anyone else. From him I got undconditional and unending love - he was always there for me - to play, to pet, to laugh and to cry. It is from him that I learned about being able to count on someone. Sad, yes, that I didn't learn this from the humans in my family, but at least I had him at this early and painful age. For this, I am greatful. (As I am greatful as well for the friends who later came into my life and showed me the gifts of friendship with humans.)

This morning while reading an email from The Awareness Center I learned of an article in the Guardian on the relationship of abused children and their pets. The article reminded me of Fezzy's gifts to me.

Did a pet help you cope?
Your sister survivor/thriver,

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