Among all the characteristics unique to animals, what can be called their most authentic trait, is innocence. We all have met mischievous cats or known dogs who throw temper tantrums; perhaps we even have been at the receiving end of the occasional rude cockatoo, the stubborn horse or the feisty hamster. Every pet owner has seen fits around not wanting to share, or demanding extra attention. But what makes these instances different (even cute!) is the innocence behind them.
The biggest gift our dear pets and animal companions give us is their lack of ego. They move through life intuitively, free from the layers of opinion and judgment that mark the dynamic amongst our fellow humans.
I recently read an article about how dogs lie to us, how they manipulate our actions in order to get what they want…. Which is…what?? More love, care and attention?... Such behavior can hardly even be called lying! We all know what happens when humans lie: it leads to hurt, pain and destruction. Not as with our pets.
Every spoiled or unruly behavior is truly just a way of communicating their feelings, their wants and desires. So, what if Fluffy pretends he is still hungry? What if Max pretends he can’t move in order to skip bath time? What if our kitty answers back every time we reprimand her? Innocence is what makes it all acceptable… and it shouldn’t be any other way!
The reason why this trait is marvelous is that the more we submerge ourselves in their innocence the more we ourselves gain in curiosity, contentment, empathy, stillness, awareness and so on. Pet moms and pet dads know this: pets are children because they carry all the qualities related to tender age. Treasuring their innocence help us reach the important place within us, the place where we are innocent too.