This is a post about friends. Our friends provide us with stable place from which to explore the world. With friends you are always safe because whatever happens, whatever you do, they will be there for you, unconditionally.

Friends can have any number of legs – my friends are mostly 2-legged and 4-legged (and I can’t foresee having any with 8 legs!). Friendship is often underestimated and abused, especially those between animals and people. We are lucky that animals are so forgiving, what would you think of a friend if they often force you to do things you didn’t want to, only engage with you on your terms, or often push you to do things you find scary?  At the least it would make you lose trust in them but we expect animals to put up with this and still be loyal, obedient and there for us.

I think it would do us good to heed the wisdom in the saying:

Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow-ripening fruit (Aristotle)”. We should nurture our friendships with animals, gain their trust slowly rather than expect them to befriend us just because we look after them.

To quote Elbert Hubbard “In order to have friends, you must first be one.” – let’s go and be a friend to the animals in our lives today.

By Suzanne Rogers (Learning About Animals) November 2008