My daughter Julia has always loved any and all animals.
She dreamed of being a veterinarian for a long time and was thrilled when our local vet in Florida sponsored the “Veterinarian For A Day” program. Here she is prior to entering the “operating room”:
Eventually, Julia decided that she couldn’t bear to operate on an animal, so she began to explore other career options. However, her love of all animals has continued unabated.
Even those without fur:
Except Julia. That snake slithered all over her arms and she did not flinch once.
A few weeks later, a bunch of us ladies met at Madora’s home for Bible study. Afterward, Madora casually mentioned that this same snake had escaped earlier that day and was still MIA.
You have never seen six ladies move so fast to vacate a home in your entire life.
Clearly, none of us shared Julia’s love for snakes.
Lizards don’t faze her either:
She even gravitates to animal statues:
A trip to Butterfly Word in Florida introduced her to the beauty of tropical birds:
When we visited my cousin Missy and her husband Mark in DC, their dog Ma-Ling did NOT like children and would growl every time the kids came near her. Josh kept a distance but Julia refused to take no for an answer. She had yet to meet an animal that didn’t love her. When Ma-Ling would growl, Julia would say, “Oh, don’t be like that!” and held out her hand for Ma-Ling to sniff time and time again. Eventually, Ma-Ling gave in and agreed to be friends. Notice Julia’s smile of triumph:
The following year, Julia’s dream came true when we added a Bichon Frise puppy named Buddy to our family:
Once we left Florida and moved to the Northeast, Julia began to take riding lessons:
But dogs will always be her first love:
I love the look on her face here as she poses next to my friend Rob’s chocolate lab Colby:
This is Julia with her Auntie Leslie’s dog Calvin. You probably notice the fact that Calvin does not look thrilled. That is because Julia spent a lot of time trying to get him to lie down with his little head on a pillow covered with a blanket:
Here she is with my friend Kathy’s boxer Tara: (note that Julia had just had a blue Slushie prior to this photo being taken!)
And with The Elaine’s Shih-Tzu puppy Andy:
After owning assorted fish and a hamster( all of whom met untimely ends), Julia decided she needed a chinchilla that she purchased with her own money. Prior to receiving our permission, she and her brother put together a presentation on the merits of chinchilla ownership:
The presentation was a success. Meet Gladys:
If it were possible for Julia to add several more animals to her menagerie, she certainly would. However, Bichons have a life expectancy of 19 years and chinchillas can live to be 20. Doug and I foolishly used to think that once the kids left for college that it would be just the two of us. Now, we are looking at spending our latter years with Buddy and Gladys. Not exactly how we envisioned our future! 🙂
Someone once said, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
Julia would agree with that.