Julia’s Zoo Review


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”:

Her daddy was able to observe her technique with the scalpel. The kids were actually extracting Hershey Kisses from a pocket of a stuffed animal:

Surgery was followed by a trip to the vet ER, where she learned to bandage up the injured:

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:

This snake belonged to my friend Madora’s son:

Everyone at the table pretty much cleared out when Trenton brought his snake into the dining room.

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.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Julia’s Zoo Review

  1. The Elaine

    I also agree with that statement. Like Julia, I will always be an animal lover. But most of all–a dog lover! They bring such an unconditional love, joy and comfort. The question arises–will my dog be in Heaven? I like to think that because all will be perfect there, and knowing how we love our dogs, I want to believe they will be romping with us.

  2. Sarah

    I loved this one Susan!! It feels like yesterday when Julia was that small!! So beautiful!!

  3. Jackie

    Julia speaks my language–for the most part–minus the snake.

  4. Marj

    Julia, I’m in agreement with you! Animals fill something inside of us that only they can. My little Gibbs (Boston Terrier) has certainly done that for me. But let’s never forget that it is Jesus that really fills us completely, so, if for some reason we have to be animal-less for periods of time in our life, we can still be completed through Him. But in my humble opinion, I think God loves animals very much, too. Otherwise, why would He have saved two of each in the Ark? He certainly could have created them again if He had wanted to. Also, the Word tells us that He will return to earth riding on a white horse! Now, that’s pretty neat, don’t you think? Love you guys!

  5. Pingback: All Creatures Great and Small | Power Of A Moment

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