Bambie, Kitzeleh, Kelly, Sheba, Ruth, Cleo, Maggie, Laila, Tzipi, Sarti, Houdini, Thea.

What do these names have in common?

These are the names of my pets, past and present. Can you tell which one was the dog, the cat, the goldfish, the rat, the hermit crab, or the parakeet?

My favorite pet was Laila. She’d run back and forth, and loved to be tickled. She’d make a little high-pitched laughing chirp when I played with her. Laila belonged to the species Rattus norvegicus!

I’ve met so many people who benefit from sharing their lives with another little being. A woman once told me her story of being bedridden for almost a year. A little sparrow lived above her window, and she’d leave birdseed for him. Feeding him was the most she could manage to do at the time. After awhile, he brought his “wife” and then his babies to visit every day. Many times, even though food was available, he didn’t eat. He just came to spend time with her. She now cares for his great-great-great-great-great “grandchicks!” The important part of this story is that he continues to give her life great meaning. She knows that her relationship with this little bird helped save her.

When we allow our hearts to be touched, we can heal.