Saturday, September 10, 2005


A few days ago I mentioned that I do not give pets as Christmas gifts. I leave that up to parents. Only parents know if they and their children can take care of an animal.

Pets need a lot of care and time. Some cost lots of money for food. They need to go to veterinarians. Some of them need space to run in, or need to be taken for walks. Some have cages or litter boxes that need to be cleaned.

I love pets. I have had many over the years. Right now we have Shulun, our dog, and Mathom, our cat.

I have also lost pets. They grow older and eventually they die.

I have cried when my pets have died.

So I understand the pain a child feels when he or she loses a pet.

Just today I received a letter from James, a boy whose dog died a month ago.

It was like a lot of letters I have received. His dog, Duke, was old and sick, and had to be put to sleep.

"He used to sleep in my room. I wasn't afraid of the dark when he was in my room."

The dark can be scary.

Losing someone we love is also scary.

Death can be scary.

After disasters, I often get letters from children because they have lost pets. I expect a lot of letters because of Hurricane Katrina in the United States.

I read all the letters. Sometimes I cry when I read them.

I cried when I read James' letter.

Shulun was sleeping next to the fire. After I read James' letter, I got up from my desk and went over to pet Shulun.

He wagged his tail contentedly.

I wish I could help James to feel as happy and contented.

But there are things even Santa can't do.


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