As a veterinarian who has witnessed many special connections between animals, I wrote The Infinite Bond after experiencing my own three horses’ unique emotional relationship with each other. Through their years of playing, eating, mock fighting, and being ridden together, the three “boys” developed a solid, undeniable bond that remained steadfast until the end of their lives. What I discovered was that the animal-to-animal bond, as well as the human-animal bond, can be very strong and cannot be denied. Although their personalities were as different as night and day, they proved to me that animals exhibit many emotions, including love, fear, and grief.
When I was going through a dark and troublesome time in my life, the boys helped by just being “there” for me. Their unconditional love and non-judgmental spirit is typical of animals in general – they accept us for “us” – without prejudice. Perhaps that’s why we are so attracted to them.
When my oldest horse, Ty, fell ill just hours after his best buddy, Ibn, was euthanized due to unrelenting pain from a chronic disease, it cemented in my mind the idea that animals experience grief very similar to people, and that it can be extremely overwhelming. I’ve told this story, in much less detail than what’s in The Infinite Bond, to many groups at conferences and classes across the country. There is rarely a dry eye left in the room, so I have made it my mission to let as many people know that our precious animals do have feelings, they do experience the loss or replacement of a house or pasture mate, and they need to have our love and support through the process of grieving. To say “oh, it’s just an animal” is a gross misrepresentation of that animal’s spirit. I feel we are doing a disservice to our animals if we don’t acknowledge their thoughts and feelings.
I believe you may relate to your own animals as you read through the book. You may laugh, cry, and empathize with this true story between the three boys and me. Think about what your animals have brought to your life, and be sure to thank them for all they do for you. – Barb Fox, D.V.M.
The Infinite Bond is available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle.