BRODY: The loving magic of the canine

There is an ad on TV that I see every day. It really grabs me. It really touches me to the point I think I want to talk a little bit about it with you.

The ad shows a little girl maybe 5 or 6 years or so. She is in her bed and obviously ill. It does not say why she is ill but she is dreading the daily “treatments.”

When she asks if she could skip the treatment that day, the caregiver said, “No,” but that she had a special surprise for her.

Then this absolutely gorgeous Australian Shepherd walks right up to the child’s bed and looks adoringly into the girl’s face.

Everything changes in her world. The sweet little girl, who was dreading her daily treatment, cood and fell into the spell that only the love of an animal can give.

Total unconditional, perfect, non-judgmental, love.

You can watch the face of the child as the stress and fear are slowly replaced by trust and love.

Now, I don’t like many TV ads with their sexual overtone and half-truths, but I absolutely fell in love with this one.

Then I remembered a true story. Let me tell it to you.

After I endured my fourth spinal surgery, I found myself getting more and more down and depressed.

The pain level was more than I could stand.

But when the doctor gave me more and stronger pain meds, the less I was able to think clearly or even function normally.

Then came the day I was to be released from Mayo Hospital and return home. I was excited and was convinced that once home I could finally live a normal life.

I was wrong.

We had to hire a private nurse so Gene could finally return to our businesses. As much as I liked the nurse, I surely didn’t feel my life was normal again.

Another “insight day” arrived. I had lost my inner connection, what I called when I saw a life lesson.

Nothing worked. I got more and more depressed.

I began delving into what I could do to want to get up in the morning.

Gene was leaving our bed at 4:30 a.m., and I never heard him leave.

Therefore, he was no company for me so what would I love enough to snap me back to life? What in my path had pulled me up with love and made me feel needed?

Could that be the problem? For the past few years I had been the needy one.

All my life I had been the one who stepped up arms in the air to say that I wanted to help no matter what the problem was. I learned that my joy came in being able to help to make a difference any way I could.

However, now my life consisted of accepting help to live. So, that One night, I asked myself, “What exactly always made me feel necessary, loved, trusted?” The answer was obvious.

During the years we worked with wild wolves I doubt I had one seriously depressed day. My study of wolves and full care of the four of them kept me engrossed and fascinated to learn of their thinking and their enormous capacity to love.

It was in the middle of the night that I woke up with the solution.

If you bring a wolf to my home, preferably one I had raised and loved and trusted, I thought that was all I needed to reassure myself.

So, is that little girl so calm and trusting because a kind and beautiful dog placed its head on her pillow next to hers?

You may wonder how I equate the dog calming the little girl and the wolf reminded me that I am needed.

How is it that canine — wild or domestic — have such power? This has really made me curious.

Let’s look at feline wild and domestic. The problem is I have worked with two bobcats, Bonnie and Clyde. There was not a domestic bone in their body even though they also were fed, touched and treated with love at Tyson Research.

In my years of working with wolves never once was I bitten or attacked by them in any way.

The wolf, Sofie, who I raised from a month to sexual maturity, was brought to my home, and upon seeing me, her love and trust enveloped me and I knew I had given Sofie a chance to live safely and have babies. I was needed.

All I know is there is something — I believe God given — that we need in canine habit.

I can envision that beautiful dog giving love that cures and then on the same picture is the wolf Sophie on my bed and touching me.

Feel it. You feel the power they have to show humans that love embodies needing and being needed.

The view from the mountain is wondrous.

Jean Brody is a passionate animal lover and mother. She previously lived in Winchester, but now resides in Littleton, Colorado. Her column has appeared in The Sun for more than 25 years.