Animals' Gifts This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Allmy life I have lived with animals. From horses to goldfish, I have loved themall. But there is one pet that stands out. She was the first animal I ever knew,and if it was not for her, I might not love animals as much as I do. From the dayI came home from the hospital until last April, she was there to give me the kindof love every person dreams about.

"Cats have the most beautifulmoves of any animal. They never think about it, they simply do it," saidEric Penick. My first pet was a cat named Pooh Bear, and she was the best. Shehelped me through some difficult times and never judged. From a not-so-perfecttest to my parents getting divorced, she was there to give comfort in the onlyway animals know. Even though she has passed on, I still remember all the timesshe gave me love.

"I've loved animals all my life - their friendshiphas always meant as much to me as any of the friendships I've had in mylife," Candice Bergen said. Besides Pooh Bear, many other animals have givenmy life meaning. When I was younger, my mom let my sister and me have mice,gerbils and hamsters. Later, she bought us chinchillas. Although they were afinancial burden, I think she is glad we had them, since they taught usresponsibility.

"There are, I know, people who do not love animals,but I think this is because they do not understand them or because, indeed, theydo not really see them," Pablo Casals once said. Although having smallanimals was incredible, I always wanted something more: a horse.

My momhad two horses growing up, so she had taught me when I was young what beautifuland magnificent animals they are. I was hooked like a fish on a lure. After sixyears of begging, my mom granted me my greatest wish - to have my ownhorse.

"Wild horses have become living symbols of liberty andbeauty and power," Monty Roberts said. For me, horses have always been themost majestic and awe-inspiring animals on the earth. When I finally got one, Iwas overjoyed. It was just a year ago that I made the six-hour drive with my mom,sister and trainer to see the horse that would be mine. The night before, I'd hada dream about a black horse, and here was one right in front of me.

Sincethen, my whole life has changed. Midnight has taught me things I never thought Iwould learn. He helped me feel more self-confident, since I basically had totrain him. He taught me how to be patient, and I've learned to be more assertive.Thanks to Midnight, I am one step closer to fulfilling my dream of becoming anequine veterinarian.

Although Pooh Bear and all the hamsters, mice andgerbils are gone now, I do have my memories. Now we have three chinchillas andtwo horses. They give me something to look forward to when I come home. They area reason to keep trying when the day is bleak. All the animals have given mesomething no human ever could: unconditional love. Animals do not carewhat you look like or how you dress. If you give them love, they willgive you so much more in return.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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