I marvel at the courage people demonstrate when they deal with life threatening situations. I read amazing stories of courage in battle, where soldiers defy the odds and rational thought of self preservation to advance their position. Such acts of bravery move me deeply.
Courage is not a lack of fear. I have been called courageous for my cancer battles, documented in this blog and on my youtube channel. I assure you, I have felt much fear as I’ve faced my decisions. It was hard for a long time to internally reconcile my experience, my emotions of fear, with the praise other would lavish on me as a hero and one who is brave. My reality inwardly did not match what others saw outwardly.
If courage isn’t the lack of fear, then what is it? I believe it is the ability to make a choice despite fear, despite the circumspect demanded at times.
The respect shown by others, the recognition of the daring approach of one who faces life and death decisions, is (in a sense) a manner of stating “you are doing something without being overpowered by fear.”
Could the same be true for our pets?
Let’s take my granddogter Mrs Milly. She is one of the most cautious dogs I have ever met when it comes to human food. She moves stealthily, with great concern, as she considers eating what we offer as a treat.
She can come across to me as truly afraid of human food at times. Yet, in the greatest tradition of dog following man’s valiant behavior in such critical moments, she demonstrates courage, the ability to choose against her fear, to move forward in her quest to overcome her irrational not at all typical of a dog’s behavior towards human food.
I love this dog for so many things, including her courage to finally put the food right up to her nose and take a good, strong whiff! What a brave, courageous granddogter!
Tune in next week to see what happens with Milly and the imposing can of cheese!