Thank the four-legged beasties

The unsung heroes of this strange time in history don’t speak in our language. They provide comfort, soothe anxiety, make us laugh, and sit with us when we cry. They see us at our worst and they seem to love us anyway. They’re always delighted to see us, no matter how we look. Even when they’re mistreated, they forgive us. They live in the now. They are our companion animals, and they’re the wisest creatures I know.

Don’t think this only applies to the usual cats and dogs. Widen your aperture and realize what just about every animal on the planet is doing for us right now.

Videos of braying donkeys reuniting with people they love, frolicking goats in pajamas, snuggling cows, cuddling chickens, playful pigs, and otters – always otters – they’re a balm for the troubled soul and I’m turning to them a lot lately. It makes me really happy to be a plant-eater. That’s the least I can do in return.


We are fortunate to have two excellent animals living with us.

Dr. Boris the Bad Cat is my partner’s physician – snoozing on his stomach and putting up with endless pets, knowing it’s just the right medicine right now.

Mrs. Violet Wiggins is our doggy familiar. She is always nearby, always ready to play if someone’s inclined, content to snooze at our feet if no one’s willing. When the weather is, occasionally, fine, she sits nearby as I weed and plant, narrowing her eyes and sniffing at whatever news is coming in on the breeze.

She’s okay. That helps me be okay. She’s in the moment. And that’s all we can be right now.


Read more installments of Village Voices by Susan Barnett.

There are 4 comments

  1. Lucy Muller

    “Thank the Four-legged beasties” was so good. I loved the article. It was so needed and they are heroes. I just wish we could stop eating other animals. They love and have feelings too. This whole pandemic came from mistreating them.

  2. Austin

    My pit mix Gracie sleeps in my legs and makes 57 lbs seem like 157 lbs. I can only get up when she is ok with that.

  3. Tweety Bird

    No domestic-cats outdoors. They should be quarantined eternally. Three billion (3,000,000,000) birds alone have been decimated in the last 50 years, one-third executed by domestic-cats outdoors.-source-More Science High School, Wikipedia, Wisconsin.

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