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Family Ties

Siblings have a unique relationship, don't they? It is a combination of familial ties, friends, and frienemies! Siblings play together, hang out, bicker, fight, won't speak to each other, laugh, have secret jokes, and start all over again the next day! BUT, if an outsider was mean to a sibling, they would defend that sibling to death. I always thought that was a human thing- the bickering, the teasing, the tattle-tailing. Once again, the animals proved me wrong.

Van and Ella, both rescued at different times, have become bonded to their humans and to each other. Upon first introduction, Van (a noticeably male presence) was very aloof. He was polite and courteous, but sat in the background of my mind just watching and listening to Ella (the epitome of a little sister) point fingers and state her case about things she thought were important. So, what could be so important to this little girl?

"He thinks he's the boss of me, but he's not!" Ella made it very clear that she is her own boss. Her brother, Van , seems to think he needs to offer instruction but Ella doesn't want to hear it....until she does, then she goes to him for support and protection. Sounds familiar? She commented on the food situation, wondering why Van's food seems better than hers. It isn't better, just more. He is bigger and needs more food. (insert a little humphf, followed by quick acceptance). Ella liked to point out Van's mischievous behavior and wanted her parents to know that she is not responsible for any bad behavior, and even said Van instigates and then she gets in trouble. Well, this elicited a little chuckle from Van, which in turn made Ella chuckle. So, is the trouble she is talking about real or is she just being a dramatic little sister? lol When I asked about that, neither wanted to clarify. Instead, the two of them curled up together, butt to butt, and waited for some questions from their humans, who they consider to be their parents. They are a family.

During the Q and A portion, it became very clear that Van and Ella have very different personalities. Van likes snow, Ella does not. Van likes alone time, Ella prefers being near her humans all the time. Van is bothered by loud noises and vibrations, Ella does not seem affected by them. Van is calm and secure, Ella gets anxious. One thing they both felt: As long as they were together and with their humans, they were happy. They are a FAMILY. Both feel this strong bond and are very happy all together.

Van and Ella reminded me of my own children (human). They are very different in character, yet, love each other and enjoy each other's company, when they are not bickering. Another reminder that animals relate and react to their environment and family members much the same as humans.

When Van finally spoke towards the end of the session, Ella listened attentively. He had given her the opportunity to express herself first and then, when she was done, he expressed a few things about his life prior to rescue. In the end, Ella expressed the importance of living in the present. Perhaps she was trying to tell Van to let go of some of his sad memories.

So, what was the big take-away? Love, Time, Family, and being present. Isn't that what we all want in our lives? I think so. For me, this was another reminder from the animals of what is truly important in life. As I am writing this, Ella just popped in and screamed "Acceptance". Yes, Ella. You are right! We can be different, but we must always accept each other and embrace our differences with love and kindness and respect. Thank you, Van and Ella, for sharing and reminding us of the true meaning of life.

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