One of the most universal things we ever write about is animals.
Everyone loves a good animal story, and they especially love the pictures.
Whether it’s the 90-year-old grandpa or the 12-year-old pre-teen girl, animals touch everyone.
Likewise, when we report about animals being abused or neglected or missing, it’s a subject that reaches into even the hardest of hearts.
Thus the poor pooch in Lantzville who almost died of a flea infestation (you can read the story on our website and see his adorable face) gets as widely read as stories with a more immediate local bent.
Even as a pet owner for many years, I didn’t know an animal could die from blood loss from fleas.
In today’s edition we’re featuring two rather more good-news animal stories, one on the front page by reporter Sarah Simpson about the rare white hummingbird that’s taken up residence near her property, and the other about the bearded dragon found on a Cowichan Valley logging road.
Sarah is already girding herself for numerous calls from birding enthusiasts, and it looks like the bearded dragon may have already found a new home, though I have no doubt there will be at least a few offers.
There always seem to be after an animal is featured in the press. Take a look at the SPCA’s photos of pets ready for adoption. I guarantee there’s a face there to fall in love with, even if it’s never been on the front page. They’re even offering half-price adoption for mature cats.
So what is it about animals that tugs at us all, regardless of age, occupation or political bent?
Maybe it’s because they are so open. There’s no wall there. They lick your hand or wag their tail, the very best of companions who can teach humans a thing or two about unconditional love. There’s no posed expression in an animal photo. They show you their whole heart — many times reminding us of the openness of children before they learn to tuck parts of themselves away from public viewing. Often their relationships with one another astonishingly mirror the human ones we see around us, offering a startling insight into ourselves.
In any case, we love them, and hope you do too.