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  • I fell completely in love for the first time at age 35.

    I sat with my friend Lily looking over six mostly indistinguishable newborn puppies: at three-days old, they looked like blind rodents, not dogs. We'd yet to touch them so mom could set up her routine.

    It was a long three days.

    When we finally sat in the pen and started to pass the puppies back and forth, my life forever changed when Lily handed me "Bindi" (so named for the distinguishing mark on her forehead). I felt my heart burst wide open. I wept then, partly in surprise, partly in gratitude, and still tear up now when I remember the feeling.

    It is the only time that has ever happened to me.

    Not on my wedding day.

    Not on the day I said goodbye to my dad in the ICU.

    Not on the day I finally opened up again to the possibility of loving after my divorce.

    A year-and-a-half later, Lakshmi (her new, complimentary name) is a source of daily joy in my life. I know there is a purity common to love between an owner and their pet. I also feel sometimes something deeper happens: a pet appears as a kindred spirit disguised in fur, a familiar so energetically connected that it teaches the owner the truth about love, allowing them to recognize flashes of that love reflected in their human relationships.
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