“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” –Dalai Lama

The month of February has special meaning to many of us because of the celebrations surrounding Valentine’s Day. It is a day that has evolved over time beyond romantic love to include expressions of love in many forms. For our School we have the great privilege of observing the love of animals on a daily basis, as we celebrate the human-animal bond.

I have found that a good way to open conversations is to ask people if they have pets or if they are a pet parent. Typically, this question leads to favorite stories of how animals have touched their emotions or influenced their lives. Animals can bring out the truest forms of love in people, evoking the best versions of our humanity. Our interactions with animals have demonstrable benefits in promoting healthy lifestyles and in supporting those with mental and physical disabilities. It is no surprise that our society has continued to embrace the human-animal bond in these turbulent and strident times. We seek from animals what at times seems unavailable from humans: unconditional love and boundless forgiveness.

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