Mike and I are the proud parents of five fur babies: three dogs and two cats. Like any other family with very specific dynamics, I am in the unfortunate role of disciplinarian. Since I am in and out of the house all day, I am left to the task of making these crazy animals behave. I am “the mean mama” that makes them stay off the couch and not go on barking frenzies. The minute Mike walks in the door they run to him tails wagging and excited. When I come home they just want me to let them outside in hopes that their daddy will be pulling up soon. When he sits down on the couch it’s a battle royale for the coveted place on his lap, our 100-lb boxer mix included. I am the one that makes them stay on the floor if I want to sit next to my husband, yet another strike against “the mean mama.” I am the one that makes them go into their kennels every night. He is the one that wakes up with them in the morning and lets them out of their kennels. He feeds them and gives them treats while I have to punish them for getting into the trash.

So now you see how unfair this dynamic is. Recently I have taken to bribing them with string cheese to get them to love me best. It works well for all of the two minutes its takes them to finish it off. I am not complaining, just resigned to my role in this crazy family of ours.

This month’s issue is dedicated to all of you that spend your time protecting and saving the animals of Fort Worth. I was trying to find the right words but this quote from Kevin E. Mackin, O.F.M., Franciscan of the Holy Name Province, says it all: I believe every creature is important. The love we give to a pet, and receive from a pet, can draw us more deeply into the larger circle of life, into the wonder of our common relationship to our Creator.