76: Furring the Nest

76: Furring the Nest

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned from the Dog

Furring the Nest

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

~Kevin Smith

There’s dog hair everywhere! Oh, that Bo! Why does he shed so much? I know. My fault. One look at those big brown eyes, pleading with me from the back porch, is all it takes for me to open the door. Into the house he bounds. Nose sniffing. Tongue hanging. Tail wagging.

Bo is our four-year-old golden Labrador Retriever. He’s loyal, gentle and affectionate. Bo can plop his sixty-five pounds of love and fur in your lap, and lick your face at the same time. There’s only one small annoyance. His thick, golden, hairy coat sheds—a lot. One morning, as I was sipping coffee and absorbing the sights of the budding trees, five little sparrows landed on the porch. Bo was in his usual laidback pose, oblivious to the feathered friends hopping around him. As my half-awakened eyes focused, I noticed something in one bird’s beak.

What is it? I thought. Oh... it’s Bo’s hair. What’s that bird doing? It’s gathering some of Bo’s soft fur to line its nest!

I remembered all those times I silently grumbled about his cast-off hair. Sweeping. Vacuuming. Assembling the vacuum hose and its attachments. All the times I made sure everyone had a turn using the lint roller before leaving home. Now, I’m observing a bird about to use something I consider a nuisance.

I watched it as it flew to its nest. The back porch scene I had just witnessed swayed my view of Bo’s shedding hair. My sentiments were transformed from irritation to the realization of nature’s superb resourcefulness. In the cycle of life, nothing is wasted. Through time, things that appear destroyed, that are shed or discarded are used again. Endings decompose and nourish beginnings.

I sat and imagined how the new hatchlings would feel as they nestled and snuggled in the comfort of their soft nest. Naked and defenseless, yet warm, secure and protected in the plush surroundings of Bo’s golden fur.

~Mary E. McCloud

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