We have a few animals around our home. Two birds, a cat, two dogs and several wild birds that we feed through the winter. We used to also have two guinea pigs and several fish. That got to be just too much work. When one begins to resent the work involved more than one enjoys the relationship with the animal, it is time to find them a new home.
The same could be said for relationships. Yes, all relationships take some work and care. But there are some relationships that require much more high maintainence than others. These ones tend to drain the heck out of our energy. We find ourselves twisting into pretzels trying to make something work, anything work, within this kind of relationship and still end up exhausted on a deep soul level. If something or someone doesn't feed your soul, then it is far better to not have it and look for something or someone who does. I have never yet met a person who has made that hard decision and regretted it later.
I find caring for animals generally fulfilling. The relationship between a human and an animal can be extremely magical. For example, it is rare that I don't pick up on my dogs' thoughts that they would like to go outside for awhile. It is also rare that I can't pick up on where the cat is. We have a bit of a telepathic connect. I remember dreaming one night that my dog had her chin on my bed and when I opened my eyes I saw her lips move as she mouthed the words,"I need to go outside and pee right NOW." Suddenly I really did open my eyes and there she was with her chin on my bed. I whispered,"Do you need out?" and she bolted for the door with such speed I knew I'd better be hot on her tail before she lost control of her bladder.
It is man's (by that I mean all human beings for those who are anally politically correct) job to care for the earth. That includes the earth's creatures. This is why we feed the birds outside as well as feed our own animal family. If we didn't do this, they could certainly die in our -48 C weather. As it is, some probably will die. The wheel turns. But if we can help in any way, we certainly will. I was very pleased this summer to find a few deer also utilizing our land as a grazing zone. The only challenge was allowing that while keeping our dogs away from them. The relationship between dog and deer is what it is. The dogs chase and the deer run. Hopefully the deer come back and the dogs get used to their presence in the pasture as much as they did the presence of the horses a few years ago.
I find that caring for the animals, domestic and wild, to be something that connects me on a deeper level with nature. Learning their language is important as well. I have learned to mimic the sounds of each of my pets. I figure if I expect them to understand my language then I had better learn to speak theirs as well. What I am saying could be completely stupid in translation, but at least I am attempting the process. That is all we can do really. If we give it some effort, there is bound to be some good results.