Amy Randall-McSorley



There’s a noise that permeates the quietist of moments. It’s the sound of fear, death, discrimination and other nightmarish realities. The noise is cloaked in the persistence of the pandemic and wears the shroud as though it serves as a super villain cape, impenetrable by hope and victory. But the noise is mistaken. It is like white noise. It may come in many frequencies and with the same intensities, but it is not unconquerable. And the triumphs over the noise come in varying degrees and from a multitude of sources.

To be clear, I am not insinuating that these things of which I speak are minimal by calling them “noise.” On the contrary, I am describing them this way because noise is like air — it is everywhere. And the problems the noise channels are gravely critical.

There are warriors who battle the deep and vile noise. There are highly visible heroes and there are those who are unseen. Some of our heroes we might never really ever get to know personally and some are family members and friends. And some warriors do not appear to be fighters at all. They come in all shapes and sizes, are furry and walk on all fours. Gary and I are fortunate to share our home with three of this type of warrior.

At the end of a hard day, there is nothing like the love of a dog to bring peace to your heart and your mind. A wag of a tail says, “I love you.” A grunt in your ear is a whisper from God. Blood pressure drops after a few minutes of cuddling. Laughter at silly play quiets thoughts and steals the power the damaging noise holds on us.

The love of a dog can rejuvenate and heal us from the challenges we face every day. Love helps to divert us from succumbing to the will of the damaging noise. What greater weapon is there than love? It’s the thing that stands behind our daily battles. For love of safety, we fight fear. For love of life, we fight death. And with love for one another, we fight discrimination. This is but a small list of how love conquers all.

We fill ourselves with love so that we have love to give. And one way we do so is through accepting the love of a dog. Sure that love comes with obligations and responsibilities, but those pale in comparison to that which our dogs give us in return.

I cannot imagine my life without dogs. I tried that once, thinking that was the safest way to be. Your heart cannot be broken again by the passing of a dog if you never open your home and heart to one again. But I was wrong. The answer is to open your house to more than one — three in our case. Through the love of our pack, my cup runneth over. And while I realize the day will come when three will become two and the loss will be overwhelming, I also know that I will bear the weight of the sorrow more easily because of those who will remain.

The sources of the harmful noises are powerful and must be fought until they become less than a whisper. Until then, I will stand ground against the damaging din and find healing and solace in the loving, joyful noises our dogs so generously and unconditionally give.

If you do not share your home with a dog, but would like to, you can visit the Pickaway County Dog Shelter on Facebook to see who might be looking for a forever home, and how you could be the one to provide it. You can also visit the Circle Area Humane Society on Facebook to find your forever cat or dog friend. They are not the answer to all the dark noises that fill our days, but they bring the light that can quiet our hearts in the evenings so that we may rest and be ready in the morning to rise and fight again.

Written and submitted by Amy Randall-McSorley for The Circleville Herald. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.

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