"THOSE WHO CAN DREAM"

per kind permission of the author, Ron Hevener


All of us, no matter who we are, go through times when we run up against a brick wall. When nothing - no matter how hard we try - is enough to break down that wall, and set us free. It can be some kind of political red tape we can't get around, bills we can't pay or love leaving us forever.

When I was growing up, I remember asking myself "What can I do in life?" I guess I was a pretty serious kid, to be wondering about such things back then. But, I wanted to do the most with my life, and there were so many people I wanted to know. People I read about, or saw on TV or in the movies. People I heard on the radio. The dreamers of the world.

As time went by, I discovered that I was meeting some of those people. I was meeting them because they had horses or dogs and all kinds of pets in their lives. Often, I never knew who they really were until after we started talking. Who would think a skinny farm kid, from a town most people never heard of, would make friends with the treasurer of CBS? Or the secretary of Dag Hammershold? How about getting to know the top banking family in Italy, the people who started Volkswagen, or speaking about horses with a prince who would become king of Saudi Arabia? Certainly not my classmates in school.

It was our interest in purebred animals that opened the door. We met at the races, at shows or just through the networks of the breeds we are interested in. After all, a fine horse or dog is an incredible thing, respected and admired all over the world.

I'm not sure how many of us, today, realize how quickly things are changing around us. Some of the most sweeping laws are being enacted that affect our privacy and our hearts. By "heart," I mean our love and inspiration. Or, to be more specific, the inspiration and "centered-ness" we get from the animals we own. Yes, I said "own." And years from now, as society continues cutting "passion" out of our lives, the works of people like me will be banned for it. Banned like the work of Albert Payson Terhune, one of the most popular dog writers of all time, for using words of his time that are not "allowed" in public libraries today because they offend the NAACP. Were his words vulgar like so much in books and on the screen today? Hardly. Were they in every story? No. But, they were enough to get him on a list of banned writers - and now there are whole generations who don't know the sentimental and romantic story of "Lad: A Dog." But, you might. And I do.

So, fine. I use the word "owner" instead of "custodian" or "guardian" like they are being forced to use in Colorado or maybe California, too, by now. I use the word "owner" because it is a stronger word, evoking more passion.

Passion is what animals are all about! They fight and love and cry and run and holler as hard as they can! They show us it's OK to do that in a world that wants to make us numb, bland and tone us down.

Getting back to those roadblocks along the way . . . we all come up against them. And, I'd like to say there's always a way around them. I'd like to say that, but, I can't. All I can say is, those of us who love - really love the sporting life with our horses, our dogs, our pets of every kind . . . those of us who love racing and the circus and the rodeo and books and movies and singing cowboys . . . who ride on trails through the woods, go to the Zoo and dream of dancing Lipizzan Stallions and magical dolphins leaping into the sky - must hang on to it. Treasure it. Because these things stir our blood. These things excite us, and show us what we - as living, breathing, feeling creatures ourselves - can do. That is passion. And that - at all costs - is what we are protecting as the world grows ever more afraid of those who can dream.

Note: Mr. Hevener's novel High Stakes is an expose of the animal rights movement, and its growing threat to today's society. He can be reached through www.ronhevener.comor this publisher


Submitted by John Chandler

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