• I think the primary gift of the animal is offered to writer and non-writer alike; they teach us about love, or attunement, which is love in action. A lot of people have closer relationships with animals than they do with other humans, because real intimacy requires both parties to consistently lean in, and animals are so good at this. They remain consistently, amazingly attuned to us, even when we fail them, and so we stay present, because we sense we're safe.