I have had a pet ever since I was a child. My first dog was a frisky ball of energy and I was terrified. I soon learned to love the dog and was hooked. Since then, the only time I’ve been without an animal was when I went away to college and lived in a dorm. There are a few reasons why I will always have a pet, (in my case a dog):
- They provide unconditional love. There is something so wonderful about coming home to something that adores you and is so excited to see you whether you’ve been gone for 20 minutes or 20 hours.
- They quickly teach you responsibility. You must keep the dog healthy and alive! There have been many times where I had to cut my time out short to come home and let the dog out and yes, I have to adjust my life for them, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
- You will develop cat like reflexes. When you hear “the puke noise,” it doesn’t matter whether you are in REM sleep or in the back of the house, I guarantee you will learn to jump, dive or even fly to save your rug and/or furniture from nastiness.
- Dogs force me to exercise and enjoy the outdoors. My daughter and I walk our dog in the afternoon and love talking about our day. Watching my spastic dog engage with other dogs is just icing on the cake.
- They teach your children about death. Death is a part of life and sometimes it is hard to actually prepare your child for it. We recently lost a family dog and it was hard. She had been with me since 2007 and had been around my daughter all her life. It forced us to have lots of discussions about being sure to show love and appreciation for the living and that not every day is promised.
- Studies show that having a pet benefits your health! Need I say more?
I always adopt rescue animals, and I hope that my daughter continues this tradition. It is so wonderful to rescue an animal and see the appreciation in their eyes. My current dog, a foster fail, was neglected and left outside to starve but you would never know it. He is the happiest, sweetest dog in the world. A true example of resilience. If you are hesitant to jump right into dog ownership, perhaps try fostering? You’ll help save lives, see if pet ownership is for you and may even discover a new best friend.