For the love of a pet

For the love of a pet

SJ is part of a local writers group in Senoia that meets the third Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. at the Senoia Library. You can also follow more of her writing at creativejuices-sjcox.tumblr.com.

Every time I get on Facebook these days my feed is overwhelmed with stories of homeless pets with amazing rescue stories. Some of the ones that make me particularly sad are the ones where you read about a Pitbull who has been deemed dangerous and so no one will adopt it. The longer the dog sits unwanted in a cement cell the more depressed it gets. The stories amaze me because it shows off the human side of animals.
I have a dog and a cat at home. For me they aren’t just pets, but rather more like my children. My husband and I decided a long time ago not to have any human children. That was a choice that just didn’t fit our lifestyle, but we both agreed that our home was definitely big enough for several animals. In fact, at one time we had three dogs and two cats. Call me a softie, but there’s nothing like an excited bark and a wagging tail from your pup the minute you enter the door. It doesn’t matter if you have been gone five minutes or five days, they are always happy to see you and show you how much they love you. Cats are more aloof, but still wonderful pets to have. Their purring alone has been proven to lower blood pressure. I guess it’s because it puts you in a calming state of mind.
What amazes me most is a pet’s individual personality. Much like people, they have certain characteristics, be it cute or annoying, that make them who they are. I have owned many pets over the course of my life and never have I ever had any two that were exactly alike. In fact I think it’s their quirks that make me love them all the more. They are unexpected and a joy to see displayed.
After being laid up for the last eight weeks as I recover from my spinal surgery, I have had a lot of time to spend with my pets. Both my cat and dog have been faithfully by my side throughout the day as my recovery progressed. I have seen a wide range of emotion come from them. Everything from worry and sadness to joy and delight filled their eyes. On the particularly rough days, when I was in a great deal of pain, they would lay by my side and my dog Jake would extend his paw over my hand and lick my face as tears formed as if to say, “Don’t cry mommy, everything will be alright.” It’s these moments that have shown me that I would do anything for the love of a pet.
So my question to you dear readers is, “How many of you out there have wonderful childhood memories of a beloved pet? Do you think they changed your life in any particular way?” For me, I have had many beloved pets. My life has always been full of them. Maybe it’s because I have a huge heart full of love, or just a soft spot for those sweet eyes and wet noses. Who knows, but I know my life wouldn’t be the same without them.