submitted by Tomaca
My dogs, my cats, my turtles are my babies. They are loved and they are treasured. And – spoiled. I can’t forget – very spoiled. But, how else would you treat someone who loves you unconditionally no matter what? You could come home in the most foul mood; you could be hurt and in tears, but who is there always ready to just give you love? They are.
There’s a joke about a guy locking his wife and his dog in the garage for several hours and coming back, opening the door and the only one who is really happy to see him is his dog. It’s funny, but, yes, it’s true, very true.
And, animals don’t hold grudges. Whatever is gone is gone. I won’t say that they forget, but when you make a mistake, they forgive you and move quickly back into the “love you” mode.
We hope that if you decide to get a pet, you will get one from a shelter. A lot (not all) of these blessed creatures have been abused, were homeless, were hungry and scared. Yes, even big, seemingly-scary dogs can be scared. I remember my dad went to the pound and got two dogs. One was a beautiful German shepherd and the other was a little “barky” mutt (my mom picked the little one). They were wonderful animals. Our German shepherd was named “Sarge.” The day he came home, he urinated on the floor. My dad went and got the mop, came back and was getting ready to mop of the mess and poor Sarge saw the mop and cringed and cried and peed some more. It took work to get him to understand that he was safe and that no one was going to beat him anymore. I was a little girl and seeing that just broke my heart. To think that someone would beat and hit this wonderful dog was not understandable to me. Sarge soon turned around and became the confident, relaxed and protective being that he was created to be. He was also one of my best friends when I was a little girl. He developed the most amazing calm and confidence. We put up a big “beware of dog” sign even though Sarge was very friendly. If he was put in a situation where he had to protect anyone in the family, I have no doubt that he would do so without hesitation. Thankfully, none of those situations ever occurred. So he got to relax and enjoy his life as a big, happy, lovable dog.
I’ve always been an advocate for adopting pets from shelters. Once you do that, often you will find that animal was there waiting specifically for you! They bond with you so quickly and will do anything – even give their lives to protect you and they love you unconditionally.
Women become their “people moms.” They see us as one of the pack leaders and because it’s usually mom who takes care of the pets in terms of the feeding and brushing, they see us as the food givers too.
Our pets deserve the best. You want to make sure they are comfortable, they have plenty of food, water and why not take it step further and get them their very own pet bed. If you do, they just might stay off of yours! Not necessarily though, because there’s nothing like sleeping with a member of the pack!
We have had up to four dogs at a time. At bedtime everyone would pile into my son’s bed. He had to find a way to lay in the midst of the pile. It was quite funny when you’d peak into his room and five heads would all lift up and look at you.
The cats were quite different. They were both rescues too. They saw the dogs as being beneath them. The younger dogs would always want to play, but the cats would have nothing to do with it. They’d hiss and scratch and eventually the dogs learned to leave them alone. The cats were there first so they felt completely entitled to rule everything. The dogs would get out of their way. The cats ( my boys) also had their own unique beds and the dogs were not allowed to get on them. We never had to intervene, the boys handled their own business of clearing defining their territory. The dogs came to understand very quickly where they should not tread or lay their heads.
There’s a whole dynamic when you have pets in your home. I am so very grateful to have grown up with cats, dogs, rabbits, ducks, birds, hamsters and a host of siblings. At this point in my life I would love to expand and have horses, chickens, cows and goats. When my parents grew up, their parents raised their own livestock. My mom’s stories still filter through my mind. However, because I am a vegetarian, I would not use the animals for food. I appreciate how animals have enhanced my life and broadened my vision and understanding of life and the psychology of how we all interact (yes, I’ve learned a lot from animals). So moms, ladies, dads, get a shelter pet. You might be thinking that you are saving their life, but in truth, they are saving yours.