All of my life pets were at the forefront, participating, entertaining and communicating. My sense of self-was certainly increased by having pets. These five things are what I have learned from over sixty years of having, loving and laughing with my pets.
1. Pets keep you company. When you are alone, feeling sad and even crying a dog or cat will be a furry face to bury yours in, to hold, hug and embrace. When no one else is around your pet can be a comfort, hold space for your tears to fall and be there to greet you happily when you return from work or an outing. No human will ever give you the kind of greeting your pets will consistently.
2. Pets teach you, unconditional love. Being accepted as we are always is what pets do. They never judge, hate, or criticize us. Pets accept us on our best but also accept our worst. Pets won’t leave us because we don’t look as pretty as we used to, or aren’t feeling well.
3. Pets will make you laugh. Pets seem to know when we need a good laugh, to not take ourselves and life so seriously. Watching our pets can make us take a closer look at how serious we are so that we can be as silly as them. Getting in touch with our silly, childlike side is an important part of staying you.
4. Pets teach you sign language. All pets will communicate with their owners mind-to-mind. They are highly intuitive. They also will teach you what our words mean to them. My dog Karma signs for food, water and out. She lets me know what she wants. When I don’t pay attention, she will become insistent, getting louder and louder or more emphatic by jumping up when she makes the sign for food.
5. Pets teach us acceptance. When we accept things the way they are life becomes so much easier. Dogs and cats accept us and love us anyway. Our pets find ways to be happy in the worst conditions. As long as they are with us, they are happy.
I have seen homeless people all across the country with their loyal companions in cold, wet or snowy conditions. Pets help us recognize that everything is well as long as we are together.
Pets have been known to be so dedicated that after their master dies they never leave the gravesite or side of the road where they were left. Pets are loyal to a fault and will bring you endless joy and happiness the more you engage and interact with them.
Watching your pets can not only bring you happiness but love as well. What a combination of loyalty, unconditional love and a playfulness that brings us to a state of joy just by watching them play. I have found endless joy through my four-legged family members. My adult children now have their own pets as well, keeping the tradition alive.
David, Ray Lewis (left)
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