The Wonderful Thing About Pets
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what having pets in your life does for you. As I’ve got older I’ve come to appreciate their value more and how I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. Marley and Me is pretty much the only film to make me cry. I’ve had a number of pets over the years, to date the list reads as 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 rabbits and a dozen or so goldfish. When you lose a pet when you’re younger it doesn’t have as big of an effect as it does an adult. Children still have a greater level of detachment at that age. They get older and grow so quickly that things fly by, only those constant surroundings stick in their hearts. I was shocked when I heard someone on television the other day claim that ‘Pets are just there to teach children about death and grief’. That sentiment chilled me to the bone. Yes, you learn a lot of life lessons through having a pet but they are so much more than a teaching aid for life.
My first dog, Muffy, was a Labrador and the most gentle creature you could imagine. This dog was around from when I was born till I was about 12. She was fiercely loyal and protective of my brother and I. My parents couldn’t even raise their voices at me without my dog intervening to growl and bark at them till they stopped. Muffy, even protected me from a life threatening attack when I was younger. My mother, brother and I were walking in the countryside in our village with the dog. I was a still relatively young, think about 5 maybe, making my brother 8. We were walking along when 2 dogs came charging up to us. They were Rottweiler’s, a notoriously aggressive and troublesome breed of dog. Their owner had let them of their leads for a run around. 1 of the dogs knocked my brother over and while my mum was dealing with that situation the other knocked me over. It was just about to bite me when my dog intervened and bit the other dog in the neck to scare it off. Luckily, none of us were hurt in this instance as the owner arrived moments later and the dogs were all fine.
Now I know the example I used above is an extreme scenario, so let me explain how pets can influence your day-to-day life. Firstly, there is security. Despite the annoying times your dog barks in the middle of night for no reason, in general they deter burglars and just make you feel safer. They also alert you to various dangers or things out of the ordinary. My current dog, Lady, has on occasion barked to let me know something is burning in the oven and another time she barked because the fridge door had been left open meaning the light was left on (saving us on the electricity bill). On a more personal note though animals are great companions. My pets have helped me through difficult times, they know when you are upset or unwell and do cute things to cheer you up or make you laugh. I’ve never seen a dog with as much personality as my current dog Lady. She was a rescue dog and spent time on the streets in her life. As a result she has a tendency to scrounge a lot and has a few bad habits which at times can drive you mad. However, I wouldn’t change a thing about her. She is a right madam, cheeky but playful and loves attention. Pets are wonderful things and the reason I love them is because they never change, they are who they are. Everyday I come home from work or university and there she is jumping up excitedly to see me as if she hasn’t seen me in months. On the darkest days I come home and there she is welcoming me home and giving me a cuddle. Animals love you no matter what, treat them right and they will love you till the end, no matter if you’re in a bad mood or have neglected them of late, they don’t change.