While I did not consistently have pets while a growing up, as an adult, I have had two rescue pups for the last 10 years. Charlie is a Chihuahua/Jack Russell mix and Chiclet is a Chihuahua/Mini Pinn mix. I am their momma and they are my babies. LOL
It hasn’t always been easy caring for them, especially when they were puppies. They got into everything and training them to use “potty pads” inside and to go outside as well was a challenge. We have a well established routine now and it often seems like they can read my mind. Somehow they know when I am leaving even when I try to sneak out. They also faithfully greet me every time I walk in the house. Even if it’s just a trip to the mailbox!!!
They get their feelings hurt if I leave them too long and will sulk a little or perhaps have an “accident” in the floor. It often feels like caring for toddlers year after year, but the reward is so much greater than the inconeveniences.
The American Heart Association has published studies that reflect the physical benefits of owning pets such as lower risk of heart attack and stroke; higher levels of activity from owners; greater emotional connections and boosting your mood. I can certainly testify that after a tough day, having your pets greeting you with ecstatic joy certainly lightens your mood.
I also want to state that it’s not just dogs that provide health benefits. Cats can provide the same kind of companionship. The difference between dogs and cats is that dogs are unconditionally loyal; while cats choose you and are much more independent in showing their affection. They are simply more subtle with their expressions.
As our nest emptied, I have to admit that my pups definitely helped fill the void of not having children in the house any more. I probably spoil them too much, talk to them like they are human and absolutely enjoy our snuggle time every day.
It’s a big responsibility to own pets and provide a stable loving home for them for their lifetime. It’s not for everyone, but for those folks who can handle the responsibility of pet ownership, I highly encourage visiting a shelter and considering adopting a dog or cat that needs a permanent home.
Not only will you have a great companion, but your overall well being will benefit!