I’ve had a mix of pets over the years. When I was younger, my parents were guide-dog trainers, so there always seemed to be a golden energy-ball of various puppy-sizes causing havoc in the house. We’ve always had our own dogs too, currently a dainty Labrador Retriever whose brother we trained to be a guide-dog, and my Granny’s ancient, doddery but loveable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Before passing last Christmas, my wonderfully obese rescue cat called Pixie was a constant throughout my childhood, my own purring-electric blanket who could always be found draped across my bed for the last fifteen years. We’ve also had stick-insects (gross) and chickens (moderately less gross), and I honestly can’t imagine our house without some pet wagging their tails and bucking loudly. So below are my reasons why pets are simply the best.
There’s a quote by an unknown writer which goes “It’s no coincidence that man’s best friend cannot talk.” While I often imagine how wonderful it would be to be able to understand my pet’s thoughts, I can appreciate the meaning of this quote also. There is something so freeing about having a living companion who won’t ask anything of you beyond affection. Although I obviously love my friends more than anything, there’s something so wonderful about being able to cuddle my cat, and to expect nothing more. No conversations or questions. Just cuddles. And, of course, purring.
Honestly, I don’t think I would’ve left my house at all over lockdown were it not for our family dogs! Having someone depend on you to take them out and about really motivated me to get some exercise in, especially when I got to see how happy they were to be taken for a walk. I have a frisbee at home, so whenever I’d take my Labrador Retriever for a walk on the beach, I’d bring my frisbee along too, and there was nothing she loved more than racing across the sand to bring the frisbee back to me. Without the two dogs, I wouldn’t have really had an impetus to regularly go out for walks beyond my own fitness drive (which, spoiler, during lockdown was basically non-existent). Although when I was all settled on the couch, there was nothing less I wanted to do than to go for a walk, to be able to share the outdoors with my dogs was really a highlight of lockdown.
Granted, the chickens, cat and stick insects were rather lacking in terms for protection, but the dogs made up for it. When I’m home alone, I always feel so much safer with a dog or two snoring loudly around me than if I were completely by myself. I also feel a lot more comfortable going for walks at dusk with a big dog who has a deep bark than if I was just going by myself. Even though both of my dogs are beyond friendly, it’s relaxing to know that they would bark if they sensed something was amiss. It’s like having a personal house alarm that drools and nudges your elbow with a wet nose if it’s not getting enough attention. How bad?