Lessons Learned From Pets

Pets can teach us so many things

The prompt was “What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned from having pets?”, but I would rather just talk about all the lessons, because there are so many.

My sister and I were surrounded by animals growing up.  We always had a dog or two, a million barn cats, and several horses.  I thought that was normal and every kid had cats, dogs, and horses.  I didn’t realize how lucky we were.

My dogs always made me feel safe.  Bandit, our mutt, wouldn’t have hurt a flea, but he was always wherever we were.  Smokey on the other hand was a chow and would’ve hurt anything that came inside that fence, including any of the crazy cats that dared to come into the yard.

My cats taught me to sit still and enjoy their company.  There is something so comforting about a purring cat.  I’m definitely a cat person, but not to be confused with one of those crazy old cat ladies.  They also taught me how to love something enough to give it away.  Once we had a sister/brother pair of cats.  Bruce and Penelope.  Man, I loved Bruce.  He was my cat.  He followed me all around the house, slept with me, kept me company, made biscuits every night on my pillow before I went to bed.  Penelope on the other hand was a bad kitty.  It eventually got so bad I was told we had to get rid of Penelope.  Since Penelope and Bruce had never been separated since birth, I just couldn’t let that happen.  So we found a nice home for both to go to.  I loved Bruce more than anything, but was willing to let him go for what I believed would keep him happy.

Horses taught me responsibility.  They are a lot of work.  They require lots of training, feeding, attention, and they have really big poop that needs disposing of.  I have spent many childhood afternoons cleaning stalls, bathing horses, and filling water bins.  I also spent every morning before school, even in the cold dark hours, feeding them.   I also know that a certain Arabian named Freedom loved Doritos.  I know what it’s like to have to take turns walking a horse around the pasture ALL night long because they got into the feed and have colic. And I’ve been woken in the middle of the night to witness a foal being born.  I wouldn’t trade my childhood for anything.  It was amazing.

The biggest lesson any animal can teach you is unconditional love, especially dogs.  They are always happy to see you, no matter if you’ve been gone 5 minutes or 5 days.  You will get that same over joyous reaction upon your return.

animals

These are my current animals.  We have two rescue Greyhounds, Jack and Layla.  They are the biggest couch potatoes you’ve ever seen.  And Virgo and Guinevere are the kitties.  We originally only had Virgo but we were always fighting over her to snuggle with us, so we got Guinevere.  The joke was on us.  Guinevere hates to be held or sit in your lap.  But we still love her.

What lessons have you learned from pets?

~Shelly

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