What is the biggest life lesson you have learned from owning a pet? Several Found Animals staff members had plenty to say, so much that this article had to be split in two!
Marianne: To live in the moment. This is something I am ALWAYS working on, but my dog Penelope is a great reminder! She doesn’t hold grudges or cling to what’s happened in the past. Like most animals, she is in the moment, feeling what she is feeling or going through what she is going through in that instance. She can easily snap out of a bad mood or behavior and be happy as can be! [It’s] a great way to live, and I strive to be like her.
Aimee: From Rufus, [I learned] that discrimination hurts. People [judge] him for his breed and looks; people [cross] to the other side of the street when they see him. If they only knew what a sweet, kind dog he is!
Cassie: I’d have to say the biggest thing I’ve learned from my cats is to relax. When I was in college, my roommates and I used the cats as a way to destress. Watching them play, stretch and do silly things always kept us laughing. Even now, one of my all-time favorite pastimes is to just lounge around the house with my kitties by my side.
Miriam: My first and only pet is Snickers. I used to be deathly afraid of all animals, and Snickers has taught me not to be scared of dogs and even other animals.
Jade: There’s so much I’ve learned from having pets, but the one [lesson] that stands out to me the most is [to] never limit yourself with labels of being only a cat or dog person (unless you’re allergic to them).
I used to be guilty of this. I always had a negative view of cats based on the stereotype that they were aloof and unaffectionate, which I learned is untrue thanks to my first cat, Maxine.
We found her outside when she was only a few days old, covered in fleas and starving. After nursing her back to health, she ended up becoming a healthy happy cat. Even though she was a little skittish and liked keeping to herself, she would always take the time to greet me in the morning and snuggle with me. She liked to burrow her face on my chest, purring, and would end up drooling all over my shirt.
Maxine definitely made me realize how wonderful cats can be as pets and to fully appreciate them. […]I’ve learned that cats can be just as affectionate and loving as a dog, and I’ll never say I’m just a dog person now.
Brad: I would say patience is the best thing I’ve gained from having my dog Tucker. He had a lot of socialization issues and also had never been trained to do anything really. [He] never was walked on a leash, etc. So, our slow and steady progress has made me much more aware of the benefits of being patient and being happy with the small advances.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Part 2 of this article series!