What My Pets Have Taught Me

Dog and Girl

I’ve always had animals in my life. For part of my life I grew up on a farm. It wasn’t a farm where we ate the animals, it was more like a petting zoo. I learned a lot about animals growing up, such as patience, love, laughter, and loss.

Patience

I’ve learned a lot about patience over the years with my pets. I’ve loved all of them, but they could drive me nuts at times. My cat Gabby is currently teaching me about patience. No matter how much you love your pets they will always get on your nerves occasionally.

Gabby is always crying at me. Every time I get up she cries at me. In fact, every time I roll over at night she cries at me. Sometimes she’s just talking to me, but most of the time she wants something. Usually it’s food. She gets very upset if she can see the bottom of her food bowl even though there is still large amounts of food pushed onto the sides. She wants it topped off at all times. I’ve had to learn to be patient with her requests and love her even when she’s being pushy.

Love

Out pets teach us about love every day. They love us unconditionally no matter what we do or who we are. Gaining an animal’s trust is such a special bond, and we’re rewarded wholeheartedly with their love.

I have so many special memories of pets I have loved, and how they have loved me back. I had a white fluffy cat when I was growing, and she would always come lay by me whenever I was crying. I had a dog that I would cuddle with every night. She’d let me cuddle with her even though she didn’t like it (I could tell because she would groan, or sometimes move, when I put my arm around her). I had a bird that would sit on my shoulder and snuggle in my hair.

Laughter

My pets have given me so many funny memories, and every one of them brought a smile to my face every day they were with me.  I could go on and on with funny memories that my pets have left me.

I had a dog that used to collect rocks and would jump in the air to get branches off the trees even though the ground was already littered with sticks. I had a horse that would hold water in his mouth and spit it onto your head when you bent down to get him an apple. I had an orange tabby cat that like going for car rides. I had a bird that hated thumbs. I had ducks that knocked on the back door for lettuce daily.

Loss

Losing a pet is never easy, and I’ve lost quite a few pets in my lifetime. I learned how to mourn them, and how to move one while still keeping them in my heart.

Phoebe was 13 when I had to let her go. Her mind was still clear, but her body was failing her. She could barely walk, she was incontinent, and she was in pain. I would have taken care of her forever, but I realized that it was time to let her go. That was the hardest decision of my life. Once I decided, it took me almost a week to actually take her to the vet. I just couldn’t do it. I eventually realized I was just letting her suffer, and I finally let her go. That was 4 years ago, and I still carry her dog tag on my key chain. I think about her all the time. She was my best friend and I’ll never forget her.

The hardest loss I suffered was my last dog Phoebe. Growing up we always had family dogs, but Phoebe was my dog. My parents brought her home for me one day, and she was so small, yet so destructive. She chewed up the all the linoleum floors and had an obsession with eating my socks. She barked at everything like she was the bravest dog, but she was the biggest coward. She was extremely brave when she was standing behind me.

It’s always painful to lose a pet, but I can’t imagine my life without one. They bring so much joy to our lives while they are with us, and they are companions that are always there for us. I can’t imagine my life without a pet in it.

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