Life Lessons From My Pets

Pets are thought of as companions and even family, but they can be much more. We learn so much from our pets without even realizing it, from simple life lessons to enormous feelings.

I have learned a lot from my furry friends. I learned about responsibility. Having a pet means you need to care for someone else’s needs along with your own. Knowing someone else relies on you for their needs can be scary but learning to adjust and finding out that you are capable of doing it is fulfilling.

From responsibility I learned how to have a sense of pride. Being responsible for another life and taking care of them while watching them grow and thrive fills you with pride in them and yourself. That pride showed me I was capable of anything I put my mind to.

I have learned about unconditional love. No matter what my pets loved me, and I loved them. If I was sad they wanted to comfort me, and I wanted that comfort. If I was happy they wanted to enjoy that with me and I wanted to share it with them too. Even when my puppy chewed up every sandal I owned I still loved them.

From learning to love unconditionally, I learned forgiveness. Even when I was angry, that love didn’t go away and to move past the anger and bad moment forgiveness is needed. Without love, forgiveness might not be possible, but without forgiveness I might have learned a bad lesson about bitterness.

I learned about companionship from my pets. Friendships take work and commitment, this is a much easier task to learn with a loyal companion like your pet. Building a friendship with my pets gave me a good foundation for future relationships.

From companionship I learned about happiness and sadness. The moment I met my first pet and she put both paws around my neck and snuggled against me, I just knew we were meant for each other and the happiness that came from that was endless. We spent years together growing our bond and then sadly her short life was over.

I learned about overcoming fear. When my dog was diagnosed with Parvo she had to spend days in the animal hospital close to death even after she received preventative treatment. This taught me that scary things happen but we can’t run away from them and even though the outcome might not be good, we still have to live through them.

My dog’s recovery taught me to be grateful. We don’t always know what will happen and things can turn out horribly wrong. So, when you are blessed with a good outcome you should be grateful. I am appreciative and grateful for all the good things and happy surprises, knowing it could have been bad.

I learned how to move on. The loss of my pets was hard but the love I felt and the emptiness from them not being there let me know it was okay to have a new pet when I was ready. It wasn’t a replacement, but a new friend to have a new special bond with.

I learned all these lessons again with my next pets, preparing me for life in a way only a true friend can. My pets were more than just pets. They were friends and teachers. They prepared me for the hard things in life without me knowing it.  

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