I never owned a cat or a dog growing up. Pets were viewed as messy, expensive, a source of allergies, and when you want to go on vacation, inconvenient. But when we moved into our home years ago, I felt like there was a presence missing in the house. I was not wrong.
Calmness On Four Paws.
Pets have crept slowly into my life starting with a stray calico that my daughter adopted. She instantly made our new house feel like home, and miraculously, she didn’t trigger allergies. She greets me at the door and follows me into the kitchen. She settles on my lap when I sit with my tea. Not only is she company, she is calmness on four paws. Sitting with her is a meditation. (We all know that you can’t move if a pet settles onto your lap.) I didn’t realize how much I needed her energy in my life until she was here. (Bonus, she’s into yarn crafts as much as me.)
Puppy To The Rescue
During the pandemic, a boisterous husky puppy entered our lives when my daughter adopted her.* For anyone who welcomed a pandemic puppy, you know how essential they were for helping you through the worst days of lockdown. A puppy will not be ignored and constantly keeps you in the present. Who could ruminate about the state of the world with an energetic pup woofing and asking for treats? I saw more of my neighbourhood while walking her in the first year than I’d seen in the many, many years I’d lived here. I met new people and I learned how to interact with a dog (a new skill for me).
Lessons I learned
Now that I have a dog in my life, I see the lessons that she’s taught me. Huskies need lots of walking and so I walk. Exercise is good. When she stops to sniff at the air and look around, I stop also. I am present more often when I’m with her. Her routine gives me a routine too. Her silliness brings smiles to everyone in the house. Her insistence on “pets” pulls me away from diving into mindless social media scrolls or TV shows to rub her belly. She learns quickly and enjoys learning new tricks. Learning is joy. She, like her kitty-sister, have brought more love into my life.
Most Important Things In Life
As my neighbour recently remarked about her new puppy, she used to worry about scratching the wood floors before, now it doesn’t matter at all. The benefits of having her dog far outweigh the joys of a shiny floor. Life is messier and noisier now. There is also more cleaning, but there is so much more life too! I still don’t technically own a pet but I live with a rambunctious, young husky and a sweet, elderly calico cat. They have taught me so much. Lucky me.
*Click here to check out the dog rescue where we got our lovely pup.
What a heartwarming article! It’s amazing how pets can bring so much joy, love, and mindfulness into our lives.
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While I enjoy the freedom from the structure of workdays in my retirement, I realize that some structure is healthy. And my dog has provided the best kind of structure. He loudly lets me know when to get up, eat, walk, play, and go to bed. He makes sure I take a break by sitting on my lap and demonstrates the benefits of stretching after those naps. The wisdom of pets!
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