Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • April-May 2024 • Circulation 5000


Pets Become Family

Joanne`s dogs Izzy (back) and Woody (front). Joanne McNeal

My family always had pets, dogs and cats especially. When my parents were mad at me, it always felt good to hold the dog or cat close and feel its warmth and love.

When my own children were small and they lost their father, a big soft gentle dog helped to soothe their need to cuddle and hug someone big besides me. When my mother was alone later in life, she had a big dog and two cats that she treated like her children. Research has shown that seniors are healthier when they have a pet to stroke. The act of petting evidently creates the release of good hormones. We all need to relate to other beings, and the faithfulness of a cuddly pet helps us to believe in ourselves and treat others with respect and caring.

I love the saying “I want to be the person that my dog thinks I am.” Our pets become part of our family. They provide good therapy. To me, a house is not a home without a pet.

Joanne McNeal has had more pets than she can count, and most were rescues of some kind. Rescue dogs and cats seem eternally grateful for a person’s love and caring, because they know what is like to be homeless, and not to “belong” anywhere.

Subscribe to our newsletter

News from the neighbourhood delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up and stay in touch!