They Call it Puppy Love
Although I personally do not own any pets, I love animals. I enjoy spending time with the dogs and cats my friends own and have witnessed how quickly pets become non-human family members.
Case in point: a friend of mine lost one of her cats to cancer recently. She worried about that cat constantly during its illness and did everything she could for its treatment and comfort when its health declined. When the cat finally died, she mourned and had a private funeral service for herself and other family members to attend.
When a living creature is part of the household for year after year, it becomes part of the fabric of life there. Even though it cannot speak in conventional ways, that animal provides companionship and comfort. When it is gone, the loss can noticeably be felt.
Conversely, those who suffer physical and mental illnesses often find pets to be a source of comfort. Theraputic dogs are often brought to hospital wards to cheer up those who are convalescing. It’s hard to feel upset when playing with an adorable puppy.
Someone once told me that having a pet was like having a child that never grows up. I think that may be a bit of an exageration, but pets are definitely a commitment and responsibility (and possibly a lot of cleaning). But my pet owning friends rarely complain about the inconveniences – they focus on the fun and love.
On a slightly different note, I have noticed over the past couple of years that I’ve seen fewer cats roaming around on the street. I was never able to figure out if the cats I saw were feral or just let loose to wander around. In either case, I view this as a positive development.