Pets are the best. They teach us so much and ask for very little in return.
If you are thinking about getting a pet for your family or need a reminder of just how awesome they are, here are five ways a pet positively impacts your family:
As a family, taking care of a pet creates a mutual purpose that everyone can share. Shared purpose fosters a connection that brings everyone closer together towards a common goal.
After my parents retired, they found themselves looking for a new purpose other than being a parent and an employee. They decided to foster kitties to get them adoption ready for their new homes. Seeing the connection and closeness that developed between them working together to take care of the kitties was heartwarming. Also, when there is common ground, there is always something to discuss. They said it was one of the best decisions they have made.
Animals are funny. There are hundreds of animal videos and pictures on the internet that are just hilarious. Whether it is them getting into something they shouldn’t or wearing something ridiculous, you can’t help but lighten up. Laughing is a great thing to share as a family!
We all screw up from time to time. I have learned from pets over the years that it is pretty much pointless to get or stay upset at them. Pets have also taught me to take it easy on myself when I make a mistake. Whether they stole a bagel off the counter, had an accident, or I yelled at them, most things resolve in minutes with a treat and a belly rub. Pets teach us not to wallow in self-pity and to move on. They remind us to choose love.
Pets are so much better than us at being in the moment and are a great reminder to us to do the same. In my house, if you are on your phone for too long, the dog will bark at you. The
barking doesn’t stop until you either play with the dog or take him for a walk. We don’t need a mindfulness app alarm to remind us to be present. Otis has offered that to our family free of charge! While annoying at times, I am grateful that he keeps us in check.
Pets have this profound way to awaken the good in us and inspire us to care about things beyond ourselves. When my 13-year-old nephew got a puppy, he was inspired to make sure the puppy had his place in the house to feel a part of the family.
One day when he got home from school, instead of playing video games, he put his dog’s crate together and set up his bed without anyone asking him to do so. Did I mention that the new puppy was an English mastiff? This is no small crate or bed! I just thought that was a beautiful act of pure, selfless kindness for another being.
I am so grateful for having a pet in my life because of all they have taught me. They are a real enrichment to my family and a reminder to not take life so seriously.
What are some other ways a pet has positively impacted your family? Please share in the comments below!