Let me introduce you to Rudy.
Rudy is a labradoodle that my cousin and her husband just adopted. Though he has been in the family for a couple of months, I only recently made it out to the west coast for work and finally got the chance to meet him. As soon as I entered my cousin’s home to the moment I left, this dog was by my side. He is one of the most vivacious, friendly, energetic, and affectionate doggos that I have ever had the pleasure of loving. At less than 10 months, Rudy is still a puppy at heart and still has the energy of one. We took him to a park with a stream and watching him run around in the water, playing with other dogs, just put a smile on my face.
This got me thinking of all the amazing benefits of getting a pet. Obviously, if you are a responsible and caring pet parent, the least you are doing is giving another animal a great life full of love, laughter, and safety. But what about this bargain makes humans so eager to participate? I’ve noticed that non-pet owners can’t understand why pet owners go through such hoops for their pets: waking up early, picking up their poop, hiring pet sitters or dog walkers, buying so many toys that litter the house, making strict schedules, etc. But if you’ve ever had the privilege to love and care for a cat, dog, bird, lizard – what have you – you’ve probably never even questioned why you do any of these things. There is just a mutual unconditional love between a pet and their parent(s).
Any and all resources that you put into the care and maintenance of a pet is given back to you 10 fold in the love and pure joy that they feel for you. They fulfill so many emotional positions that most people don’t even know they need – personal confidant, constant companion, therapist. And all they ask in return is nothing – nothing but some food, some water, and some love.
As the French poet Anatole France said:
Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.
And I truly believe it. There are so many pets out there that have so much love to give. If you have the time and resources to adopt your very own Rudy, please consider a pet from your local shelter or going here to find a shelter close to you. If you can properly respect and love your pet, it’ll be the best decision you ever make.
Full disclosure – I almost couldn’t write this post thinking of my old cats. Please love and cherish all the moments that you have with your pets – it is the least you could do for all they give.