Sunday, September 23, 2018

Not A Creature Was Stirring

I am an animal lover. I grew up wanting a dog. When I was in middle school, we finally got one. As an adult, I have owned dogs since before my kids were born. My kids grew up loving and caring for dogs and to this day, they are dog lovers (as everyone should be)!

I know families that refuse to have pets of any kind. I know children who beg year after year for a pet. I see cute videos on social media of children who break down crying from happiness when surprised with a pet. I believe it’s important for children to grow up owning and learning the responsibility of having a pet. My choice for the best pet is a dog – after all, it’s God spelled backwards. Many life lessons can be learned from owning an animal; here are a few:

Mess Happens. No matter how hard you try to house break your pet, invariably an accident will happen. It’s not the end of the world, so remember: just clean it up. Life also can hit us with unexpected messes sometimes. As best you can, clean them up.
Don’t Judge. Animals just live for love. They don’t care what you wear, how you look, or if you have morning breath. They just want you to be near them and love them. Some people need this, too. Don’t judge other people. Just be near them and love them.
Take naps – Animals sleep all the time. They do not feel stressed by deadlines. When they are exhausted (or bored), they sleep. Sleep is good for humans, too. Take a nap. Especially on Sunday afternoons.
Play Often – Animals live for play. It makes them happy. But they don’t like to play alone. They want you to play with them. People (especially little people) like to play, too. Play with others (and with your pets).
My kids picking out their puppy when they were young
Trust Others – Animals are very trusting in most cases. They see the good in us and believe in us. If you get upset with an animal, they are quick to forget and love you anyway (this is especially true of dogs). When we get hurt, we stop trusting. This is not a good thing. Learn to trust people again.
Don’t hold grudges – Animals forget all the bad things you do. They don’t pout; instead they run to you for more love. People shouldn’t hold grudges toward others. Learn to forgive and move on. You will feel lighter and happier.
Death is inevitable – All animals die. We learn grief from our animals. We cry when we lose them. But we love again when we find another pet to bring home. People die. It’s not easy to deal with and you can’t replace people. But owning an animal can make the grief a little more bearable.
Love is Best – Animals love us unconditionally. Follow their example.
Adam & Rusty getting acquainted
If you want to teach your children valuable life lessons, consider adopting (or fostering) an animal this Christmas. Your life will be blessed if you do.

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