Wouldn’t it be great to not be judged about your job, your home, your car, your looks? Wouldn’t it be great to be greeted at the door with loads of love when you come home? Wouldn’t it be great to have a walking buddy every day or someone to snuggle with on the couch every night? Yes, it would! All of these things and more are possible by adopting a dog!
Your dog doesn’t care what you do for a living or what you drive. Your dog doesn’t care if you put makeup on or brush your hair. Your dog doesn’t care if you have on sweats or a business suit. Your dog loves you unconditionally and only wants to please you and be with you. If you’re having a bad day, your dog is going to be right there with you to make it all better. If you’ve had a great day, it will want to celebrate with you, probably by going for a walk and having treats together! There is nothing better than the love of a dog. No one on Earth will love you more, be more patient with your moods, or keep your secrets better than your dog.
And let’s not forget about our cats! They don’t care what we are wearing or what our jobs are, either! Anyone who has or ever had a cat knows that cats have their own unique way of showing love. My cats greet me at the door when I come home and then immediately become my shadow. Cats bump up against you and rub your legs to show affection and to mark you as their own. They can sense your emotions and even know when you aren’t feeling well. I can’t tell you how many times my Pooh Bear has climbed up in my lap and actually wiped away my tears and nuzzled up against me. Tigger will come up on my lap and sit and knead and lick my arms to make everything better! Affection to and from them is on their terms, though. When they want love and attention, you’ll know it and when they are done, they are done. It’s almost like they are saying, “OK, enough,” and down they go. Cats are extremely smart, too. They come when called, they certainly know the words “treats” and “dinnertime,” and they can work for quite a while trying to catch a red dot or their tails.
There are so many amazing things that we can learn from our pets; unconditional love being one of them! But also, so many things that are missing in our world right now like trust, loyalty and to not hold grudges. Your pet trusts you and knows you will be there to protect it, take care of it, feed it and love it. Your pet is 100% loyal to you no matter what and would probably do anything to protect you. Even if you must use discipline, pets get over it and then they are back giving you love and licks! It’s a great lesson: give respect and loyalty to your spouse, significant other, friends and family members and act according to how we would like to be treated. Don’t hold on to grudges with loved ones; do as our dogs and cats do and just live in the moment! We’ve all seen the stories of pets that were lost or left behind that traveled hundreds, if not thousands, of miles to find their family. We’ve heard the stories of the animals that have woken their owners up in the middle of the night to save them from a fire. That is loyalty and that is love!
In addition to all the things I’ve mentioned, there are many other benefits of having a pet. Some of them include decreasing stress, lowering blood pressure, easing pain, promoting more physical exercise, lowering cholesterol, improving our moods, helping us to socialize, improving immunity and helping children to develop.
Feb. 20 is “Love your Pet Day” and while I practice that every day, let’s give our fur family members a little extra love that day. If you don’t have a pet and are thinking about adding to your family, Yavapai Humane Society has a number of adorable cats and dogs in all different sizes and personalities that are looking for someone to love and someone to love them. All our available animals are shown on our website at yavapaihumane.org, so why not take a moment to take a look and see if your new best friend is here waiting for you.
We wish you all a happy Valentine’s Day! May it be filled with cuddles, snuggles and unconditional love from your pets! QCBN
By Loree Walden
Loree Walden is the marketing manager at Yavapai Humane Society.