Why do we have pets?

Seems appropriate to begin with the basic question, Why do we have pets?

At some point most of us have had a pet. From dogs and cats to birds and bunnies and horses and goats. We may have been attracted by a sad shelter story of how the animal was abandoned or a neighbor/coworker had a litter to find homes for (more about that subject later).  We are nurturing beings and animals need us to care for them, feed them, groom them, make sure they go to the doctor. Sound a lot like children don’t they? They are part of the family, our children. And as much as they need us, we need them.

Dogs and cats are wonderful companions and can have positive health benefits. For the person who lives alone, it is a companion to  share their day with and enjoy. Having said that, it is important for the individual not only to want a pet, but also to pick a pet out themselves. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it boils down to the personality of the pet and potential owner.

People love to talk about their pets. Say “hi” to a scowling individual walking his dog down the street and  you may be ignored, but ask “what kind of dog is that” or “what’s his name” and prepare to listen.

When my columns were about animals  in need of a home it was much easier for them to be adopted if they had a story. TV news reports will often feature the kitten that was trapped under a bridge and had to be rescued or the dog left behind half-starved by his owner. And before the broadcaster has gone onto the next story the phone lines at the television station are lighting up with people wanting to adopt the animal.

Every animal has a story you just have to listen.


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