Raising Litter Mates



Puppy Love Blog has been nominated for an award and I want to express my gratitude to all of you who made this possible. To accept my nomination, I was asked to describe what I think the greatest benefit of owning a pet is. I had some difficulty at first because I can list SEVERAL benefits of owning a furball, but there is one that takes the cake!

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Thursday, May 17, 2012
The Greatest Benefit of Owning a Pet

The greatest benefit of owning a pet is the feeling of unconditional love. Currently, this involves my dogs and cats. My pets depend on me for food, shelter, and the best care I can provide. I depend on them, as well as appreciate them for something much more: unconditional love.

Growing up, my first pets were birds. I loved those budgies so much. I would get up early to help my mom clean and feed them - I loved birdie bath-time. I also remember reading as much as I could to make sure they were getting all the vitamins and supplements they needed to be healthy and happy. I remember the "bird box" we had under the kitchen sink that contained only the best, or what I thought was best, for those little guys. That was my first pet experience, and although I can recall all the names we had for the birds, and the love I had for them (over a few years) I don't think I was capable of deep emotional attachment at that age.

"Hammy" the hamster was the next pet. He lived a full life for a hamster - he lived over four (4) years! I took good care of him - he was mostly (almost ALL of) my responsibility. Losing him was difficult - I do remember feeling sad and hurt when I found him tucked into his little hamster house not breathing :(
I also remember feeling some relief that he passed away in his sleep and didn't suffer.

Owning dogs and cats (or any other pet of your choice) provides great happiness - happiness that I can barely describe. Being greeted at the door with wagging tails each time you enter has to be the greatest feeling ever! Even after a rough day, whether it be traffic, school or work-related stress, those wagging bums and their eager to please demeanor can make you forget those trivial troubles at the door, resetting your mood to a more positive level.

Your pets will love you for the way that you are. They could care less about the way you dress, whether or not your hair looks perfect, the brand name on your dog walking attire, the amount of money you have in your bank account, the kind of car you drive or anything else of the material kind that some of us worry about on a daily basis. They accept us the way we are at any given moment. That is unconditional love.

I can't remember what it was like to not have a dog, - it has been about fourteen (14) years that I have had the pleasure (and pain) of spending my life with my canine companions. I can tell you that I will never be without at least one dog EVER. I cannot imagine coming home to an empty house (spouse doesn't count). The bond between my dogs and me is incomprehensible to a non-pet owner. I know that my dogs know when I am having a rough day and they do everything they possibly can to rectify the situation.

A walk around the block with your pooch can do wonders for your mood. A game of fetch or a treat toss allows a bonding session with your dog with hardly any effort. Teaching your beloved companion a new trick not only strengthens the bond but stimulates your dog mentally, at the same time, which is great for their brain. My dogs are the happiest when they are doing things for me and "working" for their rewards - you can see it in their eyes that they are truly content.

I can't use words to describe the feeling of warmth and comfort a dog cuddle can provide, or the feeling you feel when he rests his head in your lap. Who knows if he is actually trying to make you feel better or he needs a head rest - either way it warms your heart and brightens the darkest moments. This feeling I am trying to express in words you must experience yourself to truly understand where I am coming from.

Owning a dog is not for everybody. It requires time and commitment. If you love dogs but life doesn't allow it right now, visit a local shelter or rescue organization and volunteer. Whether it be twenty (20) minutes or an hour you are building a friendship that you will not regret and the dog will never forget. If you are thinking of owning a dog in the future, spend some time researching/visiting dogs that suit your personality and lifestyle and be prepared for a life altering experience.

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