Life would be very different if I didn’t have my pets. There have been times in my life when having a pet was not realistic. In the back of my mind, though, I knew when the time was right, pets would come back into my life.
Why Are Pets So Important?
That night, after the funeral, her loss hit me hard. I cried most of the night. Cash, my sister’s lab, crept up onto the bed and laid his big head on my chest. He stayed with me the whole night while I grieved. Cash and I had a relationship from before because I was always the one when I visited who took him for long walks. He remembered. However, more than that, he knew I was hurting and gave his love and support through that long night. I still tear up when I think about it.
7. Pets make us create time for them – and ourselves. My dog, Bear, is my walking buddy. She needs her walk on a daily basis – as do I. However, I have other options for fitness that Bear doesn’t. I teach dance classes, have a rebounder, can go to a mall on a rainy day and walk the mall or go to a gym. Bear can’t do that so it is up to me to take her out every day, rain or shine, hot or cold. It moves me outside my comfort zone often. We both benefit even on the less than ideal days to be walking.
Do all animals offer a healing benefit?
Absolutely! I’m most familiar with dogs and cats because they are what I’ve had in my life. My grandmother had a budgie bird that kept her company. It was allowed to fly around her apartment, sit on her shoulder, or be carried on her hand. It even gave her kisses. My uncle raised these budgies as a relaxing hobby for him.
Other people have rabbits, hamsters, ferrets, parrots, etc. – all have their unique ways of providing unconditional love and healing energy. Even snakes, so I’m told, although that would be the last pet on earth I would ever have in my house. In fact, my stepson got one when he moved out on his own. Obviously you know I nixed the idea while he was at home.
Time Considerations in Choosing a Pet
This is often the determining factor in deciding which pet you’d like to introduce into your family. They do take time and commitment. Dogs are most intensive because they require that daily walk. Cats can be left on their own over a weekend. Other pets have routines that need maintaining. If you like to travel, it means having a pet sitter or family/friend to look after them while you’re away. This fact often stops people from getting a pet.
When I’ve traveled, I hired a pet sitter. It’s an expense that I factor into my vacation plan. At this time in my life, my husband is not traveling with me, so he looks after the pets. However, when we did travel together, this was our way of managing pets. Other people choose the kennel option. That works if you know the people who run the kennel and feel confident that your pet will be well looked after and come home healthy.
Are Pets Worth Having?
All in all, pets are true healing energy. If you are on your cancer journey, they can be your best friend. They can be there to give you that love when you need it most. Their calming energy will sustain you in times of crisis. They will also help you think outside yourself and move you into a positive space because pets show that they also need you. They can make the difference in how you think and feel. In my view, and only my view, pets add incredible value to life – my life in particular. What about your life?