I remember having a conversation with my younger sister whilst she was visiting from the states. We were sitting at the long, large table in our family country kitchen. My sister snapped, “Don’t get a dog, Jessica!”
“Wait until the children are older- like 7 when they could help out with the walking.” I distinctively remember that the conversation was a bit heated for some unusual reason. I didn’t take any notice. If anything having a dog is easier than having children because dogs don’t talk back!
We were initially discussing the fact that I wanted to move closer to my family now that I had children. I come from a very close -knit family who are very supportive of each other. When my sister suggested that advice I could understand where she was coming from. She thought it would be too tricky to have a dog in the present situation as it might be problematic in the future when we wanted to move back home.
But, have you ever really rationally made a decision when had your mind set on something? I am sure there are some head-strong thinkers out there?!
I turned to her and said, “I am getting a dog because I am lonely.”
I never had children to fill a void in my life. I never dated any odd men to a fill a void in my life. (Girls just wanna have fun, hey?) However, growing up with animals since the age of three I quickly learned the benefits that often come with them when being constantly at your side. Living in the UK away from my family has not been easy for me especially given the fact that I have not been home in 7 years. This makes me feel very disheartened at times and instead of filling my void with a younger boyfriend, I decided to get a dog. I thought that would be the most sensible thing given the fact that I am married with three gorgeous children. I thought if I could have a companion, such as a dog, with me it would make the long, grey winter days seem shorter and feeling uncertain about my current relationship in a more positive way. And, like anything else it worked for a period of time.
In the book, The Attachment to Pets, psychologist pick through the benefits of having a dog. One benefit of having a pet is how the human brain reacts to touch. When petting your dog or cat endorphins from your brain are released which makes people feel happy. Whenever, I squash Buddy the Beagle’s ears it makes be feel warm inside… those are the endorphins being released. Every time he jumps up on me and says ‘hello, I’ve missed you’ as he waggles his tail it makes me happy. Again, endorphins are released making me feel happy. Afterall, love is the name of the drug.
When the girls are over-tired and need some quiet time I could see it in their eyes how calm and at peace they feel when they are petting Buddy. It is a beautiful and satisfying thing to witness. And, it makes me happy that I have created that for them. I have taught them about unconditional love in a way that many non-pet owners cannot do. I have taught them how to love all of Nature’s Creatures and show compassion for those that live in it.
Months later I got a What’s App message from my sister. She sent me a picture of D.O.G. Dee O. Gee was her new dog. I sort of chuckled to myself. After all of this time she told me NOT to get a dog, she went out and found herself one!
Did she finally understand the benefits of having a dog?