Pets– A Welcome Member of the Family
Since as long as I can remember, all family gatherings have been held at my grandparent’s house. The whole family knew, though, that these get-togethers entailed more than just visiting my two grandparents. Everyone looked forward to seeing two more very special family members – Patches and Mandy. They were my grandparent’s cats, but really, they belonged to the whole family. We all played with them, loved them, and watched them grow. Our behaviors were true for all pets in the family, and I’m glad for it. Pets brought my family together.
We all loved Patches and Mandy, but not as much as my grandparents did. Even after the cats passed away, they adopted more cats a couple years later. Having pets had become a part of their routine, life, and family. In reflection, I can understand and appreciate how their pets impacted their life and contributed to their overall happiness.
Sure, having a pet is fun. But, treating your pet as a part of your family can enhance the quality of your everyday life in more ways than one. Below are just a few of the benefits of having a family pet.
Connection with Family
Pets also bring people together, especially in families where everyone knows and loves each pet. In my family groupchats, at least half of the conversations consist of my dad sending silly pictures of our cat, Harley, fitting into a box, suitcase, shelf – you name it. Even when we’re all together, our conversations always touch upon funny stories revealing the antics of our pets.
Pets give families more things to talk about and do together. I’ll admit, I’m the crazy-cat-lady type who celebrates my cats’ birthdays. Of course, not all pet owners fall into this category.
Inviting a family member or neighbor along for a walk when you take your dog out or spending time with your grandchildren as they play with your pets are a couple of ways that shared pet-love can strengthen family connections.
When a whole family has shared experiences and love for an animal, it knits the family tightly together, even if you’re all just watching your cat chase its tail!
Picture this: You pull in the driveway, unlock the front door, step inside, and you’re immediately greeted with a loving welcome.
Well, that’d be the ideal. For some pets, this scenario could ring true. The point is, pets live in your house and will always be there for you.
It may sound overwhelming and invasive. But, you’d be surprised how relieving it is to mindlessly speak your thoughts out loud, knowing that someone is listening, but not critically.
This constant companionship is something to be valued. Sure, you can grab lunch with a sibling or family member when you’re in need of some friendship, but it’s comforting to know you’re never truly alone when you’re home. Good day or bad day, pets are there to follow you, comfort you, rub up against your leg, and lay with you, constantly showing their affection and loyalty.
While pets provide the necessary friendship, they’re also living beings who need to be given basic essentials to live. They must be properly fed, picked up after, and obtain sufficient exercise.
As a pet owner, you also take on the role of a caretaker. It is your job to keep your pet healthy and happy. There is no room for neglect in human relationships, and pets aren’t any different.
Having responsibility for another being instills more purpose into your life. You have someone who depends on you to take care of them. At the end of the day, who doesn’t want to feel needed?
People who are suffering as an empty nester or widowhood can also find more value in adopting pets, as pets can also be reminiscent of past caretaking relationships that were once fulfilling.
Unquestionably, pets add a dimension to a family. They cannot be enjoyed like a new car or a vacation, but they are much more valuable. Their role in the family is as involved as the family decides. But, every member of the family wants to be a part of the family, and pets should be no different.
I’m sure many of our readers can tell us about instances when pets have proven to be a very important family member in times of crisis and in times of joy. Please tell us about your experiences and Submit Your Story!
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