As a parent, your life is full and enriched by the children we add to our lives. Another way is to invite animals into our lives. When you have a household that includes both animals and children, you are in for a world that is not only full and enriched but full of chaos, joy and sadness when they get sick or leave us. The way animals are able to bond with families is truly an amazing experience to behold. In a very short time that an animal has come into your life, they become your “children” and so intertwined in your life you wonder how you ever lived without them. They give love, trust and affection constantly. They are a true sense of wonder and amazement.
Through out my life, I have had the common pets – cat – dog – fish etc., but I have also enjoyed some more unusual pets because of my children; rats, tarantulas and a leopard gecko. At one point we had enough pets in our house, the neighbourhood kids use to call our house the zoo. At first my only rules on bringing a pet into the house was that it could not eat the other pets in the house – so the ferret was out – and they had to be responsible for taking care of them – they always said they would – but as a parent, you know darn well that is not the way it is going to be. The pets became my pets. As the children grew and some pets passed on, I enacted a new rule – life span.
My daughter came home one day saying she wanted a pot belly pig. So we started the research – Where do you buy one? Found one locally, good start! We called and asked a few questions; How much? – price was good – Then came the critical question – How long do they live – answer could be 25 years – I looked at my daughter and said – “Not going to happen”. That ended that discussion, we moved on.
My life has always had animals in it. Sometimes they were really not pets – more food – but as a child you don’t see that. My mother was a great believer that pets allow us to develop our humanity, patience and understanding by taking care of animals. Growing up we did not have much, but Mom always found a way for us to have a pet in our lives. People see me as a strong person, but when it comes to pets, I am an emotional mush ball.
Growing up I thought I might like to be a vet. I worked in a lot of different jobs involving animals and realized very quickly, I could never be a vet, I am too emotional around animals. I don’t like to see them hurt or in pain.
My life lesson – Sometimes in life, it is just as good to know what you don’t want to do for a living as what you want to do or think you want to do.