For those of you out there that have pets and for those that do not, I wonder if any of us truly understand the power that they have over us and for us.
As I have spoken of in the past, my wife and I have three dogs and two cats. They play a very important part in our lives, being as it is that we do not have children, they play the part of surrogate children for us. But I think that over time, we grow to need them as much as they need us.
I think the main example I have to support this is the process of just coming home each night from work. No matter how my day at work has gone, be it great or be it terrible, there is just something that lifts my heart when I walk in and there are these three creatures, four if you count my wife, that are happy to see me. All three of them run around and want my attention, again excepting my wife, who usually demands her own form of attention. Oskar will usually be the first to bring me a toy that he wants me to throw, Eliza is always wanting her belly rubbed or to be picked up, when I walk in and Timmay, the more timid of the three, cautiously comes over to be pet, but has been known to run up and steal the toy that Oskar has brought me.
The cats are another story all together. Anyone who has kept cats, notice that I do not say “owned”, knows that they work on their own set of rules. Even if your cat is happy to see you, pride does not allow it to approach you unless it is on the terms that the cat deems appropriate. Let’s face it, cats are happy to see you too, but they are smug and they need to keep the air of disinterest in order to make you think they could live with or without you.
While there is an emotional bond created with most pets and their people, I think this is more so with dogs than cats. Maybe dogs just NEED more than a cat does.
Something that I like though is simply the power my dogs have to make me smile. They sense a lot more than we give them credit. There have been times that I have been upset about something, or mad for some reason or another, and Oskar will usually bring me a toy or just come sit next to me and this makes me feel good. If I am not feeling better right away, then he will do this thing where he flips his head back and looks at me and makes this funny “sigh” sound… and if nothing else has made me smile up to the point, that will.
Neither my wife or I have figured out Timmay 100% yet. As I have explained, he is a rescue, but there must have been something pretty bad that happened to him early on, because he is still skittish about things, even after almost two years in our house. But he does shine through most of the time, and like playing with the other two dogs. His therapy for me and the wife is the fact that he is proof that no matter what you live through, there is always hope.
Eliza… what can I say about Eliza? I would be lying if I said that she was not my personal favorite and I think that between Naty and I, I am her favorite as well. One of the funny things about her, is that any time I give Naty a kiss, Eliza runs up and tries to get in between us for her kisses too.Â I think it might be because of all her medical problems, but Eliza is the neediest of the dogs.Â She always has to be reassured about things and she always has to be with one of us.Â Oskar and Timmay are usually OK with being by themselves, but Eliza will sit next to us in whatever room we are in and if we are in different rooms, she will go back and forth and spent time in each room.
Our dogs have a power to make us feel better about ourselves and better in general.Â Sometimes there is nothing more therapeutic than going in the back yard and throwing a ball around and watching the dogs go nuts trying to get to it first and bring it back to me.