On one of those insomnia-themed nights when I found myself wide awake well past midnight with my mind racing at a 100 km/h, I knew I just had to take action by getting a sleeping tablet because I started thinking about nonsense like what on earth our lives here at home are going to be like when our German Shepherd lives out the last of his dog years on earth.
I know I’m perhaps jumping way ahead of the gun here because Perry is indeed a very healthy and strong dog of only three years, but I cannot help but have these thoughts. It isn’t all bad though because what such thoughts also do is they make me want to cherish every moment spent with the people (and pets) I so dearly love.
That’s what getting a pet at home has done for our family and I’m sure it can do the very same for you – make you want to cherish each and every moment you spend with your family, that is, not make you think about what will happen when it dies!
It goes a long way beyond that however with regards to what a family pet has done for my family and certainly what it can do for yours as well.
The girls were very young when Perry was just a cute little puppy, particularly Lily who was only four years old, so it was just one happy home of nothing but extreme cuteness for a while. So the girls sort of grew up knowing there was a family pet around and that helped us establish a whole other dimension to what modern family life is all about. Perry fostered an inherent desire for each of us in the family to think about the next person (or dog) – to think about more than just yourself as an individual.
Fortunately, as goofy as Perry is he is a very smart dog that is characteristic of his bloodline, so he’s not one of those dogs who’ll eat until they can’t even walk anymore, as a gold fish would do. So I know that some uncoordinated feeding responsibilities have been overcompensated for when I find some uneaten dog food in his bowl, which is some evidence which only serves to indicate that although we might be out of synch in the moment with our responsibilities to feed him, at least we’ve collectively put structures in place to overcompensate for that as opposed to under-delivering.
So our family pet has indeed taught us how to be responsible – the lot of us, including myself and my partner as the adults!
Above all else however, our family pet has taught us to enjoy the great outdoors and in so doing has brought a lot of joy into our lives. As dopey as he is, Perry loves to play fetch, but only when he and he alone is in the mood. With a little convincing however he does tend to give in to the girls when their laughter just gets a bit too much for him to keep pretending he’s too busy with his own dog business to play.