Are you a dog person or a cat person? Maybe you love them both. Have you ever stopped to think about how your pets have been your safe port in the COVID storm? How, while a new normal replaced almost everything we considered normal, they still grin at us two minutes after peeing on the rug. They’re happy to see us even if we’re gone for no more than 10 minutes. If your dog has an itchy behind, he’ll drag his bum on the carpet right there, not caring what anybody thinks of him.
Maybe we should take their lead. Our pets sure have valuable lessons to teach us. Let’s count them down.
Pets don’t care what other people think
Cats are masters at this one. Even if you have visitors, your cat will lick its bum in the center of the room, regardless of who’s watching. If they want attention, they’ll do what is necessary to get it. This includes lying on your keyboard when you are trying to make a deadline. If you like to read before going to sleep, Queen Cat will lie on your chest to let you know it’s time for cuddling. If that doesn’t work, she will put her paws, or her entire body, over your eyes.
Whenever you think, “if only my cat could talk,” forget it. There’s no need; cats are experts at getting what they want without asking for it.
“Cats know how to obtain food without labor, shelter without confinement, and love without penalties.” — W L George
Let your pets help you choose your friends
People say dogs are excellent at judging characters. Every time Doggo lifts his leg and pees on someone’s feet, he tells me not to trust that person. He has never been wrong, and I trust his judgment entirely. Wise people make lists of every person they interact with frequently. They study the lists and erase the names of everyone with no impact on their lives from day to day. That allows them to spend more love and attention on those who really matter.
“What a beautiful world it would be… If people had hearts like dogs” — Unknown
Our pets teach us that showing love right now is what matters
The best part of the day is the welcome we get at home after a day at work. Be honest, who seems overwhelmed with happiness to see you? Before you can even set foot inside to a matter-of-factly hug and kiss from your spouse, I bet your dog will be jumping up against you, tail wagging and tongue slobbering. In fact, you’ll likely receive such a welcome even after running an errand that took no longer than 10 minutes. The lesson to learn is that right now is the most crucial time. Regardless of how often we see loved ones or how long we were separated, show happiness and love every time. Who knows, it might be the last time we have the chance to show our love.
“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself” — Josh Billings
Don’t be frugal with praise
We learn to praise and give treats when our dogs obey our commands. However, they need more than that. Be extravagant with praise; your pets can never get enough. Beware, Queen Cat might prefer you not to make your praises too obvious. A discreet bit of petting might be enough. In contrast, the more recognition and praise, the better for Doggo. If he had his way, you would join him rolling around on the ground to show your happiness.
While extravagance in praises is the way to go, be frugal with punishment and never bear a grudge. Take the cue from your pets, move on. Queen Cat will head-butt and rub against you immediately after knocking a precious vase off the coffee table, and Doggo will sit there grinning while you clean up an accidental pee on the rug.
“Pets are humanizing. They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve and nurture and care for all life.” – James Cromwell