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Pets and Self-Care July 19, 2018 19:10

I recently had to put my cat Audrey down. She was 14 years old and had massive tumours on her kidneys.

She was really thin when I came back from my trip, and seemed to gain weight in the week after I returned, but her health just suddenly deteriorated.

I was an awful way to start the week having to make such a decision, but I'm really glad the option was available to me. She was so ill and I could see she was in a lot of pain, so instead of putting her through more tests or surgery which would've ended with the same result, I stood with her while she quietly slipped away.

And even though I knew it was the right decision, watching the life drain out of her because of a decision I made was really awful. As they injected her I momentarily, but strongly, wanted to undo it.

This whole experience got me thinking about how our pets help support us emotionally, and how so much of my self-care is tied with taking care of them.

There's been a lot of press recently about people taking flights with their companion animals, most notably a woman's emotional support peacock was banned from a flight.

I understand that pets are a little different to companion or support animals, but I think they're just as valuable.

Google brings up hundreds of reasons why pets are beneficial to you. This is what I have found to be most beneficial in my life.

 

They Are Always Happy To See Me

No matter what your day was like. Whether you ran out in a hurry without saying goodbye, or if you were a little agitated when they insisted on sleeping on your legs, you are always greeted with joy.

I Am Always Happy To See Them

There's never any residual resentment or expectation. I feel free to love them wholeheartedly and without limitation, and that feeling alone is so liberating.

They Don't Judge Me

If you've had a spat of critique or feel like you can't seem to get things right, my pets have always reminded me that I am enough as I am. I don't need to change. I don't need to be more or less than I already am.

They Remind Me Of Simple Pleasures

Whenever I lose my way in the mire of adulting, they remind me of the pleasure of stroking their soft, velvety ears, or how soothing it is to have a cat purr on your lap, or the shared joy of a dog fetching a ball.

They simplify a complicated life by reminding me that just being in a moment is more than enough.

They Make The Best Company

Just knowing that another creature is around, makes me feel part of a little core family. I feel we belong to, and look after, each other.

They comfort me when I've had a bad day, because somehow they intuitively sense my mood.

 

Do you have pets? Have you found having pets enriches your life experience?