So today is national love your pet day. I googled it, it’s a real thing. Who knew!
But what does loving your pet mean? Does it mean an extra 15 minutes on the walk? An extra helping at dinner? A pat on the head, a ride in the car, a cheeseburger at the drive thru?
It can mean all of that. But to me, national love your pet day is a good day to take a good look at that four legged and fuzzy creature you may have adopted from CPR and that probably runs your home and your life and figure out just what, exactly, is this big attraction? What is this love for a pet?
So first – what is love? The dictionary says love is “strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties” and “warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion.”
Kinship and personal ties? Our dogs are part of our family. We live with them, sleep with them, eat with them, play with them and worry about them. I see you with your dogs on boats, on planes, on automobiles and on trains. You go to classes together and you go on vacation together. Isn’t that what families do? We make those personal ties strong because we don’t just bring our dogs into our homes, we bring them into our lives.
Attachment, enthusiasm and devotion? CPR owners have that one down pat. All I have to do is open Family and Friends to be touched and impressed by the dogs and their owners .. being together, being friendly, being happy. We worry over them. We discuss them. We mourn together when we lose one and celebrate when we gain one. I am betting all of your camera rolls look a lot like mine – with hundreds if not thousands of pictures of our canine best friends. We worry when we go to work or out of town. We’ve got security cameras into our homes not because we’re worried about being broken into but because we want to check on the dogs. We’ve got vet’s and groomers and each other in speed dial. We swap recipes and training tips. Maybe this is closer to obsession than devotion! And we’re loving every minute of it.
Why? Why do we love them so? I think it is because they love us back. Unconditionally. We think we pick them but I have so often watched a dog pick an owner. Sometimes it’s by being forward, friendly and frisky and sometimes just the opposite. The dogs seem to know exactly how to convince that one person that they are the best friend, best buddy and best canine love they could find.
So take the long way around the block today. Head for Starbucks for shared time. Grab an extra stick of pupperoni out of the bag. Pretend it’s Valentine’s Day for your best canine buddy. It’s National Love Your Pet Day and while you know every day you love your pet, today you can show it even more.
– Donna Ezzell, Director