I know 'funner' is not a word. So be it. I didn't like 'more fun'. It didn't fit with the way the title flowed. Does this mean I am using privilege to invent words - because I am a writer, a blogger, a business owner... and I feel the entitlement to invent words? Yes. So there.
Here are 10 Ways Having a Pet Makes You Better, Smarter and More Fun... to be accurate...
1. Having a pet makes you approachable out in public.
Yes, people notice your pet before they notice you. They see a cute dog, or they see a cat in a stroller, or a ferret on a leash, and suddenly, they are interested in you, the human accompanying the pet. Make no mistake, while you may control the leash, and by doing so, think you are controlling the pet, the truth is... the pet is in charge. They got you out when you had tons of other things to do, didn't they? Admit it. They are in charge.
2. Having a pet shows compassion.
For most of us, our pets are part of the family now. They are not merely companion animals (and I understand chickens and other farm animals are also pets these days...which I love to the max!), they are members of the inner circle of our lives. We embrace them, allow them on the furniture, even bring them into our beds. I draw the line on letting the dogs lay on the sheets... a line which Emily tries to cross nightly. We humans have finally realized there is great joy and compassion in showing our pets we love them by allowing them to be with us wherever we are.
3. Having a pet shows intelligence.
This might be a stretch in some cases. Let's not talk about them. Let's talk about us. You and me. Having a pet certainly shows our intelligence because caring for a pet is no small task. You must be diligent in studying the pet's activity; you must be diligent in watching what they eat and how much and... yes, their 'elimination'; and you must be aware of the pet as an emotional animal - because these precious creatures live on our love and affection. It's the joy of being with us that makes them happy. When we reciprocate that joy, the world becomes a better place.
4. Having a pet shows commitment.
There is the early morning constitutional...right? How early do your pets get you up? We (and by 'we' I mean Tom) are up at 5ish. Occasionally, the pets let us sleep till seven. What a treat that is! Also, if you do not feed your pet at the right time (especially your cat, especially your Siamese cat... yowl!), you will be treated to a great deal of pacing, jumping on your lap, whining, or just plain staring...and boy can they stare for a long time! We've already mentioned the daily walk, which is as good for you as it is for them, but let's not forget play time. Oh joy! Those moments just rolling around with your dog or playing 'catch the light' with your cat, or sharing free time with your ferret... they are not to be ignored. You will have H-E- Double hockey sticks to pay if you forget to play with your pet! Commitment folks, pets need a good bit of commitment.
5. Having a pet shows your humanity.
Adoption is a favored way to acquire a pet into the family, these days. I will say purchasing a pet from a breeder - a truly respectable breeder and there are lots of them out there - is another way to invite a wonderful animal into your home. Regardless of how you acquire said pet, the act of bringing an animal into your home, to be a part of your family, is a sincere humane thing to do. Animals need us. They were created for our use - not necessarily as food, or even as companions, but as an extension of ourselves. Animals show us how to be better people by trusting us, giving us unconditional love, and being loyal beyond all understanding. Wow... if only we could hard-wire our humans souls to be more like that!
6. Having a pet offers opportunity to have a good time.
Seriously, take your pet to the park and play ball with him. You'll attract attention and friends. Show people how your cat loves her belly rubbed...even when those friends were sure cats were too aloof to enjoy such things. Arrange a birthday party for your ferret...and your turtle... invite all your friends. The good ones will come...and bring gifts! Animals bring out the kid in us and who doesn't want to be a kid now and then? Laugh out loud, snickering, outrageously kid-like?
Even when we're allergic, having a pet makes us healthier. Personally, I am allergic to cats. Regular readers know that we have a cat called Molly. She comes to lie with me on the bed now and then, she comes to visit me in my office and head bumps me for a belly rub, and I never disappoint. I don't care if I'm allergic to her... I love her the same as the dogs and I am honored to pay her the attention she craves. Now, I couldn't have a houseful of cats. Sadly. But, I can have one and I think having her here makes me less allergic. For folks who are allergic to dogs... find a way around that - there is medication and allergy shots that work. Also, animals lower our blood pressure. A purring cat can relax anyone! Being active with your pet helps you stay slim and trim (when coupled with proper eating habits). Animals just provide a wealth of opportunity to improve our health...if we but let them.
8. Having a pet keeps us warm.
I am not talking about just the essence of warmth from having them hog the bed, or the couch... I'm talking about the way they calm us. The way they offer heartfelt attention when we've had a bad day - dogs will let you rant for hours as they cuddle next to you and send you the, "It's okay, you're home with me now," vibes. Life is a warm, pleasant place to be, with animals around.
9. Having a pet gives you something to do when you're bored.
Like...taking pictures for Instagram. Videotaping for Facebook. Writing about on your blog. Reading about the other pets online who are posting to Instagram and Facebook. You should never be bored if you have a pet.
10. Having a pet shows you exactly what life is all about.
What else? Share some of your ways that having a pet makes you better, smarter and funner...in the comments below. I am eager to learn...