This week, I am dog sitting! We are keeping my “niece,” Caramel, and she is currently snuggling up against my foot.
Last night, after dinner, Eric cuddled up to our dog on one end of the bed, and Caramel stretched out between us. There was such a contented feeling in the room as we snuggled our fur babies. The presence of pets brings a lot of joy and comfort to our home.
Our puppy (i.e., our six-year-old golden retriever) has blessed our house and our relationship. In fact, we have a hard time understanding people who do not want pets – even though we respect their decision. ~smile~
If you are on the fence about it, here are a few good reasons to consider getting a pet:
- It is discipline-building to have a creature which depends on you. Pets help us to be less self-focused, and they are good preparation for children!
- We need the touch. We can hug our pets longer than we can hug most people. Can you imagine walking into your church and hugging the same person for thirty minutes? Yes, that would be awkward. But, you can snuggle your doggie as long as your doggie will stay. ~smile~
- We all need someone to be happy to see us when we get home. So, dogs may be better greeters than cats, but there is still something sweet about a kitty rubbing up against you on the way to his or her food bowl.
- Pets make a house feel homier. My friends’ dogs are great companions and they bring a lot of joy to their masters.
- We feel safer when they are with us. I thought I heard a noise downstairs the other day, so I sent Ramsey down there. I figured if there was someone in our house she did not know, she would go crazy and warn me. Not to mention, some intruders think twice about breaking in when they know you have an animal who will sound the alarm (or an animal that could eat them alive).
At the same time, having a pet is not always the best idea. I begged Eric for a dog for years before we got one. We were just too busy, and we were not home very often. We could not have provided enough interaction and it would not have been fair to a doggie – especially in the puppy stage.
So, on the flipside, here are a few reasons to wait on getting a pet:
- You travel a lot. Finding care for your pet while you are gone can be a pain. Not to mention, some pets get very anxious when their owners are gone.
- You are extremely busy and rarely home. If all you have time to do is feed them, is it a good arrangement for you or your pets?
- You are struggling financially. Pets are expensive! Make sure you meet your needs before taking on a pet.
- Your living arrangements do not meet a pet’s needs. If you live on the 12th floor of an apartment building, do you want to go downstairs every time your dog needs to use the bathroom? Is there enough room in your living space for him or her to release energy? Are you staying with friends? Do you have family members who are allergic? Consider your desired pet’s needs (researching breeds will help) and determine if you can meet them before adopting.
- You are not 100% sure you want one. If you are not sure about your decision, wait until you are. Spend time with other people’s pets – offer to pet sit (at their place) even. Ask questions about care and the financial aspects of adopting a puppy or kitty. Maybe you are not a pet person – or maybe it is just not the right time.
As I work, both dogs are napping, and I am a little jealous. ~smile~ But, sleeping or not, I am so thankful for their companionship! Sixty-five pounds of fur and love goes a long way towards making me feel less lonely.
As you get to know your significant other, make sure to discuss this topic. Some people cannot imagine life without a pet, and others are adamantly opposed to having one. It may seem like a small concern when stacked up against financial planning and conflict resolution strategies; but, if you disagree on the role of pets in your future, it can be a big source of conflict. You will want to discuss it on this side of engagement!
Do you think a pet will bless your future home and marriage?