With the existence of millions of pet owners in the world, it is very common to find a pet in a household. Relationships with pets often get close, to the extent of taking them as family members. Either it’s a dog, a cat, a bird, a rodent, a fish, a reptile, or even a pig, it doesn’t make any difference. Personally, I don’t think such relationships can cause any harm. In fact, it helps in many ways.
As the saying goes, we have more to learn from animals than animals have to learn from us. For example, dogs don’t compare themselves to others, whereas humans live in comparisons. It doesn’t matter what is being done, but a comparison seems to be a must for us to see who fares better, unlike dogs. Even when their haircut was done badly one day, for example, and it seemed to be impossible to meet the world in that kind of state in the eyes of humans, dogs would still go out and blend in with the others when let out in the park, and they wouldn’t be seen with discriminating eyes from other dogs. They are considered to be the same by themselves, equal with the others, whether their haircut looks bad or not. It doesn’t matter, no comparison was made.
Socially, pets help introverts, especially young-aged ones. Some children have never been able to open themselves up to the society, causing themselves to lack in social skills and interactions. However, pets can help solve this problem. I have ever watched how a little boy in his typically young age started to open himself up to people because of a pet rat he adopted. He was originally a shy boy, but when his pet rat came into his life, being seriously treated as a member of the family, he gradually opened up and had more interactions with people than never before. A dog can also be trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals or retirement homes, hence the existence of therapy dogs.
Being one of the most trainable dog breeds, Border Collies are smart. Watched through TV, I have seen a Border Collie recognizing letters and words. That Border Collie was trained to learn the names of his toys. He would be shown a word, obviously the name of his toy, and then he could just go and grab the corresponding toy. That proves that dogs know how to read, or should I say memorize the patterns of the words. And smart enough, if he was shown a new word that he has never learned before, he would grab a new toy out of the pile, guessing for it to be the answer for the newly-learned word. With this, it can be proven that a dog’s intelligence is on a par with a 2-year-old kid. There’s no wrong in having an intelligent pet as a family member, isn’t it?
But mostly, pets are taken as members of the family because of the unconditional love pets can offer. Josh Billings has ever stated that a dog is the only thing on Earth that loves you more than you love yourself. The love that is offered is incomparable. A mother’s love often touches people by their hearts, and this does not exclude the love of a mother from the animal kingdom. I have ever read about the noble love of a mother cat. She had 5 kittens who were trapped inside a burning building. However, she risked herself and carried her kittens out, one at a time. This basically means that she had braved herself into the fire for 5 times, and that nearly took her life. But fortunately, a firefighter noticed the mother cat and her kittens, taking them to see a vet right away. In the end, all of them could be saved and what the mother cat did after retrieving her consciousness was to count her kittens, whether the correct amount was there.
And to most pet owners, the emotions and feelings endured when pets breathe their last are equal to losing a family member, and it’s possibly because of the bond that has been wonderfully developed over years of living with them.
Written by Celia Fransisca in early 2014
P.S. I’m really overwhelmed by the 4000 visits, thank you!