Category Archives: pets as teachers

Why Do We Love Our Pets?

By Julia Williams

Anyone who shares their life with a pet could fill a book with reasons why they love them. There’s nothing quite like the magical relationships we have with our pets, and each one is akin to the ‘no two are alike’ snowflake. The pet-human bond is such a beautiful thing, really, and I’m so grateful for my furry friends. Not a day goes by that I don’t stop to think about how blessed I am to have these precious souls in my life. What follows are just a few of the many wonderful things that being a pet parent offers.

We love our pets because they…
…Show us how to live in the moment.
…Inspire us to be better human beings.
…Help us to appreciate the simple pleasures.
… Do something funny or silly every day.
…See us at our worst and love us anyway.
…Are the best listeners in the whole world.
…Give us a reason to get up in the morning.
…Are great best friends and surrogate children.
…Teach us that it’s okay to ask for what we want.
…Relieve us of the need to own an alarm clock.
…Encourage our nurturing and protective sides.
…Turn a house into a home, just by being in it.
…Eat every CANIDAE meal with unbridled enthusiasm.
…Don’t care what we look like or how much money we have.
…Teach us about forgiveness, patience, devotion and trust.
…Do mysterious things that always keep us guessing.
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Pets Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

By Linda Cole

I’ve always marveled at how pets never sweat the small stuff. Responsible pet owners who pay attention to their pets see every day how they respond to things going on around them. Sure, dogs bark at things they see or hear, but that’s only because they want to be polite or they’re giving a warning to let a potential intruder know they’ve been seen. But on the whole, pets take life in stride and no matter what comes their way, they deal with it and continue to move on.

When I was a kid, we lived in the country and it was, in my view, the best place to live. My dog Trixie and I would run through cornfields chasing rabbits we flushed out from under a bush. We would stare at the cows, watch deer grazing off in the distance, and do other fun things to entertain ourselves. There was something about animals that always drew my attention and I loved to sit on top of a wooden fence and watch what they were doing. The one thing that’s common with all animals is that they don’t let little things get in their way.

Pets don’t worry about the insignificant things that happen in their day. They don’t ponder the meaning of life; they just live it one day at a time. I had a dog named Mickey who lost his eyesight and hearing when he got older, but it didn’t slow him down one bit. He navigated the basement steps when it was time to go outside as if he could still see each step, and he could smell his CANIDAE dog food a mile away. I’m sure he missed his vision and hearing just like a person would, but he never once gave up. He adapted and moved on with no complaints.

Pets have an amazing ability to deal with disabilities and hide an illness. Letting a potential rival see them in a weakened state can be deadly for a dog or cat living on the street. That’s one reason why it’s so important to know who your pet is as an individual. When you know your pet well, you can tell when they are sick or injured, even when they try to hide it.

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Using Pets as a Teaching Tool

By Suzanne Alicie

As a pet owner, you know that animals are entertaining, comforting and fun to have around, but did you realize that a pet is also a great teaching tool? There are several ways you can use your pet to help teach your children, either as a home schooling parent or just basic behavioral lessons.

Pets can be used to teach your children responsibility. Knowing that they are responsible for feeding, watering and giving attention to the pet will help your child establish a routine, and maintain day-to-day chores.

Pets can be used to teach children how to be kind, to protect those who are weaker than others, and basic empathy and compassion. Many times children who are used to playing with adults and other kids their age may not have any idea how gentle they need to be when playing with their pet. Sure, some dogs can take being tackled, but most run the risk of being harmed if a child plays too rough. Teaching your child to adapt their behavior in order to accommodate and respect the difference in stature, ability and personality will carry over to their interactions with other children and adults.

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Lessons I’ve learned from My Cats

By Julia Williams

Pets are wonderful companions, but they can be great teachers, too. If you share your home with a pet, you’re probably being taught important life lessons by them every day. Usually, we’re so busy “being human” that we don’t stop to ponder life from our pet’s perspective. We don’t think about the things we could learn from our pets, but I think we should, because animals are wise beings with many messages to impart. Here are just some of the many lessons I’ve learned from living with cats:

1. Take pleasure in the simple things. Cats don’t need fancy toys or lavish homes to be content. Give them a paper bag and a cardboard box, and all is well. We humans don’t really need the latest, greatest gizmo to be happy either, but very often we’re so caught up in the pursuit of “things” that we don’t take time to experience life’s simple pleasures.

2. Don’t hold a grudge. Forgiveness is a hard thing for humans to achieve. Most of us know that being angry and resentful harms our bodies and our spirits, yet we struggle to forgive. I marvel at my cat’s ability to forgive so quickly. Moments after being harshly scolded for spilling my coffee, Rocky comes back for a pet as though nothing happened. If every human could forgive this quickly – just imagine what the world would be like. 

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