If you now have an empty nest or maybe living on your own I can’t recommend too highly the advantage of having a pet and it’s very good for mental well-being. Perhaps a dog or a cat, maybe even a bird.
Just in the last few months I know of three instances where taking on a pet has changed and enhanced peoples lives for the better.
First there were two middle aged friends of mine who once during the week would come and take my two dogs on longer more adventurous walks than I was able to give them. Jill and Robert had lived together several years, had no children and would have loved a dog but work commitments were against this.
Then Covid struck and Jill found herself working from home and likely to do so when life was back to normal. They started looking around at rescue dog sites but nothing struck a chord. Then after several months they took the plunge, went totally off course and got a little pedigree dachshund puppy!
Little Lena settled in quickly but was very demanding for cuddles and affection which she got in spoonfuls. Life isn’t as simple now for Jill and Robert, Lena doesn’t like being left for too long so one of them needs to be in most of the time. Holidays are now mainly self catering but fortunately if they want to go away Jill’s very understanding parents have Lena for sleepovers! Despite this Lena has enriched their lives and they couldn’t be without her.
Living near to me are an elderly couple who have had a difficult few years due to health problems but they are on the mend now.
I was surprised when getting out of their car they called me over. There cupped in Reg’s hands was the sweetest little puppy. Dorothy told me he was a teacup Yorkshire Terrier and was 10 weeks old. They called him Georgie. What surprised me most of all was that many yeas before they had owned a dog, a GERMAN SHEPHERD!
I saw them a few weeks later carrying Georgie and they said he was doing well, was adorable but wouldn’t walk on a lead so the following day a lady who trained pooches was coming to get him sorted.
I saw them all walking down the road recently, little Georgie behaving impeccably and the latest news was that he had started training classes, was doing well apart from barking at the other dogs! They both agreed they where besotted. Having Georgie has given them a new lease of life.
My friend Alice after being widowed had moved to a very nice quiet first floor apartment. As the months turned into 2 years she found it a bit depressing coming home with no one to greet her. She thought about a dog but as she had no immediate access to the outside that might cause problems. So then thoughts of a cat to be kept inside. After looking on the internet for cats bred to live an indoor life none appealed to her and the matter was temporarily dropped.
When some Covid restrictions were lifted Alice was able to visit her son in Spain. Jeff had a cat and belonged to a rescue society that rehomed street cats to this country. Two female cats in the societies care had had kittens and arrangements were made to transport them to England when they were older. All were taken and being adopted in to good homes.
Just as my friend was finishing her visit one of the adopters gave back word and Alice stepped into the breach.
A few weeks later LEO was delivered to her door! In the meantime Alice had spent a lot of effort making her apartment both safe and interesting for a house cat. Shelving was placed in steps on the walls for climbing, toys and food were bought and a litter tray.
Leo settled in very quickly despite the long journey he had endured and was very playful affectionate. He had a bedtime routine with Alice, first sleeping against her head and then settling further down the bed. Morning was an early start when he would once again go to her head and lie across her hair.
Alice has put up with all these changes to her life. Early rises, lots of play, cleaning the litter tray and foregoing holidays away from home in case he fretted! She is now confident enough in his stability so will be off to Spain soon to meet a new granddaughter. Leo is booked into the most luxurious cat hotel so he can have a holiday too!
All these folk have made a big commitment with their pets both in time, money and a certain lack of freedom but they wouldn’t have it any other way. To be greeted rapturously when returning home after a trip to the shops and all the cuddles received plus having a pet who relies on you gives a feeling of being needed.
Despite the commitment and possibly because of it life has a better dimension. I know. I did have two dogs but my handsome Harry died just before Christmas. It is much easier just looking after Billy my Minature Scnauzer and certainly cheaper but shortly I will be looking around for my next canine companion.
A FEW DAYS LATER……. I have just come back from walking Billy my Miniature Schnauzer. It’s an easy walk, out of the house and down the lane until it filters out into a very muddy narrow path which is almost impassable at this time of year, so I turn back. The walk takes me 30 minutes. I used to do it twice when I had Harry as well so I am not getting quite as much exercise. Having a dog is so good for walking. You have to go out whatever the weather.
GET A DOG !!