Shelter Stories: A Mr.Frisky Blog
I Love Taking Care of Animals
I love taking care of animals. (I know I'm repeating myself, but that seemed worth saying twice.)
When I'm having a horrible day and feel irritated and/or stressed, all I have to do is rinse out some water bowls, give out some cookies, and fold some pet blankets fresh from the dryer and suddenly I'm humming a favorite song and smiling.
When I'm feeling lonely, all I have to do is put a blanket over my senior dog who suffers more with cold at his age, and see the look of love he gives me when I do it. It makes me realize there's no need to ever feel lonely with animals around.
Studies show that spending time with pets lowers blood pressure, alleviates depression, increases endorhpins, and actually helps people recover from illness. I'm no medical researcher, but I sure know it works wonders for me. Recently I was extremely sick with flu that turned into pneumonia. I could barely get up for a week. I couldn't leave the house for almost 2 weeks due to being so weak. It was depressing to be so sick and housebound. Every time I felt myself sinking into that sadness, I looked at my dog snuggled tight against me, or my cats who kept coming up to check on me, mewling at me and sniffing me close before making biscuits on my head or lap, and found myself grinning and suddenly happy. I realized I would get well and everything would be fine very soon.
There's nothing like fuzzy love to cheer you up and cheer you on.
I think it is because pets radiate such joy and love in return for such small acts of kindness like fresh water, a brushing, being wrapped in a blanket and held close, snuggling on a lap, going for a shoulder ride, or just being told they are a good dog or cat. I always have someone to take a walk with - I have dogs! I always have someone to talk to - I have animals! The dogs listen intently and wag their tail; the cats talk back, no doubt offering strong opinions on what to do! There's always someone to eat dinner with,, share that slice of cheesecake or vanilla ice cream with, or snuggle with on the couch and watch a movie.
As I've oft said, who needs cable when you have a houseful of pets? (I haven't had cable since 2006). There's always something interesting going on, whether its two of my cats having speed races up and down the stairs or hallway, sumo wrestling, or going crazy with a mouse (a fuzzy one not a real one). Watching my dog fluff his bed before the obligatory turning three circles before settling down next to me on the couch instead, or my other dog lovingly cleaning his "baby" (his Kong toy alligator), or watching the "cookie dance".
Scooping litter, changing a potty pad, washing pet bowls and blankets, sweeping, or ordering food and litter supplies from Chewy online seems a very small price to pay for the rewards I get in return. So I find I do these chores with love and a smile, because as I do them I think about all the love and fun I get in return. When I feed my cats their treats, I get my hand licked, or head butted (Alex's way of showing love), or a nuzzle. Silver won't even eat his treat until he gives me several minutes of nuzzling as a "thanks Mom, I love you!". My dogs lick my hand and face when I rub their head or back or tummy. The same is true of taking care of animals at the shelter. They are so appreciative of the care and attention.If only people were that way!
So much love, enjoyment, and fun in return for doing a few minutes of "chores" every day. So much satisfaction from seeing the joy and love on their face when they are being well cared for, especially for those that had a hard life before adoption. I guess that's why I love taking care of animals!
AskMrFrisky.org - Uniting the World to Adopt, Love, Give at their local animal shelter and rescue.