We found our little dog, Ivy, sitting in a bed of ivy beside our house when she was a year old - she lived to be about 20. When she was a teenager we would take her to the beach. She loved the warm sand which was easy on her arthritis. She has been gone for a while now, but her picture brings back such good memories!
Most of us who have pets feel they add quality to our lives. Even scientists report on the health benefits of owning a pet. It lowers our stress level, our blood pressure, even our cholesterol. Having a pet in our life may reduce the possibility of a stroke and help us recover more quickly from a heart attack. Pets also encourage us to socialize, especially with other pet owners. They improve our mood and cause us to stay active.
This week has been Pet Appreciation Week, a time to celebrate the special creatures that add so much to our lives. It is a good reminder to show a little extra love to your pet, maybe even spoil it a little bit.
You could take your dog for an extra-long walk at a leisurely pace, giving it plenty of time for sniffing and exploring. Or head over to the dog park and let your furry buddy play off-leash in a safe environment.
Put new batteries in the laser light so you can indulge your cat with a nice long session of chasing the red dot.
And who doesn’t love a new toy? Whatever kind of pet you have, stop by the pet supply store to check out the latest playthings. Or go online to see ideas for great toys you can make out of disposable items like the tubes left from paper towels and toilet tissue.
We have a cat that loves to be brushed, and another that likes a good massage. Try it with your cat or dog, but be gentle.
If you really appreciate your pet but you haven’t taken it to the veterinarian lately, this is a good reminder to call and make an appointment. Regular checkups help to insure that your pet stays healthy and that any problems can be caught early and addressed, so that you and your buddy can have the most time possible together.
And while you are celebrating Pet Appreciation Week, here’s something you can do for yourself - have someone take pictures of you with your pet. Even better, get a professional photographer to take some portraits of your best friend. Trust me – those pictures will create memories you will appreciate and treasure for many years to come, when you’re speaking of pets.