I know some people love pets and others can not stand the mess and ties that come with owning a pet. But to me they become part of the family. I also think that they teach children so many valuable life experiences too.
Yes, you can not just go out for the day and come home late. Leaving your dog indoors all day without being able to go out. Or feeding them, no idea what mess you would come home too. There is the cost of feeding, vets bills. The time you put into them with grooming, walking. But they reward you with so much love and friendship.
I have always grown up with dogs, and when I moved out of home I missed having a dog around. Myself and my husband our huge dog lovers and we got our first dog when he was 10 months old
He became my best friend, he was so loving, and we had a cuddle and chat everyday. He got me through so much heartache. When my daughter was born he was so protective and loving to her. He accepted her 100%, and they had such a fantastic bond. There is nothing more heart warming than watching them both play together. While she was crawling around or toddling, if Jay walked in her face would light up.
There is also the harder times, he became an old man. 3 years ago today we had to make the heartbreaking decision to end his life with us. It broke our hearts and left an empty hole. But it also taught our daughter about death at an age where she understood it better (we had lost my parents dog and my cat when she was 2, so too young to really understand). It taught our daughter a valuable lesson on grief. She cried her little heart out along with us. I told her to look out at the stars that night and look for the brightest star she can see. That will be Jay telling her that he is still watching her and he is happy. So when she went to bed, she looked out and saw the brightest twinkling star and said that is Jay saying goodnight.
As hard as it was for all of us, and as hard as it was for her little heart, it was a good lesson for her to learn.
We made the decision, that although we would love another dog at some stage, we would wait. It would be hard to replace Jay. Fortunately, the decision was taken from us and just over a month later Max, walked into our lives and brought smiles to our faces.
He has certainly, brought happiness again, he is such a cheeky and argumentative dog, and I have never known a dog so funny, he stole our hearts straight away. Another lesson learnt, that it is ok to move on and be happy again.
We all still miss Jay, I know I do daily, but with my Mad Max around you can not be sad for long and I swear Jay has left Max messages as some of the things he does is just what Jay used to do.
So my honest opinion, as long as you can care for an animal and meet their needs, then an animal teaches children so much.