I never would have thought that I could get so attached to a tiny furry creature. I don’t even like dogs that much! And here I am with a new member of my family. A furry one. A barking, happy little puppy. And though the process of finding her, buying her and bringing her home was very short and a bit sudden, the thoughts that proceed the decision have been going on for a very long time.
I grew up with animals around me. My parents have let us have numerous pets of various sorts. So I am familiar with the work it takes to take care of creatures like cats, birds, hens, dogs, sheep, goats, ponies (and the occasional foal), rabbits and guinea pigs. That awareness has stopped me from getting a dog (or any other pet) since my cat had to move out last year because my boyfriend turned out to be allergic to cats. And the girls have been rambling about how wonderful it would be to have a dog.
Now she is here, Frida, the little Löwchen. She’s 16 weeks old, cute as a button and already after 1 1/2 week fully integrated in the family. When I see the sparkle in the girls’ eyes it is obvious why every kids should be given the gift of a pet family member. The passion and love both dog and children are connected by instantly melts away all reservations I might have had left. And though there’s no doubt that having a pet in the family can teach children something responsibility and commitment I see other reasons why a pet is the best thing you can do for your family. And those reasons surprised me a bit. So here’s a list:
Three surprising reasons that dogs make a family better:
- A dog equals unconditional love. But to truly benefit from that you have to make yourself available to that unconditional love. That means that you have to make yourself soft, vulnerable, and open, something that can be difficult in modern, sceptical and stressed lives. Children have an instant access to that soft spot – grown-ups might have to be reminded by a pair of adorable dog’s eyes. I find myself to be softer, more open-minded, more loving and more happy. And my entire family benefits from that.
- Having a dog forces out the social creature in you. At least in the city. Going to the park with the dog also means random conversations with random people, smiles and a sense of community. Before I was a part of that I looked down on it, just a tad. I guess I was pretty blasé – and it is good to face that from time to time.
- A dog makes you see the best in the people you share the dog with. Seeing how your partner looks at the dog with affection may remind you why you fell in love in the first place. It’s like sharing the love of your babies with their other parent. Seeing how your kids are able to be affectionate with the dog reminds you how wonderful they are. A dog ties the family together with all the shared love.
All of the above is provided, of course that you have thought the getting a dog thoroughly through. Which we had. So even with the chewing, peeing and barking (which she doesn’t do very often) it’s pure bliss.
Thanks, Frida, for entering our lives!