The pet effect

I talk to my animals. A lot.

I love coming home – whether after several weeks or five minutes – and having my “babies” run to greet me. My dog smiles brightly as his tail wags a mile a minute.  My two kittens purr loudly – one jumps right into my arms and climbs onto my shoulders while the other collapses at my feet waiting for me to pet him.

I’ve always had pets and can’t imagine life without them. The kind souls love you unconditionally, are grateful for every moment of your time, and have the uncanny ability to brighten the worst of days.

Beau. A huge, matted mess showed up on our front porch on my last day of third grade and refused to leave. We boarded him for a week while my parents were out of the country, got him groomed and de-ticked, spent a summer calling him “dog,” and eventually gave in and invited him to stay. We fell in love with him instantly. He’s gorgeous and has the most wonderful disposition. He hates vegetables and has never learned a single trick, other than “Smile, Beau!”

Sebastian. Often refered to as Mr. Straddle Pants (his favorite position, as you can see in the picture). My mom has been dying for a “cuddly gray kitten” for years and he finally showed up this past summer. Someone had found three kittens in an abandoned house and we offered to give two of them a good home. Sebastian is as affectionate as can be, loves playing fetch, exploring with his brother, grooming the dog, cuddling under the sheets, and racing to be the first to use the clean litter box.

Owen. Nickname: Monkey Boy. He loves climbing as high as he possibly can, in attempts to attack the ceiling fan. He comes flying from across the house when he hears a door open, in hopes of venturing outside; however, when he does get out, he just stands there, in awe of that vast new world. Owen is a risk-taking adventurer, but he balances it with heavy doses of affection. He enjoys sprawling across the keyboard (especially when someone is working), watching birds through the window, tackling and grooming his brother, eating and then knocking over houseplants, and climbing on people’s shoulders, heads, and backs.

I absolutely adore my pets! They can be naughty and troublesome at times – more often than not, but they are so easy to forgive. I know that having pets has enhanced and continues to enrich my life. Pets are loving, loyal, trusting, forgiving, and really have so much to offer their humans.

They never have anything to say, but maybe that’s exactly why we love them so much.

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441 thoughts on “The pet effect

  1. I too love my pets. I have a dog and two cats as well. There is nothing like the soothing nature of innocent love. I sure do miss my Bailey, Whisper, and Furball!

    Thank you for the post.

  2. This really brightened my day. From the picture of Beau, who’s eyes are smiling along with his lips, I myself couldn’t help but to beam along with him… I wish i could keep pets in my apartment… They all seem so wonderful, and now that i know them all i am both happy, and insanely jealous.
    So what i guess I’m saying is thanks… i guess (harrumph…)
    ~J

    • I am so happy to hear that! They really are phenomenal. My apartment charges so much extra for pets, so I’m constantly visiting my family to see the animals. Hopefully you’re in a position to have some wonderful pets of your own in the near future. 🙂

  3. Looks like you’ve got a very nice chow…I want to say golden? Mix. You’re dog is the kind I love seeing in the groom shop where I work. I’ve managed to escape being bitten for over a year by looking for that happy dog face you mentioned, and your dog is displaying. ^^

    Enjoy your pets!

    • We actually aren’t sure what he is…everyone has a different idea! He looks a lot like a chow, but he is so mild-mannered and has never bitten anyone, so golden is probably a good guess. Working in a groom shop must be such a fun and rewarding job. I would love being around animal all day!

  4. I loved this post. My dogs and cats have given so much more to me than I’ve been able to give back to them. Can’t imagine coming home and not finding them here. Thanks for writing.

  5. Me too! I loved my first German Wirehair so much I took up his hobby – bird hunting. Now, it’s become my life and profession. I get to play with dogs every day on TV.

  6. Hope some day have pets like those. For a while I had one showing at my door, but he was wildess and didn’t think of being safe so you know. I hated the feeling, but I still would like to have a little doggy in my life someday.
    Congrats about your animal pet family.

  7. You have such a lovely pets 🙂
    and I really agree with you and I also talk to my pets a lot. my pets really help me for not feeling alone. Because almost everyday I’m alone at home.
    I also have 2 cats, actually there are 4 of them. but one of it died and the other is went away 😦

  8. They are so beautiful! You said they have nothing to say. They talk, they just talk silently. Animals are so funny. We have a dog that sleeps in the cat’s bed curled up next to the cat and a cat that has used the toilet. We have numerous animals. We seem to be the drop off spot in town for unwanted animals. Some even run away from home to find us. We have had two pets recently run away from good homes, to return back to us, one cat and one dog. The cat searched for us for two months before returning. She was on my mind constantly, nagging at me that she should be with us. I could not stop telling my family this. I came home one day and heard a familiar meow in the garage, it was her! I couldn’t believe it! I will not be finding a good home for her, she will stay here where she obviously belongs. I also posted an article recently on animals and how they should be treated. Animals are like children, they are God’s gift to us. I am glad you are an animal lover. They need us.

    • Thank you! Yes, they do talk in their own way, but it’s always loving and non-judgemental. Oh that is too funny! Wow, what a phenomenal story! All of my family’s animals have been strays or abandoned and somehow they always end up at our door. My mom uesd to say that we must have a sign on our door that says “we’re suckers – come here for a good home and lot of love.” Animals really are special, and so much like children. Thank you so much for sharing your story – it was heartwarming. Keep loving the animals! 😀

  9. Wow.. Congratulation on being on top of WordPress.com homepage :P.

    I feel exactly the same about ” the Pet effect” as I have always kept at least 1 pet myself. :). I used to have a lot of cats in the past, but i have been having only one female cat for about 6 years now .She was really affectionate and loved laying on my chest when she was little, as she got older,she seemed very distant and only likes to be alone.
    My puppy was lost on Dec 29th… It’s been over a month and i’ve been missing her so much.

    There are a lot of touching stories out there about pets.. I love the movie ” Hachiko” ^^.
    Hope your pets stay healthy and loving as ever :).

    • Thank you so much! It’s very exciting and unexpected.
      Pets are so wonderful, aren’t they? I’m sorry about your loss. Losing a pet is so hard.
      There are a lot touching stories. I haven’t seen Hachiko, but I will look into it.
      Thank you! I hope you cat has a change of heart and becomes more affectionate again! 🙂

  10. 🙂 they are angels with paws. and i love it how they have their different personalities, likes and dislikes… and actually i think they have lots to say although they cant speak words. my dog’s really very opinionated and a complete snob 😛 love the pics!

    • They really are! It always amazes me how differnt and unique their personalites are. They definitely do speak their own language, a language of unconditional love and acceptance. Your dog sounds like fun. Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed them! 😀

  11. so true: these beings bring such joy in our lives! i also appreciate how my pets remind me to smell the roses (or other, less enjoyable smells), to nap and relax, to stretch HUGE stretches, and to love unconditionally.

    in case you need some additional animal cuteness in your life, check out a few pics i’ve posted to my blog or many in my twitpic stream: http://www.twitcpic.com/photos/tialucia

  12. Completely “got” what you’re saying here .. and enjoyed the photos of your (lucky) pets + desriptions of their unique personalities. My dog welcomes like no other, appreciates everything and, above all, gets the sale every time … Cheers! MJ

  13. Hi,
    Getting a new puppy is perhaps one of the greatest joys in life. Whether you’re young or old puppies bring laughter and warm fuzzy feelings all around. In fact, puppies are so much fun that many new owners unintentionally neglect their role in preparing the puppy for training success!

  14. Getting a new puppy is perhaps one of the greatest joys in life. Whether you’re young or old puppies bring laughter and warm fuzzy feelings all around. In fact, puppies are so much fun that many new owners unintentionally neglect their role in preparing the puppy for training success!

  15. I can so relate to your post. I love my pets too and couldn’t imagine life without them. There is something wonderful about that unconditional love they give when you come home and they greet you. I wrote about my extended animal family the other day. Feel free to check it out at: leahsthoughts.com

  16. I can so relate to your post. I love my pets too and couldn’t imagine life without them. There is something wonderful about that unconditional love they give when you come home and they greet you. I wrote about my extended animal family the other day. Feel free to check it out at: http://www.leahsthoughts.com

  17. Pets are the BEST! It’s no surprise that people with pets tend to live longer, have lower blood pressure and have less depression than people without. We love ours so much we built our business around them! http://www.LolaBellesTreats.com is all about LOVE of pets! And they come into our lives in such a variety of ways, just like your Beau! He was MEANT to be YOUR dog! I found my Abigail on Petfinder.com after searching for a month. I saw her picture, KNEW she was MY dog and I left work and drove 3 hours to save her from a high kill shelter! She and I have been inseperable ever since! They bring such joy and happiness and love into our lives…..worth every penny and every ounce of energy I spend on them since I get it all back 10 fold! Great post!

    • I agree, pets really are the best! I’ve heard that pets are good for one’s health and well-being and it doesn’t surprise me in the least! They really do know where they belong and who they’re supposed to be with and do whatever it takes to make it happen. They do bring so much joy and happiness! Owning pets is expensive, both monetarily and in terms of time and effort, but it’s so rewarding. They’re like children. Beau is older and has had to have several surgeries, but we didn’t think twice about the cost…pets are family and deserve the best. Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it! 😀

  18. however, when he does get out, he just stands there, in awe of that vast new world.

    lol my cats do the same thing. they try so hard to get out and when they finally do get out they’re mind is so blown that they just stand there

    • Oh, so they’re not alone. It’s the funniest thing! I used to chase them, but then I realized they venture more than ten feet, so I let them enjoy the fresh air. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! 🙂

  19. This made me smile. I loved your pictures!
    My pets were strays and now are my family. I simply can not imagine life without them. I almost lost my one dog this summer (see blog)…but I did not give up and neither did she.

    Thanks for making me smile today.

  20. I love my pets as well! I currently have one dog, a black German Shepherd called Tosca. We used to have two, but two years ago we had to put down the boy version of Tosca. He was the most amazing, expressive, human dog I have ever had – and we’ve had four German Shepherds LOL! I do miss his antics. Great post!

  21. Animal kids are much better than human kids…hands down! No college to pay for, cars to purchase, clothes to buy, drug rehab to finance…;)

  22. Great post and cute pets! I share the same feelings about the ‘pet effect’. They really do make a difference in our lives for the better! Congrats on being ‘Freshly Pressed’!

  23. Love it! I’m dying for a Russian Blue (the gray cat). They’re so beautiful. I grew up with cats, and I haven’t had pets in 5 years. I can’t wait to have my own cat again.

  24. Love your spotlight on your animals (they’re all adorable!) and the opportunity to comment here. As I write this, Gypsy (found as a starving kitten in a field in IN) is peering out the window, tail slightly shaking as she follows the birds. We don’t know how she managed to survive that field/woods populated by coyotes; she’s still a little skittish three years later.

    Hippie, meanwhile is downstairs meowing in agony because I’m not in her field of vision! Just adopted her last April (previous owners did the right thing & brought her to a shelter; they were being evicted) & she is the cat I’d always hoped for! She plays energetically every day, sleeps at the foot of the bed at night and flops over for belly rubs.

    Harley is the Elder, found as a kitten near a group of motorcyclists in a hotel parking lot in Tuba City, AZ. On the way back to Phoenix, she ate egg mcmuffin from under my car seat & has been eating heartily for 13 years now. She “sings” at feeding time (a continuous meow until the plate hits the floor, then, it’s all business!)

    And, there’s others who’ve gone already, I could go on, but I’ll stop. Thank you for sharing the perfect words about these wonderful creatures that bring so much joy to our every day.

  25. Pingback: The pet effect (via Analyfe) | Gealachs Blogg

  26. I have a 2 year old Coonhound cross named Sunnybelle. We have many many conversations!! I talk and she responds with funny faces and looks! Eyebrow furrowing, nose scrunches, long yawns, whimpers, sniffs, deep groans & sighs and the occasional yelp or bark. I’ve learned to understand her barks, she has different sounding barks depending on what she wants. I love her and the unspoken relationship that we have. Thank you for highlighting this in your blog! Congrats on being freshly pressed!!!

  27. Keep up the pet love, especially for the strays!

    Two years ago husband and I thought we weren’t ready to adopt a dog. Then we found a matted, wormy little poodle mix in the gutter (seriously, IN the gutter). We didn’t even need to discuss it – this little guy was going to be part of our family. Now he’s named Appa and is a very happy, healthy boy!

    • It’s wonderful hearing stories of kindness like this. So many animals need love and good homes and in my experience, the ones who are rescured from bad situations are so grateful and loving, as if they know that you saved their life. Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

  28. Your pets are lovely! I have always grown up with animals all around as well. Now we are living in another country and can’t have any pets in the new apartment 😦 The house is so much more lonely! Great post 🙂

  29. you have a great blog, i’m really intrested in what you have to say. please drop by and look at mine, i’m currently trying to get fed back on the novel i am writing.

    thank you!
    robert reeves
    (bwanakifaru)

  30. I love my baby furkitty as well. He always comes to greet me when I come home and after a bad day, that’s the best thing to happen and makes me smile instantly.

    Last weekend, we actually spent quality time on the couch. Me reading, while he was snuggling with me. That was one of the best weekends I ever had. 🙂 You have to love those furbabies!

  31. Awwwwwww. All of your furbabies are so precious! I have one black lab mix dog. Her name is Maddison but she is referred to as the wonder dog. She can make the most dismal day seem okay and often reminds me of my better self. Great post! Thank you.

  32. What a wonderful post! We love animals and our Chloe is our number 1 daughter. Keep reading, but do take the time to discover people. They are like onions sometimes and it takes small talk to pull apart the layers. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  33. I know the feeling, I feel the love and have a better understanding of unconditional love. What a joy to wake up and wonder why you can’t move; it might be because I am surrounded by cats, dogs and there is some space left for my significant other, who sometimes seems less significant then the four legged animals that surround me. (Just kidding) It is special.

  34. Your dog’s face is the cutest ever! I totally agree with you about pets. A house isn’t a home without them. We have a rabbit named Poirot who loves to zip around our patio, chew on…anything, and dig through his bedding like he’s trying to get to China. And he never stays still for pictures.

  35. As I read, I think about my lates conversation with China, my Egyptian Pharoah Hound/Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix (don’t ask how that happened, I have no clue). Went sorta like; Me: “So, you like the dry kibble during the day, but you won’t eat it again at dinner. Is that what you’re telling me?” China: licks my hand. Me: “I’m not made of money, you know. I don’t eat all fancy, so you really can’t either.” China: licks hand. Me, falling in love with her waggin her tail smiling at me again: “Fine. I bought you this Chef Michael’s stuff. Hope you like it.” China: “I knew you had it in the grocery bag all along. Why do you think I was licking your hand?”

  36. When I first moved out of my parents house for college, I realized right away how much I missed our pets. Of course all the way through college I lived in dorms or apartments that did not allow pets. Now that I’m done with school I’m so glad that my roommate has a cat. She sure brightens up the bad days and adds a little warmth when its cold.

  37. Great post…wish everybody felt about animals the way you express it here. I have always loved mine too…even owned a pet store in the early 90’s. Dogs are so loyal & so much fun. Make you feel so good! Cats are so much fun to watch. If you get time…click the “Ledger” tab on my blog & look at him…that’s my boy!

  38. Nothing parallels the love from a pet…well, except perhaps the love we give them, but that doesn’t even come close. Your pets don’t care if you were a jerk at the office today or have bad breath. They just love…we could all learn from them. ; )

  39. Amen, sister! When Maddy, my beloved yellow lab of 15 years died, I said never again. My heart was broken. But 3 days later, I couldn’t stand coming home to a dog-less house. Pulling up in the driveway and seeing her peeping out the front windows meant I was home, truly home. Enter Harry, our loco Golden Retriever mix, who gets into lots of trouble but lands on his feet, and Pedey, who loves nothing more than sleeping in my lap. So glad to meet another die-hard animal lover.

    • Aww what a wonderful story! Our previous dog Rollie and two cats Princess and Dusty had passed away within the last few months and my parents weren’t ready for another animal, but Beau had other ideas and I’m so happy that things worked out like they did.

  40. They don’t have much to say….unless you are “the dog whisperer”. Pets are for you to love and care for because that’s all they do to you. Cute pets and names you have for them.

  41. When I was young I would have disagreed with you, but ever since my husband and I got our first dog, my mind changed. Then when I got a puppy and we grew to a household of 2 dogs I finally understood how much love you can give and get from something not human, but so human and so amazingly human like by personalities.
    Wonderful post, because they are one of the best gifts on earth.

  42. so many comments! lol did you know that animal keepers live longer then those who never have pets? probably because of their undying love for their people, and their peoples love for them. i have a chinese crested, cat, and a hairless guinea pig. my girls (the dog and cat) can be monsters! little terrors. but then you look into their eyes… and melt. the guinea pig, well hes getting old, but hes hilarious, anyone chopping veggies in the kitchen gets a song begging for a treat. i love you post, and all the reply, animals are amazing. keep on lovin!

    • I didn’t know that animal keepers live longer, but I believe it! Pets can get into so much trouble, but it’s impossible to stay mad at them. Your pets sound so cute! Thanks, you do the same. 🙂

  43. Hey, what kind of dog is Beau? We had our Foxy for many years before she passed on at age 14. And by the way, nothing wrong with talking to your animals. I actually do it for a living. 🙂

    • We aren’t sure what he is – people have suggested golden retriever, collie, chow, malamute, and so many more, but the vet thinks he’s a golden/collie mix. Animals are the best listeners, aren’t they? 😀

  44. great post pets are no different than any “human” part of the family….i swear some of them think they are human! lol

  45. I’ll never keep a home without a cat present. As I type Angie the cat is taking a snooze next to me.

    She’s a mackerel tabby patterned cat that looks somewhat similar to your Owen. Used to be a door runner now she’s a fairly sedate 7 year old cat.

    And Sebastian is a pretty cat too! And Beau – what a gorgeous dog. Wish I wasn’t allergic to most dogs because I’d love to have one that looks like Beau.

  46. Hi, Erin. My name is Rodrigo. I’m 21 years old. And i’m brazilian. I liked your post about pets. I have a dog too. His name is Robson. It’s like to say “Robinson”, in North America. I feel the same contidition when i’m stay with him. Congratulations for describe whith such accuracy in details. And sorry my poor english. Love is universal.

  47. I have a straddler, too! It’s such a funny position. I love my cats so much. They are unconditional in their affection (well, maybe not, maybe they want to keep the food coming) and really, who is a better nap companion than a cat? I don’t have dogs, but have always had cats and intend to always have cats in my life. Can’t imagine not having any. Love your pics, love your descriptions of their personalities.

    • It is so funny to see him in that position! It is so amazing how unconditional a pet’s love for his owner (or anyone else) can be. Cats are the best nap companions. Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it! 😀

  48. I’m so glad to have found your blog ~ what loving pets you have! I never had pets when I was growing up, and finally adopted a cat when I was 32 years old. My whole world changed. My cat was not only there for me with unconditional love, but she helped me learn how to love again when my life was falling apart. Now I can’t imagine my life without my (now two) cats.

    • I’m so happy to hear that you are enjoying my blog! Pets really are amazing, especially having more than one so that you can watch them interact with one another. Having pets really can change your world and teach you so many lessons.

  49. I am an animal-lover, as well. My two dogs were rescues, and my two cats were strays when my husband and I found them. We have a magnet on our fridge that reads, “A Home is Not a Home Without a Dog.”

    I recently posted an entry called “Love Your Dogs” that detailed some of the import of keeping the company of dogs and encouraged people to adopt pups rather than purchase them from breeders.

    Beau is ridiculously adorable, by the way. 🙂

    http://lexisjen.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/love-your-dogs/

    • It’s so true – a house is not a home without a dog! That’s a wonderful idea as those are the animals that need it the most (and in my experience, are eternally grateful to their new family). Thank you! 🙂

      • I agree. I think adoption is one of the best ways for animal-lovers to support their communities while also aiding the problem of overpopulation. And you can find some great dogs and cats at shelters! Or in your case, right on your front porch! You are lucky to have met such a cutie right there on your doorstep. That’s how we got our cats. 🙂

  50. Anne, first of all, sorry for my poor english and I loved to read your post.
    I learned to look in the eyes of dogs the most sublime purity, unconditional love, the most extreme simplicity. But the most preciuss gift is to share all this love with the ones that don´t have owners like you. The dogs who are homeless. We have so much love!!!, is really owesome, and the most incredible thing, is that, never ended and you never get tired to give it.
    Greetings from Chile.

    • Your english is great! I’m happy you liked my post. Dogs have so much unconditional love to offer and it is so simple and pure. I agree that it is important that share that love with other dogs who are homeless. You are so right! Thank you for reading!
      Greeting from Arizona, United States 😀

  51. We have quite a few animals as well, and though they’re extremely frustrating at times (the birds), I still wouldn’t want to lose them. They really do have the ability to brighten up the darkness when it shows up.

  52. you have beautiful pets! I just lost my childhood dog yesterday morning 😦 she lived a long life… I miss her… i’ve been way emotional! enjoy them while you can

    • Thank you so much! I’m so sorry for your loss – losing a pet can be so difficult. My dog Beau is getting older and it’s sad even thinking about losing a beloved pets. Just be strong and hold on to all the good memories.

  53. Pets are such a joy! Its so nice to come home and see their faces when they come to greet you!
    I have a miniature daschund (a.k.a weiner dog) named Peewee. She’s a shorthair and is not so miniature anymore…. She has grown really fat from table food that my parents feed her. But i love and adore her and would hate to come home and see thats she’s not there. She’s such a joy!
    Thank you for the post you have shared. Your pets look so cute! =)

  54. Erin,

    Wonderful poses! Sebastian just GLOWS! I get so frustrated when our dog “Holly” strikes a perfect pose and then thinks she has to FOLLOW ME as I run to get my camera. “Stay” never works. Imagine my joy when I saw her in a perfect “Queen of the House” pose, and she let me get the shot: http://thedailygraff.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/2011_02_03-dog-on-stairs.jpg

    I featured this photo in my 2/3/11 post on my daily photoblog of humorous, family-friendly captioned photos: http://thedailygraff.com/

    –J.A.Robinson

    • Thank you! Beau is so photogenic and the kittens get so hyper-focused on one task that I’m usually able to get a few decent shots of them, but it is frustrating when there’s a perfect moment for a photo and then they move! Your dog is absolutely gorgeous! And what a cute pose and caption. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  55. Your pets are beautiful! I have a black lab and she is the sweetest dog in the world. She carries around stuffed animals, we call them her babies. She never ever goes on the floor, and she follows us around every minute just to get pet. Best dog I have ever had in the family!

  56. I think the sheer number of responses this simple and straightforward article has received really speaks to our innate need to connect with these four-legged people we share the world with. The girlfriend and I just started volunteering at a sanctuary for farm animals and I can’t even describe the rush we get from touching and just being near the animals there. I’m not a religious person, but if there is such a thing as a higher being, I think it is manifested in animals – why ARE we here if it isn’t to experience their presence?
    Thanks for sharing your personal experience.

    • I agree with you about the need to connect with animals. I was floored when I saw that this post was “freshly pressed” as it’s one of the simplest and least thoughful ones I’ve written, but maybe it is just that striaght forward and something that so many people can really relate to. That’s wonderful that you voulenteer with the animals and I’m glad that it has been a good experience. That’s something I would love to do sometime. Thank you for your insight – I think animals present one of the purest forms of love and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they were the masifestation of some higher being.

  57. Well done you for having rescued pets. Me too, has always pets in my life and most of the time I have stray dogs as my pet.
    Normally I rescued them from the street as people abandoned them on the street and groom them – I never had a proper breed dog – a few weeks later, togather with our love, the ugly looking dog turned to be loveable and cute looking dog…

  58. Blown away by the part where you describe how owen stands in awe once he gets out… I can’t exactly tell you how or why but that cut across a rather poignant moment for me, more so than the others, I mean what bliss it would be, to be either one of you 🙂

    • I’m so happy that you enjoyed that! Most people have lost their sense of awe when looking at the world – it’s a great reminder when you see someone else (like a pet or child) experiencing the world for the first time and how amazing and overwhelmed they are. 😀

  59. Agreed! My only pet right now is an adventurer cat, he’s always climbing and exploring too. Some day, when I have more space, I want to more animals. 🙂

  60. I have to agree with you, being a pet owner myself. I’ve got a dog named Lou and a cat named Tabby, and for me, they’re the greatest gifts in the whole world. They know when I’m feeling sad, THEY JUST KNOW. It’s amazing how, but they know. And because they know, they run over to you and comfort you, they won’t leave you alone.
    My dog is actually a Chihuahua, and my cat a Burmese, so my dog is quite small. I recently moved out into my own apartment, and I felt really lonely the first few days. These wonderful, magnificent animals gave me all the support I needed (and helped with the shifting too, by ripping apart certain boxes here and there) and made me feel as if I’d carried a little bit of home along with me.
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!
    Ashley, aka TheEverydayMuser
    http://www.theeverydaymuser.wordpress.com

  61. Thank you for sharing your furry kids!

    I grew up with animals. Among my first memories is riding our mutt named Skeeter when I was about three. Tumbling with her puppies. I’ve had all the typical pets and few oddballs like a hedgehog.

    I currently have a Siberian Husky who is my cycle partner. He’s silly crazy and fun.

  62. Nice post.

    When we were in Nigeria, we had a dog, a cat(and its 2 kittens) and a pigeon. My sister and I thoroughly enjoyed playing with our pets.

    Our cat was never afraid of the dog. Thats when I saw for the first time a cat can scare a dog.

    • Thanks! That sounds like a fun bunch of animals. 🙂 That’s so funny that the dog was scared of the cat. We used to have 12 pound toy poodle who would attack our 90 pound dog (pictured above) and he was terrified of the little thing!

  63. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing your lovely furry friends with us. I grew up with a dog (english cocker spaniel) and cats/kittens (tabby) – it was the best part of my childhood!

  64. I have yet to experience the joy of owning a pet myself. Growing up my family always had small dogs, I kind of want to have a big dog. I want a cat too, but I think one animal will be enough, especially when it is my first…

    • You should definetly consider getting a pet. They truly make life so much better! Starting with one is probably a good idea, but it’s also nice seeing the animals interact with one another.

  65. they offer us unconditional love and bless us with affection and trust. My life has been and is blessed by pets and my life is richer and more abundant because of them.

    walk in beauty!

    • They really do! I agree that my life, too, has been more complete because of having pets.
      I have to say, I absolutly love your closing, “walk in beauty.” I smile every time I see that. Thank you so much! 🙂

  66. Shall we all pray, that everybody learns to love and live with pets in the house, and never stops talking to them, ever. They do answer, in their own ways and voices and gestures. And they keep you much fitter, in so many ways too long to write about here.

  67. The best about having pets is that they love you unconditionally. It’s one of the best things in the world to see your little friend jumping from joy when he sees you :).
    I have a gorgeous 14-months old shar-pei and I know the feeling… can’t imagine my day without his pranks!

  68. My dogs favorite spot is on top of the couch like one of your cats!!!!!!!!I have a 1 year old dog,golden retriever loves to be a round people!!!!!!How old are you?????????If you don’t want to tell me you don’t have too!!!!!!!I am so like you if I didn’t have any pets life would be really hard to live!!!!!!!!Thanks so much for talking about animals!!!!My favorite things!!!!!

    • That is too funny! Golden retrievers are such beautiful dogs – you’re lucky! I’m 22 years old. I agree, pets make life so much more fun and enjoyable. You’re so very welcome! I’m glad you liked it! 😀

  69. My dogs are not nearly as organized in their greetings – well, not to my benefit, anyway. My husky jumps up and slaps my chest with his paws while my golden retriever seizes his color in her mouth and drags him away from me so that she can drown me in a sea of kisses. What sort of dog is Beau? He’s very handsome – and fascinating-looking!

  70. What a wonderful story, and I would have to agree with you. We have a throw away doggie that someone just left out front of our house. We took her in and named her Leelu. Whether I go get the mail, or go to work for a day, she greets me like I have been gone for months. We also have a cat named Dirtyface. Only because her face looks that way. Pets have great personalities and are a pleasure to have in the family. They are wonderful when you are having a bad day.

  71. we have 5 cats that vie for our attention at all times. they’re all “house plants”..like to look outside but have never been out. you are so right about their love is unconditional.

  72. hi there, thanks for your post – nice to read someone who writes intelligently about their pets – not just awwwww, he’s so CUTE! (even though they are). i live in a tiny apartment so don’t have room for a dog – but plan to have one once i move to a house with a garden. i have two adorable rats for the moment as they don’t take up much room. ever considered having any? or would your landlord still charge you too much to keep them? anyway, i’m following your blog now and look forward to reading you again soon.

    • Why, thank you so much! Pets are adorable, but there is really so much more to them than that. I have not considered having rats, but that might be interesting. My apartment chages $75 for pets (which I can’t afford), so I just drive to my parents every few weeks to visit the animals. Thank you so much, I hope you continue to enjoy it! 🙂

  73. Hey, you’ve been Freshly Pressed!

    I don’t have any pets. Not an animal love. I don’t want to have to pick up after anything (that’s why I don’t have any kids either). I think I would like to get some fish someday.

  74. Aw! That last comment is sad!

    I have a cat. His name is Rockwell. I think I will do a blog post about him too, soon. Because he is amazing, like all pets that are loved!

    It’s such a great feeling, to love an animal! It’s pure, unconditional love, and that is basically impossible with humans (because we are so damn complicated, I’m sure).
    It can warm your soul!

    Thanks to everyone who loves their pet(s). They deserve it.

    Tia
    http://lartnouveau.wordpress.com/

    • That is a bit sad. I think the messes and troubles are worth all the love and good times. That’s such a cute name! You should – writing about pets is easy, but so meaningful because they’re so special. Yes, animals have levels of unconditional love that are very hard to find in people. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  75. Funny, Monkey is one of my cat’s nicknames too. He has several.
    The healing power of animals in our lives is at last being recognised. Not only do they help us in our daily lives, they can bring real comfort to the very ill and the confused.
    Those of who live with pets are very lucky.

  76. Yes…pets can make a bad day so much better! I have a white Shih Tzu, named Tashi, and a black Shih Tzu/Chihuahua mix, named Mushu. (Named after the dragon in Mulan.) They are opposites in every way, make my entire family laugh on a daily basis, and I cannot imagine them not being part of the everyday insanity at my home.

    Great post!

  77. Thank you for sharing with me, I too love pets although I now feel I am too old to take on another dog.

    Having said that, looking at the photos, of your pets, they have brought wonderful memories back of my dog Ben. Later, for I am new to this site, I will write a blog about Ben.

    John.

    • Thank you for your comment, John. I’m sure that well-manner dog or self-sufficient cat wouldn’t be too much trouble. Pets really are wonderful and it’s nice having memories of them. You should definitely write about Ben – I’m sure you have so many great stories to share.

  78. Pets are, indeed, fantastic! They come into your life one day, often unexpectedly, and change it forever and for the better. I have a dog, George, a whippet, and he is pivotal to the way our family functions. He is beautiful, sweet, loving, cuddly, playful, a bit naughty, etc., etc. I’ve recently started a blog about his adventures, if you want to take a look, here is the address: http://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

    Didi
    P.S. You’ve got a really nice blog, I’m glad I found it.

    • I agree, pets add so much to our lives! Your dog sounds adorable – my uncle has a whippet and they such an interesting and fun breed. George is so cute and sounds like such a sweetheart! Thank you so much, I’m glad you’re enjoying it. 🙂

  79. Pets can have a huge (positive!) affect on one’s mood and one’s life in general. I had a dog and two cats and loved coming home to them. Pets, especially dogs, can really be a companion.

  80. I’m so sorry for those people who are unfortunate or unwilling to discover the world of animals. For loved and cherished, they change the whole perspective of our lives, giving to us much more, than we can sometimes afford to give to them with our time, and with our care. For they can be expensive, when they become sick, or hurt, in this world today. Yet they are worth every cent, and will replay it, in their own way, if we can just recognize,….. the way of their simple loving language.

  81. Wonderful post, I like your pets! I’ve never owned pets myself but I grew up being around pets at my grandparents’ house, so I love them. My grandpa has 2 dogs, Phoibos and Athena and 2 cats, Leitw and Billy. They always manage to cheer you up, and they can be very faithful, especially dogs. 🙂

  82. I love this post. Animals are some of the few beings in the world that love you for you, unconditionally. I often refer back to the quote in the movie, “Marley & Me”, when Owen Wilson says that dogs do not care about how much money you make, how funny you are, or how good looking you may be, give them your heart and they will give you yours. No matter how bad a day you may have, you always know they are there to greet you with a wagging tail and a big wet kiss!
    Pets make the world go round. Great post!

  83. Fantastic post. So simple and straightforward and full of love – just like the animals we love. Lost my favorite weiner in a divorce, just dying for a new companion and my landlady keeps pushing me to get a dog. Looking forward to when he/she arrives at the right time.
    thanks again for the post.

  84. The way you described your pets all running to greet you with a warm welcome upon arrival home was so cartoon-like and happy. Is Mr. Straddle Pants a Russian Blue? He’s an adorable grey kitten.

    • I’m happy to hear you enjoyed that! We actually don’t know what the parents were, but he look a lot like one and has the same silky coat (so he probably is), but his brother is (we think) a red mackerel tabby…they’re so differnt, so it’s hard to know. He is adorable, I love him. 🙂

  85. Mr. Straddle Pants is cute. We have similar nicnames for our pets. Our dog Ladybug is often called Ladybugger Foo-Foo Head and our cat Scrat is lovingly referred to as Scratapussacuss.

  86. I also simply adore my dog. We used to have two, but the older one had to be put down because she developed a tumor in her nose. She was a Shiba Inu named Faline and I only wish that my parents would have allowed her in the house more often, as they shed quite a bit and my mom hates it. The other one is Caesar, my fuzzy buddy, and is a Shitzu/ Bijon. I love him so much and couldn’t think of not having a pet!

  87. I could never, ever, live without my pets. We have 19 right now and I could live without my brother’s lizards… but not the dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses! 🙂

  88. It’s been seven years since I lost my tramp, and I think of him all the time. IMy lifestyle has really changed, and it would be too difficult to commit to being a pet owner. There’s just nothing like the love of a pet, and I can’t wait to adopt another. This time it will be a cat, and I think I’ll like it.

  89. Stumbled onto your website & I love this post of yours. Pets are really amazing.
    Like what you said, ”The kind souls love you unconditionally, are grateful for every moment of your time, and have the uncanny ability to brighten the worst of days.” The unconditional love that they give is what we can’t provide. I love my pets too. Though we do have unpleasant times, but the love will always shine. 🙂

  90. Your dog and her kittens are cute. I also love animals and
    We have a very fluffy puppy named Dudu … seems a
    lamb … affectionate and playful too .. You know, I suffered from
    depression, she was always sad and not the house she arranged
    more … until God help us … always gave me the idea
    Dudu leave with her on weekends as we did and …
    still doing well … she regained her self-esteem and has
    express more affection …. God and the animals are wonderful …. A
    I have something I believe .. if anyone wants to learn the “love
    unconditional “that teaches that Jesus has a dog or …
    any other animal, but the dog is what he teaches special
    love regardless of appearances, bills
    bank … etc … hahaha .. Excuse the bad English, I used Google to translate …. hahaha. Leo kisses

  91. I love this entry. I have myself a dog an several cats. My dog’s name is Sultan, he’s a Basset Hound and usualy looks like he is sad all the time. But I know he’s very happy.

    Several cats because at first was a only female cat, she got babies, then more babies, then more babies. That goes on an on. Thats funny, the babies never gat their own babies 😐 but as soon they see me getting home, you can see all their happy smiles.

  92. Thank you for this post! I have been an animal lover since I was a child, and they are still an important part of my mental health!! I clicked on this blog because your Beau reminded me of my BearBears, who died 6 years ago, but is still alive in my heart!

  93. wow! you have wonderful buddies…I have a 7yrs dog in my home…She always wait for me to get home and when I get home, she jump at me…I love her so much..She never get bored in her relationship, with me (LOL)

  94. Great blog. I can’t imagine a home without a dog. I’ve always had a dog at home, from being little to present day. I currently have 3 mongrels and the reception when I come home from work is amazing. I love it.

  95. It’s amazing how much our pets truly are members of the family. That looks like a chow that you have there. We had a chow once. He was probably the most animated dog we’ve ever had. Thanks for sharing Erin.

  96. A wonderful tribute to a part of the family that is sometimes missed in many blogs. We currently have a dog and a cat….But at one time we had 2 gerbils and a guinea pig all under the same roof and all friends with each other. It was hilarious to see the cat in the guinea pig cage as I cleaned it out or the gerbils running over to the dog. Unfortunately the gerbils and guinea pig have now passed on. Our dog, and I call her a dog lightly here as she is really a family member and not just a pet, is about 10 years old. She travels everywhere with us and we even dedicated the title of one of our blogs to her because on one of our trips as we were looking over our pictures we noticed that Shyla was always somewhere in the picture. And so the title for that installment became “Where’s Waldo?” Our explorations have been enhanced by having her with us and have provided us with so many stories to pass on. Thank you so much for your blog.

  97. Very beautifully written post. I love your pets picture. These pictures brings backs the memory of all the pets I’d so far.
    I used to keep one or two dogs since my 1st grade of school.
    But my last experience with pets was very tragic. I was in 12th standard when I purchased a 4 months old female Labrador. Within one month of buying it she cought Parvovirus infection.
    I tried a lot to save her but was in vain. She died in front of me bcoz of that unbearable abdominal cramps she was experiencing during her last few days.

    It’s been five year to her death I never got courage to get a new pet after that experience.

  98. Hi Erin,
    congrats on getting freshly pressed! I sure know what you mean about the joys of having pets and your brood is beautiful. I have 3 dogs – Dash, the whiny black poodle-yorkshire terrier cross, Schatzi – my manic jack russell terrier (or jack russell terror as we call her!), Hershey – my furry snoring-while-awake white shih tzu & 2 cats – Bindi, the older white & ginger striped feisty one and Zadie, our very vocal ginger puss in boots 🙂 They were rescue animals, and not a day goes by without feeling plain happy to be amidst them. Cheers to the new week! 🙂 luv, Indigo

  99. your pets are so sweet! :3

    i don’t have dogs/cats, but i really do love all them i meet! i love going to my friend’s houses, especially the ones who have dogs!

  100. I LOVE this post ! I feel exactly the same way you do about animals. I always had them growing up – In fact I even had goats which are some of the best pets I have owned.

    I noticed you live in AZ. Check out my blog (and I’m not just saying that b/c I want readers) If you go back several posts you will see some pics of SEAZ. In fact my header is from AZ. My husband is a park ranger at Chiricahua National Monument – closest town Willcox. I don’t really know anyone who lives around there. I am currently in school in SC, but will be moving there in May so I am looking for connections and would love to hear some of your experiences in the state!

    I also have a dog named Case who is a great part of my life, but is in AZ as well right now and I miss him desperately! I enjoyed hearing about your animals because it made me feel like I was back with mine for a moment.

    Congrats of being FP!

  101. i truly believe that the reason people get along with pets so well and have trouble with interpersonal relationships is because pets do not make demands, cannot talk back, and are ultimately dependent on us. so they can never leave, and are always there for us.

    i’m not really sure if it’s a win-win situation in the end. i’m sure most pets are pretty bored most of their lives.

    btw, i’m pretty sure Sebastian is a Russian Blue.

  102. what great looking pets! and yes, pets are a great source of comfort and friendship. i miss my old cat, gone after only 3 years …

  103. Absolutely love your main blog photo…makes me want to go straight to the forest….again:-) Your pets are adorable……(I will never forget how our cat, Clementine gingerly approached me after my return home from a hysterectomy……She slowly climbed upon my lap after I melted into the rocking chair, and enveloped my lower abdomen with her feline heat….two hour nap later…there we sat, Clementine and I…..the pain had subsided tremendously…What an incomparable friend she has become…Congrats on being FP’d!

  104. Very nice. It’s not hard for me to get revited by pet stories. My dog Ella actually writes her own blog… a little bit of Dog Drama. She’s been a little slack on it lately, but she has fun. Maybe you should let your kitties and dog start a blog 🙂 http://www.doggydrama.wordpress.com if you’re interested. I help her with the typing.

  105. Great post, I often talk about my dog Grace. She is my best friend, I can tell her anything and she will never judge me and always love me. She has helped me to deal with my anxiety after I returned home from Iraq for the first time. She was my welcome home gift to myself and I could not have gotten anything better.

  106. I spent time in prison. Besides family, we agreed we all missed our pets the most. One day some inmates found two kittens behind a building and brought them to the yard. We lined up to pet those two fluffy little kittens. When my turn came, tears ran down my face as the little grey and white baby looked at me and purred. Of course, we weren’t allowed to keep them but there was a happy ending. One of nicest counsellors gave them a home. Unconditional love is a indeed a wonderful thing.

  107. Congrats on being freshly pressed! I got my cat in Ukraine when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer. Took her back to America with me, and now she’s with me in Seoul, Korea. 😀

    When people ask if I live alone I like to say I have a Ukrainian roommate. But she’s kind of messy, I have to be home to give her dinner, she misses me all the time, she punishes me if I’m gone too long, she can’t understand WHY I am gone and she loves to sit in my lap and have me pet her. LOL

    When I was getting ready to go back to America from Ukraine, another PCV said to me: it’s so hard to take her back–why don’t you just get rid of her and get another cat.

    o_O SHE’S MY BABY! I love my cranky furbaby.

  108. Great article, and some words just used appropriately! Pets definitely human’s best companions. Every their cute expressions or silly acts makes us release our pressure from daily work!
    I started to miss my pets, my lovely friends before 🙂

  109. Love to read posts like this one. Our pets are like children (to most of us). I had to put my beloved cat down after 17 years and cried for days. Just last year, I put my other cat down after 14 years. I now have two cats whom are not their replacements, but have very different but loving, dispositions.

    They are our companions, as we are theirs. They listen to us and don’t complain (well, unless they want food, or to play). They brighten our days – and really, don’t ask for anything in return.

    Congrats on being “Freshly Pressed”! Enjoy your furry family.

  110. I had to make the difficult decision today and put my siamese cat, Tinkerbelle, to sleep today. She was very sick with heart and kidney problems. Reading your blog put a big smile on my face.

  111. You couldn’t have wrote about a better topic than our beloved pets. I have four dogs and it is like I have a housefull of three year olds. Angel is a tea-cup poodle who knows she is the Princess, Eddy is a Yorkshire-mix, he is so laid back and affectionate. Booker, is Yorkie and a bundle of energy. His greatest pleasure is tormenting Angel. Then I have Andy, the Coker Spaniel according to his registration papers, but looks like a Springer. He thinks he is my lap dog. I can’t even imagine being without a one of them. They give me joy than problems. They are my kids now.

  112. I wish I could have a pet with my fiancee, but unfortunately he’s very allergic to both cats and dogs. I’ve always had a pet too and I think it’d be easier for me to be home alone if I had a pet, so maybe we’ll eventually get one. Your animals are too cute!

  113. What a BEAUTIFUL family you have, Erin! Who could ever look at those little faces and be angry? They are all WAY too cute! 🙂 I think it’s terrific that you talk to them a lot. It strengthens the bond between us and our pets. I think you should enter Beau’s picture in the contest on my website; http://www.FabulousPetSupplies.com. It’s a new site and there’s no purchase necessary to enter or win. He has a beautiful face and such loving eyes. I’ll bet he gives you a great deal of pleasure every day.

  114. I have to say I love pets as much as anyone. I’m very much a dog person but I can’t say I have any slouch against cats because I love them as well. I’ve been an owner of two labs in my lifetime and I am 20 years old. First a black lab and now a yellow one. Both equal in greatness. Our black lab(Jessi) had to be put down after an overdue diagnosis of cancer. I was only a child but it had hit me pretty hard. Had I not grown up with such friendly and loving animals I may not see them as I do now. My yellow lab Reily couldn’t make me happier when I see him after being away at school. And I do think he feels the same, even my mother says so. About 7 years old now and I still see him as a puppy. The only way I walk him is on my skateboard and let me tell you he pulls me faster than I can normally push myself, its hysterical. I know I’ll have another lab in the future as my own, rather than my parents. But I do hope to have a golden retriever at some point. I’m sure a lab and a retriever would make great friends. Just waiting for the right time. Pets are essential to the family!

  115. Great post, made me smile. My Sunny is a pain, but boy does she make me feel loved! You can also see some pictures of her in my latest post, and you’ll know exactly why she makes me laugh!

  116. Your pets are adorable! The hubby and I have two mini Schnauzers named Curie and Voltaire (both named after famous French people). Curie, the smart one that collapses on the floor when you say “Bang!”, always has so much to say (she howls like nobody’s business) while Voltaire is quiet and dumb (but incredibly sweet…he never licks but presses his nose right up against your face…sniffs his heart out). Isn’t it amazing how excited they get when you walk through the door? I’ll leave the house for thirty seconds to throw the trash out and they act like I’ve been gone for days. So much love in such tiny bodies 🙂

  117. Pingback: The pet effect (via Analyfe) « as simple as Jhe

  118. My dog died a year ago, I still feel sad when i’m thinking about it. I had that dog for so long time, i though her so many things…I told to myself that i will never keep a pet again… I just couldn’t…now i have another one, but i put the same name…

  119. I like animals too and it is so amazing that you can afford to have more than one. The best what animals can give is sincere love. For them it is enough to be near and care for them. When I was at home, I never felt lonely because every time my lovely cat, Musya, was with me and laughed me with funny tricks . But now we are not together 😦

  120. I daily talk to my dog too. My husband and my children smile when they listen to my lovely talks with her, “my daughter with four legs” (it’s her nickname) and I am sure she absolutely perceives the love my words express to her.
    I am so grateful to life to offer me the opportunity to experience such a unique fortune.

  121. Pingback: Having a cat at home – risk of mutual love and risk of mutual allergy « Jan Lötvall

  122. Your pets are adorable! We got a puppy there about 4 months ago, and to be honest we’re still adjusting to having the little rogue around the house. They really do brighten your day though, it’s amazing to come home and to be greeted with such unabashed enthusiasm! LOL!

    Animals are wonderful. I’m so glad we got our little fella – it breaks my heart to think of all the animals out there without a good home, or anyone to care for them…

  123. Pingback: How true… « Kobe, The Posterdog of Cuteness

  124. Just one more comment will not make much difference when you have so many. Like you I am an animal lover. I am devoted to all my animals which currently is One donkey, 5 dogs and two cats. They are warm , cuddly and are always there when you are sad and in need of comfort.

  125. Pingback: The pet effect (via Analyfe) « The Scottie Chronicles

  126. Great post – could not agree with you more! There is nothing better than coming home to my new kitten or returning to my parents house for a visit and seeing our family cat running to greet me at the door. Ah, gotta love our animals! Thanks for a good read, nice to meet your pets 🙂

  127. You have lovely pets. I grew up with a collie and three cats. Some people prefer one or the other but I love them both equally. Unfortunately living in a rented house it’s not an option, I had to beg for a dog and talk around my fiance as he’d never been allowed any pets. We finally decided on something small, that would fit in the back of the car, not take up much space on the sofa and not need much excercise. Last Jan we went to see a litter of F1 Labradoodles. As soon as my fiance held one that was that. A year later our little ball of fur takes up the whole sofa, wants constant attention and play time and always keeps us on our toes! He’s a complete pain but there’s something about that furry face that never allows me to stay annoyed at me for more than a few minutes.

  128. I feel the same about my babies! There’s nothing like coming home to 80 pounds of happy, smiling dog racing towards you at high speed. 🙂 Trixie (my kitty) also greets at the door, but she’s much more civilized about it, haha.

  129. This site appears to recieve a great deal of visitors. How do you promote it? It gives a nice unique twist on things. I guess having something authentic or substantial to talk about is the most important thing.

  130. I have a dog (Shorty) & a cat (LouLou) which I rescued from the street. I love them to bits too! Ooh, yeah, I talk to them alot & now even my housemates start talking to them. 😉

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