life lessonsStatistically, most pet owners prefer the company of their four-legged best friends to their two-legged ones, but did you know that animal companionship has actually been proven to make us feel less socially isolated?

This paradox is simply part of an endlessly rewarding program, one with far-reaching benefits that go beyond the daily tasks of “ownership.” Indeed, if you were to tally up everything you’ve learned from your pet, you might be surprised at the enormous impact they’ve made on your life.

Indelible Mark

It’s not uncommon to hear some pet owners describe their experience as “eye opening,” as if the indelible imprint made by an animal’s steadfast presence is an unexpected delight. But that’s the magic with pets, right? Pretty soon, you feel the need to adopt more than one (or five) until your human-animal tribe is complete.

Real Life

Even though we communicate differently, we pick up so many things from the animals in our care. As you begin to think about all that you’ve learned from your pet, perhaps you can relate to the following lessons:

  • Think outside the box. Dogs are definitely great motivators for owners who would be unlikely to interact with strangers while out for walks or dog park dates. They simply have no prejudice and seem to understand the potentially great results that come from pushing the envelope and expanding your horizons. Cats may not necessarily facilitate social events, but you can bet that cat people identify with other cat people!
  • Give it a try (even if it’s by accident). Along similar lines, pets are pretty open to trying new things. Big changes? Not always. Sometimes, the things they try don’t get a second chance, but they usually try something new at least once.
  • Cuddling heals all wounds. Have you ever noticed that your pet senses you need comfort when you’re hurting, sick, sad, or depressed? Typically, they’ll snuggle up and not leave your side until they sense you’re feeling better than before. Of all the things you’ve learned from your pet, we’re positive that this one is at the top of the list.
  • Keep moving forward. The Pet Experts enjoy animals who live fully invested in the moment. They don’t hold grudges (although they certainly remember painful, upsetting, or happy times), and they don’t live in the past. Every day, they put two feet in front of the others and keep on truckin’. What great models of mindfulness!
  • Don’t go to bed angry. Likewise, pets don’t go to sleep angry. It simply doesn’t matter what happened earlier; everything will be fixed when they’re curled up at your feet.
  • Exercise is fun! While this might not top your list of amazing things you’ve learned from your pet, we’d be willing to bet that you get outside or engage in some kind of activity with your pet. Sure, some days a walk around the block can feel like a chore, but it’s really good for both of you, and let’s face it – it’s fun!
  • Ask for what you want (subtlety is overrated). Pets don’t beat around the bush when it comes to knowing what they want and flat-out asking/demanding it. There’s really no shame in that, and we could all take more initiative to go after what we want or need.

What Have You Learned From Your Pet?

The Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center would love to hear what else you’ve learned from your pet. They’re excellent teachers; we only have to slow down, listen, and acknowledge their brilliance.