Our pets’ love for us is many times taken for granted, but in this month of love and friendship, we ought to show them some extra love!
My sister and brother-in-law recently took our pets, Frijol and Nala, out to the park during a rough week. Our baby was sick and my husband was working long hours. Being newlyweds and desiring to have a pet in their new home, my sis and bro-in-law playfully asked if they could have them.
I know they were just kidding. And I do really love my dogs. But to be honest these past few months with a new baby at home, the dogs haven’t been my favorite. From barking during naptimes to gross accidents to clean up, it has been hard to care for them on top of caring for a baby. And so when the newlyweds asked for the dogs, for a split second I did consider it. (A split-second, okay!)
But as much as they are still two other little beings to take care of, I realized my dogs have given me and my little family so much love.
We have had Frijol for 9 years, as long as we have been married. He has been my companion when I was lonely in a new city. Frijol was my buddy when I stayed up late working on papers during graduate school. He put his head on my thigh many times when I cried and doubted whether I could finish school. Frijol kept me warm on the nights my husband worked overnight shifts at the hospital.
Nala joined our family in 2013 and was so hard to house-train. I mean so, so hard. But Nala has the sweetest demeanor. She’ll sit next to me and show so much affection. She also has the quirkiest personality and always a joy to have around with her constant doggy-smile. She is such a little weirdo that the ongoing joke in our house is we don’t really believe she’s a dog. Her favorite toy is a plastic dinosaur. (It appears in the weirdest places of the house; it can get a bit creepy.) And she’ll play with balls like a cat. Also, there was a video of an otter circulating Facebook that reminds me so much of Nala.
Now with the baby, the dogs have shown that they have not only tolerated this new “ugly puppy” into our pack, but they absolutely love him. They greet him when we come home, and he greets them back with happy giggles. When he’s sick and we need to give him medicine, the only way to do it is with the dogs near. He will otherwise scream if they don’t sit near him, so he pets them while we squirt the red stuff in his mouth. Aside from pets being therapeutic (did you know they help with blood pressure, anxiety and stress, and help with verbal and social skills), research has also shown that having dogs is helpful in preventing infants from developing allergic diseases.
All in all, our dogs are our family as much as the new baby is, and they make our life full and joyful.
For some, dogs are annoying, shed hair, or bark too much. For others, dogs are just pets, just animals that live in people’s homes. But I believe that dogs show true love for us humans, waiting for us when we get home, so grateful for even a pet on the head, and are happy companions during the loneliest periods of our lives.
In this month when we think of those we love, our pets deserve a special place of love in our hearts, because as the saying goes, “we don’t deserve dogs.”
If you’re looking to give love and receive love, adopt a pet! We adopted Frijol from the Animal Humane New Mexico. And we got Nala from the Arizona Animal Humane Society when we lived in Phoenix. Animal Humane New Mexico has potential pets that are looking for a new home, go visit and expect to fall in love.