The Benefits of Owning a Family Pet

JMJ 27  *There are so many benefits to owning a pet, or several pets for that matter, including benefits for your family, as well as yourself.  Among other things, our pets bring us so much joy, and I think our pets would say they are quite happy to be part of our family too.

Ring the School Bell 27/180 days

The bunnies appreciated the cool weather, several of them not even minding the light rain as they frolicked in their pen.  We decided that Suzy, our bunny, will be getting an upgrade in her living arrangement when the other bunny boarders leave the premises.  Bunnies need to hop, and we are going to build her an enclosure of her own to dig and hop around in.

Our pets bring us so much joy, and I think our pets would say they are quite happy to be part of our family too.  We decided a while back, when Sabrina was eight years old, that she was old enough to be responsible to take care of a pet. We started slow, with two mice, and then one more when one of them sadly passed away.  Cocoa, nutmeg, and milkshake were adorable traveling through their mazes, balls and hamster wheels.  We loved their little antics.  The problem is that the lifespan of a mouse is very short, and they also require vigilant cleaning of their cages, or else the smell is quite unbearable.

We then decided to move on to the big leagues, and get a cat.  The problem at the cat rescue, is that as a family we couldn’t decide on which cat to bring home, the Calico or the black cat.  I preferred the black cat, as she let me pick her up and seemed like an affectionate kitty.  (she actually turned out to be the skittish one!) Everyone else preferred the Calico.  And so, my husband came up with the idea of bringing both Princess and Leia home, and the rest is history, as they say.  Interestingly enough, we were not thinking of Star Wars when we named them!  We added pets to our family, when each child turned eight years old, eventually owning two lovebirds and a bunny.

What are the benefits of having pets in a family?  Here are just a few:

  1. They teach responsibility.  When the newness of owning a pet starts wearing off, the pet still needs care.  The pets depend on us for their livelihood and welfare, no matter what.  When Melissa found out she couldn’t hold her bunny because of her bunny allergy (as fate would have it, this is the only type of animal she is allergic to), the responsibility was still there.
  2. The pets provide enjoyment and happiness to the family.  The cats force us to relax. They love to curl up on our laps, sometimes right on top of the textbooks the girls happen to be studying, reminding us to take the occasional break.
  3. They help teach about loss.  As sad as it is to experience a pet die, it is a life lesson for all of us.
  4. A pet can teach empathy.  By tuning in to the needs of their precious pet, this can be a skill that transfers to friendships and family now and in the future.
  5. A pet gives unconditional love.

The following Woman’s Day article focuses on the health benefits of owning a pet, which I also found very interesting.

What kind of pets do you have and what special benefit have they brought to your life?

Suzy enjoying her future living quarters!

Other news from our 27th day of school this year…

I seriously dislike hot weather in October.  October is truly freaky around here in terms of weather.  It can be cold and rainy, or it can be sweltering pool weather.  It’s always a good idea to have an inventory of fall-colored tank tops, as you never know when you might need them.

On the other hand, you might be reaching for that cold weather comforter to keep you warm at night.  In my unsolicited opinion, hot weather is fine in June and September.  Summer should be over by now.  For this reason, in sunny Southern California, coats will last decades from little use, just hanging there in the closet.  In the spirit of fall, we sometimes adorn ourselves with stylish scarves and winter wear, only to shed them  by 10 am.  If you need a fantastic deal on a coat, this is the place to shop, probably because they can’t get rid of them.  Thrift shops abound in their bounty of name brand winter coats, donated by people who just gave up on the idea of wearing them.

Lac Sept Isles Fall photo
This is the fall I dream of, Lac Sept Isles, in the Province of Quebec.  Photo courtesy of my Aunt and Uncle Paquet

But today was an exception to all of this.  What a  joyous day to forage through my hallway closet in order to finally sport that fine coat.  After such a long string of hot days it was such a welcome dreary day.

On the food front, we discovered on the local news that we have been eating tainted chicken, in fact celebrating tainted chicken all weekend long with seasoned chicken on Friday, chicken Pad Thai on Saturday, and chicken salad on Sunday. Oh joy. I checked the lot numbers and yep, we won the jackpot. The remaining chicken in the fridge with winning lotto numbers was tossed out, but not before I removed the labels to get a refund. I had bought the chicken last week for a great price. Sale prices have a hidden cost sometimes? The culpable company insisted that if the chicken was cooked thoroughly it would prevent any food-borne illness.  Guess I messed up on that one, cause Melissa and I are feeling the effects!  Lots of cramping every time we have a morsel of food.  Needless to say, we didn’t eat much today.

In the evening, we paid our little friend Therese a visit in the hospital, whose platelet count was at a dangerously low level.  Despite being hooked up to IVs, Therese was her usual bubbly personality.  We pray she will be out soon and back home with her wonderful family.

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** Note to the Reader- Today’s narrative is an excerpt of our family’s school journey from a few years ago, during my eldest daughter’s senior year in high school, a rather emotional year, with its many ups and downs.

May God shower blessings on your family as he has on mine.    Annette




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