Man’s desire to tame and domesticate animals over millenia is one of humankind’s most fascinating traits. It is a symbiotic relationship that brings comfort, companionship and protection.
Owning a pet, especially a dog, is a big commitment and responsibility, but it can be an enormously rewarding one. To have a moment or two in the day to focus on a creature that is totally dependent on you for its survival is, in itself, therapeutic and calming. It helps us to keep things in perspective and keeps us connected with the rhythm of life itself. As we grow older and the family goes their separate ways, a pet can fill the vacuum and provide much solace and joy.
• Choose a pet wisely. A pet and its owner should go together like peas in a pos, What we ideally want may not be practical or fair to the animal – a labrador in a small apartment, for instance, or a long-haired breed in a hot climate.
• If you want a dog, ask yourself honestly if you have the time or patience to train it and clear up its puppy mess. If it will grow into a large or medium sized dog, will you have the places to go to take it for long walks? An unhappy pet in the wrong environment will develop neuroses and may even be destructive – that is not the outcome you want.
• Some breeds of cats and dogs are high maintenance, highly strung and demanding. Unless that reflects the level of commitment you want, choose a more easy-going breed, nothing wrong with a farm-yard moggie or a crossbred mutt!
• If you travel a lot, ask yourself who could look after your pet if you’re away.
• Remember there are a lot of abandoned, abused and unloved pets in the world, so check out your local pet rescue centre – but don’t feel coerced into taking a pet that is notably traumatizes, they require supreme commitment to nurse them back to mental health . So unless you’re a dog ‘ whisperer ’, forget it!
• The more interaction you have with a pet, especially when they are young, the greater the life-long bond and pleasure.
• Whatever the qualities of an animal, never forget people are always more important.