Furry Friends

by Julie Kiewatt

We all love animals right? They are cuddly and cute, soft and furry, and best of all, they make us feel loved! Have you ever noticed how much better you feel just being around an animal, particularly your favorite pet? They comfort without words and lick away your tears.

Animals are very beneficial companions for humans. People that have pets are typically much more stable emotionally and mentally than those who are not pet owners. Pets teach us responsibility by giving us someone to take care of. They show us how to have healthy relationships by loving us unconditionally, regardless of faults. They help us to relax by being playful and cuddly and by lending a listening ear without talking back. They get us out for exercise when we are lazy! They show us how to have presence of mind, to live in the moment – they have the uncanny ability to get over their frustrations the moment they are removed from sight.

It is believed that animals have all these wonderful affects on humans due to their state of mind. They do not have the ability of higher level thinking, so instead, they feel. Because of this, animals are professionals at knowing peoples’ moods and emotions.

Many consider the lack of this ability to be a curse and some a blessing. Animals do not have to struggle with the unending string of thoughts that constantly run through the minds of humans and keep us from our true self. We are so busy running around and thinking that we forget to feel. The use of feelings in decision making has actually been considered to be negative. Why do we have the ability to feel emotions if they aren’t meant for anything?

Some people are overly emotional and/or use their feelings and emotions as a way to control situations. This is due to their negative feelings of self. One’s true emotions and feelings lie deep within and are based on who one truly is. If we are aware of the present moment – as animals are – we know that the errors we make, or words people say, do not change who we are in our soul.

The way in which we treat others, is the way in which we treat and feel about ourselves… In order to improve how we feel about ourselves, we need to treat ourselves and others better. Animals can help one in this growing and learning process. We can learn to trust again by building a relationship with an animal that will love us unconditionally and in turn, we can grow to love them unconditionally.

A person must only get a pet if he/she is willing to take on the responsibility of their care and to love the animal unconditionally. Many people get a pet and then realize that it has some behaviors that they don’t like – and they try to return it. Just like anything worthwhile in life, having a pet takes work. In training your pet, you are not only building a friendship and developing trust in each other; you are also learning patience and acceptance of weaknesses in both yourself and the pet. Getting a pet at the Humane Society or Pound is giving an animal a second chance at life. In doing this, you can also give yourself a second chance at the errors you’ve made in relationships.

Pictured are a cat and dog that are currently up for adoption at the Humane Society of Northwest Montana. Please consider giving these sweet friends a home and also check out the other animals up for adoption on their website www.humanesocietypets.com. If you already have pets and want to help out, volunteers and donations are always needed.

Today, paws, and give your pet a hug and thank them for their love and support! They will appreciate it!

Some quotes:

All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.

– Samuel Butler

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.

– Roger Caras

If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.

– James Herriot