“When an 85-pound mammal licks your tears away, then tries to sit on your lap, it’s hard to feel sad.” ~ Kristan Higgins
As far as I remember, I’ve always wanted a pet ever since I was a little girl.
My first pet was a cute kitten whom I named Sisi.
We had to get rid of Sisi because she kept breaking Mom’s plants and messing with other stuff. As a result, having a pet in our apartment became a no-no.
When I was 11, I begged Mom to get me a chick who I could keep on our big balcony. Soon enough, Robby became a big chicken, and we had to send him away to the countryside to live on a farm.
Years later, my sister and I adopted a labrador, but unfortunately, our neighborhood wasn’t really pet-friendly, so our neighbors called the cops claiming that our Raj was aggressive and barked a lot—they even threatened to poison him, so we had to ask a nice friend of ours who wanted to adopt to take him in.
Our friend had a big house in the countryside, so we knew he’d be happy, and again, we said our goodbyes. I still can’t forget the tears we cried when we had to put his toys, food, and stuff in a bag, with him trying to take them out. Raj licked away our tears, but nothing could take away the pain we felt on the inside.
Ever since, I decided that I will work so hard to move out and live in a dog-friendly environment where I can adopt as many furry friends as possible.
I was so excited when my best friend saved a puppy who was hit by a car and adopted her. Lexy changed my best friend’s life, and I could see how happy they both were.
My cousin and his wife love their dog Sushi more than anything in the world. However, I had to experience it firsthand before I could see what a dog’s love really felt like.
My sister’s friend had to travel to another country and asked us to watch her dog Ricky for her while she was away. My sister was so busy and brought Ricky over so that I can “babysit” him.
The moment he saw me, he ran into my arms and started licking my hands. We bonded so quickly, and I instantly fell in love and remembered all the reasons why I should adopt a dog.
As a matter of fact, everyone should. Here are 10 reasons why:
1. The way they act when we come home.
If we have to choose only one reason why we love dogs so much, it would be the welcome they give us when we get home. Nobody was or ever will be as happy as they are when they see us. They can smell us from miles away and start barking on the window, running to the door, and jumping to give us a kiss while wiggling their tails like crazy.
The unconditional love that Ricky gave me in one year was indescribable and unexplainable.
Dogs teach us to show our love more often.
2. They help cure many mental illnesses.
I have always suffered from mysophobia, which is an intense fear of germs. As much as I loved pets, I never understood how people would kiss them or let them sleep on their beds.
Ricky broke all barriers, and not only did he sleep next to me, he also gave me morning kisses—every single day. I also used to have short periods of depression that were left untreated, but when I had Ricky with me, I was sincerely happy and laughing. These furry friends are the best SSRIs the world can offer.
3. They give the world a lesson in unwavering loyalty.
The problem with humans is that even when we are capable of pure love, we are rarely loyal. Not only are we tempted, but also we do not know the true meaning of unwavering loyalty.
Ricky showed me what loyalty looked like. Even when I yelled at him for peeing inside, he still loved me. Dogs can’t hide their love and excitement; the whole tale is in the tail.
4. They are so overprotective they would die for us.
When I used to take Ricky for a walk, I could see how protective he would get once people start coming toward us. I’ve always loved going for a run or a walk, but unfortunately, the world is no longer as safe as it used to be.
With a furry friend by our side, we have a bodyguard who will protect us with his life, asking us nothing but love in return.
5. They offer companionship like no other.
Just like everyone else, I feel lonely at times, even when I am with people.
When Ricky was around, I always felt his presence filling the entire place, and I bet that only people with pets can understand what I am talking about.
6. They teach us commitment and responsibility.
I was never married, and I do not have kids. I never really had real responsibilities before, and I was not quite sure whether I was up to it.
Taking care of Ricky showed me that I can commit and be responsible. I took good care of him and gave him everything he needed—on time and with so much love.
For those struggling with this issue in particular, taking care of a pet will prepare you for the next level.
7. They teach the most selfish among us how to give and sacrifice.
Not only do they teach us how to be responsible but also how to give even when we don’t feel like it.
After all, we are taking care of a dependent creature, and this alone guarantees to open doors in our hearts and touch places in our souls that we don’t even know existed.
8. They remind us how to have fun and awaken the child in us.
I am not usually a childlike woman, but if you see me playing with Ricky on the floor, you’d be surprised. The pencil skirt, the heels, and the shirt are quickly replaced by sweat pants, flip-flops, and a T-shirt.
Ricky reminded me of the happiest moments of my childhood, and once we started playing fetch, not only did Ricky become someone else, so did I.
9. They are the best exercise buddy anyone can ask for.
I have always struggled with exercising, and even though I push myself to go for walks every day, I don’t seem to commit to a regimen.
I used to go for two to three short walks a day thanks to Ricky. Having him by my side made walking so much more entertaining and way easier to commit to.
10. They bring good and positive energy, quite literally.
For over a year, I was unemployed, and I couldn’t find a job although I am highly qualified and applied everywhere. The week Ricky got here, they called me for an interview from the only place I really dreamt of working at, and I got the job.
I’d call it karma because what goes around comes around. I strongly believe that taking care of dependent creatures and spreading kindness and love into the world will always find its way back to us one way or the other.
Ricky’s guardian thanked us for taking care of him while she was away, not knowing that we should thank her for giving us this chance.
I was over the moon when I found out that Ricky was staying with us for a while.
Trust me, once you have a dog in your life, living without one won’t be the same ever.
“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.” ~ Gilda Radner