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Article by Wendy McCance
One of the greatest things I have done for my children is deciding to have a house full of pets. We have a small dog (Frisky), a cat (Trixie-Firetruck), a ferret (Lola) and a fish (unnamed). There is so much warmth and comfort with pets in a home. Not a day goes by that we haven’t laughed or at least smiled because of something one of our pets have done. The kids have learned about compassion, responsibility, love and humor from these pets.
One of our favorite things to watch is the way each animal interacts with each other. Believe it or not, they all get along well even though they are so diverse from one another. When we put food in the dogs dish for instance, the cat and ferret will come running along with the dog and have a little dog food. These guys line up as we pour some food in the bowl and then will move in next to each other and eat at the same time. There is no pushing or shoving, growling, hissing or biting. All three of them will go galloping through the house together and play. At nap time, sometimes they will curl up and share a space together.
The happiness of having these pets has been tremendous for the kids. It lightens their mood when they are down. My son will sit down with the dog on his lap and play a video game. Both my dog and my son will look immensely content hanging out like this. The kids have learned about sharing and how good it feels when the pets play happily with each other. They look at their siblings and mimic the sweetness the pets have shown one another by treating each other with care.
I truly believe that having pets has had such a beneficial impact on the kids. I am truly grateful that we decided to have a house full of pets.
sidenote: You may be wondering how in the world we ended up naming our cat Trixie-Firetruck. When we got the cat as a kitten, the kids were small. My son who was potty training at the time was obsessed with firetrucks. We had promised that when he didn’t wear diapers anymore that we would get him a firetruck of his own. When we got the cat, he was ready for the firetruck and jokingly my husband asked my son if the cat should be his firetruck. He thought that was a great idea and asked if we could name the cat Firetruck. The girls wanted a very girly name for the cat and he was very dissapointed with the name (Trixie) they chose. Needless to say, we compromised and an unusual name was born.
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