A Time to Give Thanks for Our Pets
Updated: Jun 30, 2022
Beth Innis, DVM
As I sit in my home, for what feels like the millionth day in a row, listening to the purrs of three very chatty guinea pigs, I'm thankful for their normal, every day drama. They are more concerned about what is in that crinkly bag they saw me with, than with COVID-19. The big black labrador type dog asleep on the soft green chair behind me worries more about this unexpected walking routine change than about the current recommendations on personal protective gear. The little white and brown terrier sits between two girls watching broadway shows, happy his dreams are being realized at last and they are home all day with him, not at the pesky school. And the elderly tabby cat in my husband's office? He waddles around approvingly, rubbing his chin against the computer screen, with not a thought about the current positive counts escalating on the CDC webpage.
It is not lost on me that in a world where the news already made my stomach hurt, I have filled our home with the sweet sounds and sights (if not smells) of nonhuman creatures. They are a constant source of comedy, and have been estimated to be the topic of at least 50% our family conversations (my husband fees that estimate is too low). I have not one regret about this. I suspect they are greatly reducing our anxiety and elevating our sense of humor during these times, much more than I can prove. I also suspect they know plenty that something is amiss with the world and that they can help by just being themselves.
What a gift they are to us. By their mere presence in our home they help us stay grounded in this very moment. By their mere nature, they expect that any crinkly bag may contain lettuce, anyone's presence near the leash hook may mean a walk, and any opening of the computer may signal hours of conference calls to cuddle up for. What a world of possibility exists for them in this one house alone!
So when I find myself starting to worry about the state of the nation... if I am or am not an essential service... how long it will take to regain some normalcy.... how severe this is all going to be... I will take a moment to chat with our tiny wild boars, snuggle our big and little dogs, and adore the elderly cat and his dependable purr. I promise to give thanks daily for their every lovely, ever constant grounding energy in my life